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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 2 February 2014
Anyone who is only a bit interested in flying will appreciate this book, its a lifes work on the edge, into the unknown without doubt. Stansted airport is only 20 minutes from my home to the east and De Havilland at Hatfield again about 20 minutes away to the west and my wifes uncle was a boffin at Hatfield and flew with the BA146 on test, despite this personal interest it is still a great read and will mean a lot to those familiar with the Comet 4 and that great name of De Havilland at Hatfield in peace and wartime (Later British Aerospace) a legend!! What i liked about this book is the test pilots own account of flying round the world to exotic places and not so exotic, at a time when navigation and cockpit aids were either not invented or were only in their infancy. This was a pilot landing big planes on really rough almost non existent landing strips all over the world, pushing the flight envelope much of the time.
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on 29 May 2014
It's always interesting to hear the opinions of those who were there and did it, and this is a pretty forthright account of our (if you are British) not always glorious past.
The aircraft involved are all reflected upon with honest subjectively, which I prefer.
The faults of government procurement and the foolish decision to farm out our jet technology to the Soviet Union and, indeed, America, reminds us of how a technological lead was tossed aside and the price we paid as an industrial nation.

I enjoyed this book very much
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on 14 March 2014
What a lucky guy! He was involved in Aviation at the right time, being fortunate to fly some of Britain's best military aircraft at their inception, including the iconic V Bombers. A very interesting book looking at test flying of military and civil aircraft. Gets slightly less interesting towards the end of the book when the author stops flying and becomes involved in "desk flying". Overall a worthwhile read.
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on 16 July 2016
Provides a great insight to the work of a test pilot during the greatest period of development in UK aviation. Of particular interest for me as I live near the former Woodford Aerodrome which features in the book.
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on 18 July 2016
An excellent insight into many aspects of historic aircraft development. Still relevant, and entertaining. If your interests are military civil or general aviation you will be captivated by this individual snapshot of history.
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on 14 January 2016
Very well written and with enough "words" in it to give a very good picture of the problems and solutions he came up with. May well buy his earlier books. Have found a talk he is due to give in the summer of 2016 so I'll go well briefed.
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on 9 December 2013
Tony Blackman was a test pilot in the halcyon days of British aircraft manufacturing. As such he gives a front line account of this exciting and demanding job test flying such iconic aircraft as the Vulcan. What I especially liked is the way he covers the whole aspect of the role - from the high profile and glamorous parts such as the Farnborough air display to the more mundane jobs such as the collection of performance data. Throughout all of this he is always stressing the vital importance of selling the product and some interesting stories as he travels around the world with the Avro 748.

A well written and very good book for the aviation enthusiast.
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on 19 November 2014
Worth reading, sometimes comes across as slightly big headed but on the whole a great insight from a man who has been there and got the T-shirt.
This book succeeds in placing human emotion into the equation of machinery and aviation
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on 12 October 2015
As a child I was amazed by Britain's wonderful jet planes. I used to be in awe of their speed but knew very little about what it was like to actually fly them, warts and all. This book lifts the lid on a fascinating period in recent British history.
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on 26 August 2013
An interesting sequence of stories. The main flying bit is covered well, but I found myself wanting to know more about the author, particularly in the later years. I felt the author was holding back (opinions on personalities, background info) more than was strictly necessary. Enjoyable enough read, though.
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