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Infamous Aircraft: Dangerous Designs and Their Vices Hardcover – 30 Sep 2005

4.1 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Leo Cooper Ltd (30 Sept. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844151727
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844151721
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 16.7 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,204,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Robert Jackson has written many books on military, aviation and naval history since retiring from a leading national newspaper where he was defence correspondent. He lives in Darlington; his other main interest is rugby union.


Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
His grammar doesn't seem to be perfect, but this guy really can tell a story.

It would have been very easy, unavoidable almost , to turn out a bland, matter-of-fact technical catalogue on less-than-perfect aircraft, but the author manages to mix clear descriptions of the technical deficiencies (that must necessarily be told) with enthralling tales of each aircraft's service history.

Even in the case of 'crude' WWI aircraft, the way each story is related makes this a very difficult book to put down.

Informative and thoroughly enjoyable.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book takes as its aim to explore some infamous aircraft, or at least those, which were considered dangerous by their contemporaries. The selection is wide ranging, from WW1 to the 1960s, from lighter than air dirigibles, military aircraft, jet flying boats to lowly private planes.

The selection is somewhat random but generally covers types from the UK, US, France, Germany, the USSR and Japan (so at least the author is not one sided in his choices). And while some of the aircraft were clearly dangerous, others were simply imperfectly understood, or difficult to fly for novice pilots. Equally, a lot of them were early types, with no vices per se, apart from an obsolescence from today's point of view (quite why the early Soviet and early French jet fighters warranted a chapter each I am still unsure about).

Irrespective, the book does a good job of combining first hand accounts and secondary data and manages to bring some less well known, or alternatively less well liked aircraft into the limelight, and will provide some additional anecdotal evidence to an aviation enthusiast's knowledge of the types covered.

Where the book could definitely be improved - as mentioned in some other reviews - is to include more detail on why or how the types were actually dangerous. While this aspect was clear for some (the Sopwith Camel, Me-163 & R.101 being good examples), it is completely lacking for others.

In essence a well written and interesting book for an aviation enthusiast, even if not quite perfect in the aircraft selection or execution of the content.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Interesting to read about the history,trails, tribulations and human cost of getting air crafts from drawing board into service. Have heard of some of the air crafts, but not of others. Interesting to see the approach taken to some of the of the now established designs and operations of air crafts. In my humble opinion, the reader or potential reader need not have an interest in air crafts to enjoy this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An interesting but rather disturbing account of the international problems that faced aircraft designers in their constant quest for improvement.
It also highlighted the extreme bravery of the test pilots. Having been first of all a RAF ground engineer, and then civilian, I fully appreciated many of the problems encountered, and was frequently amazed.
A very good read if aeroplanes are in your blood.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a great book for me. I could relate to all the aircraft from my childhood days of becoming an an avid aircraft enthusiast. Many I had forgotten about and reading about them refreshed my memory, and often to the models I had made.
However having all the background information about their development and flying characteristics made me realise just how difficult early aircraft were, when trying to meet military standards that seemed to change every week. Today we take flying as being quite normal and unspectactular, but to get to that stage many test pilots lost their lives and aircraft designer were almost learning aerodynamics 'on the hoof' as they faced new challenges.
This was a facination book well written, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would have liked the author to have included more examples but I suppose there has to be a limit. Well worth a read if you wish to know the early background to aircraft development.
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I was 'very pleased with this book probably because I can remember a lot of the later aircraft covered. In the 50s and 60s a lot of the development was a bit "hit and miss" particularly when airframe designers were struggling to cope with the power of the new jet engines and effects of compressability as speeds approached Mach 1.0. Altogether a good read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book on a very interesting topic that is not covered by many books.It is well research and easy to read.Humans mostly learn from their mistakes ,and aircraft designers are no different,this book is a must for younger readers to give them knowledge of aircraft that they most probably never heard of.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
really a book for aircraft engineers and pilots, this was very interesting and very well researched. It did however in my opinion miss the most famous killer fighter, the F104 starfighter, which although mentioned a few times deserve a chapter of its own.
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