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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 12 January 2011
A fairly readable history of the development of the TSR-2, with photographs drawn from the BAE Systems Heritage archive at Warton. Difficult though to describe it, as Amazon do in their blurb, as a photographic history. While there are some lovely colour shots sprinkled throughout the work, McLellands earnest tome has been produced by Classic Publications for Ian Allan and as such is designed down to a budget and format - the text packed into its 120 pages so densely that it is uncomfortable to read and Caruana's profile artworks spread over two pages with most of the drawings lost to the tight page binding. No museum or walkaround photos for modellers and only a page or two of equipment drawings. However the Amazon discount certainly invites a purchase if you only need one volume on the type on your shelves as Mr Balch says. McLelland looks more at the developmental side of the story rather the political shenanigans which he appears to dismiss as the work of alarmists and dreamers - "..both Jenkins and Healey offered BAC the opportunity to continue flying, therefore the notion that they had any interest in destroying TSR2 is patently wrong.." So there were no conspiracy theories - just an advanced new aircraft type that may or may not have performed. Given the array of cutting edge early 1960s technology then being designed for it, you suspect the author rather feels it wouldn't have.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on 9 November 2010
Tim McLelland's book on TSR2 might evoke the "what? not another !" reaction, but in this very comprehensive review of what to some is a painful part of British aviation history he avoids the polemics of earler authors' work and recounts the story quite calmly and factually. His dispassionate approach is all the more effective in making one wonder how on earth the Ministries involved and the industry itself could get themselves in such a tangle. He makes the failure seem inevitable - and this is perhaps a weakness, for it was not, but in the end the reader "understands" that incompetence in overall management of military projects, however technically excellent in themselves, produces expensive and damaging weaknesses. Mr. McLelland also highlights the infighting between the RAF and the Navy which has also been evident in recent months - though he, surprisingly perhaps, plays down the contribution of Lord Mountbatten to poisoning the atmosphere at the time.
The technical descriptions are thorough and excellent too, making this book a welcome and valuable addition to one's book-case.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 3 November 2010
These days you can get as much history as you want from time spent on a subject on Wiki and Google, however sometimes it is still good to have it all to hand in a more traditional form. I am very impressed with the level of detail and the collection of photographs in this volume. I was not, I have to admit, aware of how much development took place on the TSR2 before cancellation.

Some pages are devoted to the questions regarding what happened at the end; was it canceled on American orders; what was Dennis Healey's reasoning etc... There are no surprise revelations here although the author does make a clear statement of his own view of the reason for the demise of the TSR2.

Great book... recommended.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 31 January 2011
I have been fascinated by this aircraft ever since I went to Warton for a job interview and was told that if I had come one week earlier I would have seen TSR2.
This book gives a good account of the aircraft's development and the environment which gave rise to it and, in the end, caused its demise.
For me there are two things discussed in the book which I find puzzling.
The first is that mention is made that there was a mentality (a hangover from the 1940s) that thought that any military aircraft would have a very short operational life (4 years). The corollary to this being that development must be quick and the specification very pragmatic. Yet the specification of TSR2 was completely at odds with this thinking.
The other thing is that I am amazed that such a fine aircraft (or indeed any aircraft) emerged given the management structure put in place by the government. For an object lesson in how really advanced aircraft can be designed and built quickly and to budget see Skunk Works: a Personal Memoir of My Years at Lockheed by Ben R Rich
One important thing I did learn from this book is the contribution TSR2 made to the development of Concorde and the Panavia Tornado.
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on 23 August 2013
The author covers the story of the ill-fated TSR2 in great detail, from concept to cancellation, backed up by photographs and excellent technical information.

Here we had a potential world beating aircraft, killed off by politics, intransigence, escalating costs and committees.

At the end of the book, not only does the author leave the reader with a detailed list of other books for further reading relating to the TSR 2, but also gives a whole page of information on TSR2 Modelling, ideal for the model-building and collecting fraternity.

However, nothing is perfect. If I am allowed a small criticism, that would be the size of the print (very small). Nevertheless, that would not stop me purchasing another copy as a gift. The receiver would be delighted, I'm sure.
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Another case of the politicians an civil servants poking their collective noses into a project causing the inevitable delays and cost overruns. Beautifully illustrated with excellent photographs.
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on 2 December 2014
I would have given it 5 stars but for the fact the author goes on about no one else has given a more factual account of the scrapping of the TSR2. Good read and plenty of new facts revealed.
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on 2 June 2014
Good quality book on the sad story of an advanced aircraft that had everything stacked up against it...... Politicians, the media, the cost, the Americans.... .Oh a sad end too.
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on 18 February 2015
This warplane was scrapped when I was a schoolboy, this book is useful in telling the story of what actually happened, rather than what we were told at the time.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 10 January 2011
This is a really good book. It is very unbiased, and very clearly and concisely covers pretty much all areas of the rise and demise of TSR2.
There are some great photos, some which I had not seen before, but many that I had, I think that this is simply that there are not that many photos of TSR2.
It is very readable and is the best thing I have read on TSR2 by quite a way.
The only thing missing is any input on the flying characteristics apart from a couple of flight reports and saying that it flew well.
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