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Comet! The World's First Jet Airliner Hardcover – 30 Oct 2013
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About the Author
Graham Simons is a highly regarded Aviation historian with extensive contacts within the field. He is the author of Mosquito: The Original Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (2011), B-17 - The Fifteen Ton Flying Fortress (2011), and Valkyrie: The North American XB-70 (also 2011), all published by Pen and Sword Books. He lives near Peterborough.
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And this is certainly a book that does not disappoint, offering a wealth of technical information as well as a range of intersting behind-the-scenes anecdotes, while always providing a readable narrative.
As one would expect,due attention is also paid to the tragic series of crashes that afflicted the Comet 1, with a wealth of detail on the subsequent investigation and also some interesting comments regarding a recent TV documentary on the subject. There is also a wealth of interesting photos, many of which will be new to readers.
To be critical, the layout is sometimes a little cluttered, the reproduction of a few photos is not the best and there is the odd typographical error, but these are minor points and hardly tell against the book; all could easily be remedied in a future edition, which really does deserve to appear.
So if you have any interest in British post war civil aviation or jet airliners, go ahead and buy Mr Simons' book. You will certainly find it money well spent.
Often seen as a typical British 'almost' success, this paints a picture of an airliner that actually achieved all it aimed to, never really expecting to dominate the transatlantic routes, but that is always associated with the early problems (and crashes) which actually paved the way for the day to day international jet travel we all take for granted.
Lots of really detailed stuff (which instruments the radio operator had in front of him, etc) will probably appeal to the real plane buffs, but is a bit turgid for the casual reader, but persevere, because the story of the development, crashes, investigations and tests and resolution of the issues is an interesting one.
At the Amazon price it represents good value and I can recommend it to anyone interested in our aeronautical heritage.
The handling of the Comet accidents is an example of how things should be done. Compare that to the debacle of the DC10 cargo door.
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