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Schneider Trophy to Spitfire: The Design Career of R.J. Mitchell Hardcover – 24 Jul 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: J H Haynes & Co Ltd; First Edition edition (24 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844255301
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844255306
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 1.8 x 27.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 431,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product description

About the Author

John K. Shelton MA, PhD, has a special interest in industrial archaeology and aviation history. Until his retirement he was head of Humanities at Staffordshire University. He was involved in setting up the 'Spitfire Room' at Stoke-on-Trent Museum. He lives in Staffordshire.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found this book to be very interesting. If you love British aviation and its colourful history, you will love this book.
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Format: Hardcover
RJ Mitchells life as one of the prime aircraft designers of the `Golden Age of Aviation` is presented here and the designs are mentioned in the order in which they were created. Dr. Shelton has a very easy style of writing and he is to be commended on the depth of his research in producing this book. Every page contains large library photos of Mitchell`s seaplanes and three views of several of them. Apart from his writing Dr.Shelton is also an accomplished painter and several of his paintings of Mitchells seaplanes are presented here. This is one book which I will pick up again and again as, due to the great detail given of special incidents during designing and flight testing, there will always be some small detail which was missed the last time araound. Congratulations for a nicely produced book which will find a place in many aviation enthusiasts library.
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Format: Hardcover
Reginald Mitchell created revolutionary new aircraft, first for the Schneider Trophy contests and then for a battle he anticipated, but did not live to see. His story has been told in different genres: in a wartime film, starring Leslie Howard; in a biography by his son; and often in parenthesis, in the memoirs of the airmen who took his marvellous machines to the skies. John Shelton's unique achievement is to combine a specialist's understanding of Mitchell's technical achievement with an artist's ability to portray the grace and beauty of the results of his work. This beautifully produced and thoroughly researched volume is as indispensable for historians as it is for enthusiasts: my own forthcoming biography of one of Mitchell's seaplane pilots, Racing Ace: The Fights and Flights of 'Kink' Kinkead DSO, DSC, DFC, has greatly benefited from the insights derived from Dr Shelton's first-class book.
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Format: Hardcover
A comprehensive review of Supermarine Aviation and the aircraft it produced from 1913 to WW2. The many illustrations and photographs add greatly to this superb insight into the Southampton company and it's very talented Chief Designer. It was a tragedy that he died at such a young age just when he was at his most creative. However, I felt that the book was rather 'padded out' in places and there are a number of repetitions in the text. It is recommended for both entertaining reading and as a reference book.
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Format: Hardcover
The subtitle of this book is entirely accurate. After an appreciative introduction and an introductory chapter covering Mitchell's early experience and the background to Supermarine, it takes in chronological sequence all the aircraft R. J. Mitchell designed. These are grouped in seven well illustrated chapters printed in a large enough format to permit good reproduction of many period photographs and a substantial number of of full page three view plans. An added bonus is eight pages of reasonably good color paintings by the author of various specific airplanes described in the text. An epilog covers briefly the use of Mitchell designed Supermarine aircraft in World War II. There are four appendicies with the first giving us the clearest description I have seen of the quite complex ten year development history of the Spitfire.

This well conceived and organized work tells us a number of things. First, Mitchell's design path was quite severely evolutionary in nature with clear progression of development from one design to another following the general trajectory of aircraft development from 1920 to 1937. Second, Mitchell was primarily a flying boat and racing seaplane designer with the Spitfire the only successful landplane he did! Third, Mitchell created a very skilled and capable design team that contributed greatly to his sucess and was capable of carrying out all the development work that virtually doubled the performance of the Spitfire in it's life. Fourth, he designed aircraft strictly to his analysis of their intended role and what characteristics were required for that specific application.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the gripping story of a man who could think beyond convention but yet maintain close attention to fine detail.The engineering drawings and many photographs clearly illustrate the diversity of his designs and are complimented by a selection of excellent paintings by the author.
I enjoyed the way that Dr Shelton describes R J Mitchell's life, from a fantastic array of Supermarine seaplanes and amphibian aircraft to the world-beating Schneider Trophy machines.
This book also shows what happens when a great engine (The Merlin) is teamed with a great Engineer(Mitchell)resulting in the legend that is the Spitfire.
All to soon, I had reached chapter 9; Epilogue, only to be delighted to find four very interesting and informative appendices.
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