Infamous Aircraft: Dangerous Designs and Their Vices Hardcover – 30 Sep 2005
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An interesting book and one that you can pick up at any time and find something of interest to read, even if you've only a few minutes to spare.Published 6 months ago by G.H.KEABLE
A great book, if you like planes this is a really good read with lots of really strange aircraft. I really enjoyed it.Published 13 months ago by jean dewhurst
If you like Books about Aircraft development, this is a very good read. It is very well researched and written in an easily understood style. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Rupert Finch
again an interesting book with eye opening revealments even with well known models that had problems to start with.Published 18 months ago by Kindle Customer Bob Mcguillicar.
Well written, but really needs more illustrations. It is good that a few of aviations failures are remembered. We all learn from other's mistakesPublished 20 months ago by Ashley Frost
Fascinating book to read. Found a lot of history I never knew in detail regarding the German rocket technology of WW2. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Lee S.
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