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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flying experiences of one of the greatest RAF test pilots, 10 Dec 2001
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Mikemarknine (Worcester) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Years Flew Past: 40 Years at the Leading Edge of Aviation (Hardcover)
It was always my ambition to meet and talk with Wing-Cdr. Roland 'Bee' Beamont; the news of his death at 81 on November 19, 2001 was a great sadness to me, and I am sure to many aircraft enthusiasts the world over.
The book summarises Roland's flying experiences, from the Battle of Britain as a young 20 year old in a Hawker Hurricane, through ground attack in the Typhoon, where 'Bee' started to influence development, leading to the Tempest (so successful against the dreaded V-1 flying bomb), post-war with the English Electric Canberra (the only British aircraft until the Harrier to be built under licence in the USA), the Lightning, and perhaps his greatest achievement, testing the BAC TSR-2 transsonically, only to have the bitter experience of its cancellation by the Labour Government in 1965; surely one of the most tragic political decisions made in Britain during the last century; he continued as a director of BAe, assisting with the development of the Panavia Tornado until his retirement in 1978.
He has been involved with many books, but in many respects, 'The Years Flew Past' is of interest to many others than just aircraft enthusiasts such as myself - I have recommended that my 'untechnical' wife reads it for its sheer interest value and the historical anecdotes, and that must be a recommendation in itself!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An accurate description of an extraordinary man's life, 30 April 2005
This review is from: The Years Flew Past: 40 Years at the Leading Edge of Aviation (Hardcover)
I had the privilege of knowing Wing Commander Roland Beamont, known as "Bee" to many - but never to me, for many years up to his death and listened with awe to tales that came straight out of boys dreams and war comics but which were all the more extraordinary for their truth and modesty. This book brings alive a life full of adventure, from a young man doing his bit in a war to a mature pilot developing the aircraft to be used by the next generation. The story is accurate, exciting and nicely told. It is tinged with the sadness of times past, but not with missed opportunities - Mr. Beamont lived them all.
This book is a must for aircraft enthusiasts, spanning a career that started in bi-planes, moved through the development and use of legendary planes like the Typhoon, Lightening and TSR2 and ended with the Tornado, still in use today. If you've looked for this book and come to this page then you will not be disappointed if you buy it, I promise.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Step back in time and remeber!, 6 Dec 2004
This review is from: The Years Flew Past: 40 Years at the Leading Edge of Aviation (Hardcover)
This is a beautifully crafted book and one that I took enormous pleasure in reading. The author had the ability to mix technical developments with poetic anecdote to really craft a historical book that reads alomst like a novel. This remarkable man managed to evelvate himself to the very height of his trade / industry whilst never forgetting those around him. His life will be sorely missed and books warmly remebered.
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The Years Flew Past: 40 Years at the Leading Edge of Aviation
The Years Flew Past: 40 Years at the Leading Edge of Aviation by Roland Beamont (Hardcover - 26 Sep 2001)
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