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A Bucket of Sunshine: Life on a Cold War Canberra Squadron by [Brooke, Mike]
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A Bucket of Sunshine: Life on a Cold War Canberra Squadron Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 95 customer reviews

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Length: 240 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Review

I enjoyed this book enormously. It captures perfectly a slice of RAF history that is- already- far removed from anything today's airmen will experience. --Air Cdre Pil Wilkinson- Royal Air Force Historical Society Journal --Royal Air Force Historical Society Journal

Interesting [and]...well written --The ARmy Rumour Service

About the Author

Mike Brooke on the Royal Air Force's low-level strike/attack squadron described in this book and became a flying instructor, experimental test pilot, a Wing Commander, and a test-flying consultant.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 5904 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (1 May 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00844OY6A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 95 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #18,657 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I was an RAF pilot and went through my initial officer training and flying training just after the author did (because I'm slightly younger and a lot more handsome!) and also served in RAF Germany during the Cold War years, although on a different base and different aircraft type. Mike Brooke has very accurately captured the mood I'm sure we all shared during those days - we were in a very serious business and if we ever had to do, for real, what we trained for every day, we didn't expect to survive beyond the first day and probably not beyond our first sortie. So we developed an irreverence for the reality of our situation, which Mike has captured perfectly. As he describes life on his squadron I can feel myself there with him in the cockpit, the crew room and the bar - and especially in the bar! I read "A Bucket of Sunshine" in less than two days. I just couldn't put it down, but didn't want to get to the end of it. If you want an insight into how things were on a frontline RAF squadron during the Cold War you have to read this book. It truly was a great read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved this book. I thought that I had an idea about what Canberras did, but I learned a lot more about how they did it from this book. The book really brings home the weight of responsibility and deadly seriousness of the role of young men on Canberra Squadrons in the early 1960s, and the difficulties and discomforts of the task, yet it is somehow delivered with a wonderful sense of humour that had me laughing out loud at times.
I couldn't put this book down, but didn't want it to end - well written and thoroughly enjoyed. I hope to read more from this author.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is probably the best book I've had the pleasure to read about the post-war RAF. It took me back to Germany, in the early/mid 60s as an RAF photographer ...not to a BI8 Sqn but to 17 Sqn PR at Wildenrath although 14 Sqn were just a few yards away with their Canberra BI8s. The whole book was a trip down memory lane, I could smell the inside of the Canberra cockpit (electrics, oxygen and farts!) and I found myself laughing out loud. But don't think this is just a book for ex RAF personnel, this is a book to give everyone an insight to the dangers, tension and even innocence of those days. A lot aircrew lost their lives during those early jet years and the Canberra, without careful handling, would bite back and quickly too. Unfortunately it did bite back with a saddening frequency. Congratulations to the author but I'd like him to hurry up with the follow up. Test pilot training and test flying can't fail to bring him many more readers. Flying vintage aircraft will be the icing on the cake. A superb read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a tale of a bygone era in which the RAF had the use of half a dozen airfields scattered from Libya to the Gulf and its pilots still had a navigator to take them to their targets in Eastern Europe. Many aviation autobiographies can be as dull as the camouflage on an RAF jet but Mike Brooke's account of his service on the Canberra bomber was engaging from start to finish. Although dealing with a serious subject, i.e. the possibility of having to go to war against the Warsaw Pact countries, the author keeps the tone of the story fairly light, and there is plenty of humour; he even made the post-flight paper-work sound fun.

The story takes us from his first flight in a small aircraft whilst on a family holiday, through Air Cadets, gliding, learning to fly the Vampire jet, Operational Conversion, and on to the English Electric Canberra B(I)8 bomber/interdictor at RAF Laarbruch in Germany.

The author wasn't afraid to admit to making a few gaffs on his account: at the end of a solo night high-level navigation exercise in a Vampire he misidentified RAF Barkston Heath as RAF Swinderby and joined their Jet Provosts in the circuit for a touch-and-go.

For anyone interested in the Canberra bomber there is a plenty of information about flying the aircraft. Without reproducing the whole Pilot Operating Handbook, Mike Brooke nicely describes the day-to-day operation of the aircraft and some of its idiosyncrasies: it had the useful ability to start both engines simultaneously, and very challenging single-engine handling qualities.

The author describes various methods of weapon delivery, both conventional and nuclear. The Low Altitude Bombing System (LABS) and the Idiot's Loop were looked into in more detail.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Although I neither served in Germany nor on a Canberra squadron, this book brought back many pleasant memories of selection, initial training, flying training and the fun of life in the Royal Air Force at that time (I trained as a pilot in 1965 and served my first tour in Singapore). I later knew Mike at CFS and completed RAF Staff College with him. His easy style and memory for events make this a very easy book to read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I look forward to the next instalment!
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This is a thoroughly enjoyable book! Very readable and had me hooked within a couple of pages. Loved the seat-of-the-pants tales of flying the Canberra during the Cold War and what the RAF was like back in the 60's. Highly recommended.
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