Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Amazon Music Unlimited for Family Shop now Fitbit



There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 19 November 2016
Good read...very insightful into that period of aviation
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 29 May 2014
Cover 4/5 Main and sub title pretty accurate for the period.

Contents

Recommended to read this book by the author of Empire of the Clouds. From the descriptions of relationships between the owners, makers and the pilots it is a wonder the author lived.

His views on the British Aircraft industry of the time are pretty damming.

Given TSR2 and more recently Nimrod cancellations one wonders if much has changed.

I will read again sometime and the book will go on my bookshelf.

Alexander of the Allrighters and Ywnwab!
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 26 August 2013
This is a great book. I read the original edition years ago and I must say that it captures the reader and presents a very realistic picture of the relationship between the aircraft designers and the test pilots flying their creations. I was a test pilot in the UK in the 1970s and I can vouch that not much had changed even then. As I kept reading, I kept seeing parallels with instances that I had experienced in my working life. This is a great book that gives the reader a taste of how it really was to work as a test pilot in post-WW2 England. I wish I could have met the author: he must have been a fantastic raconteur (he was a truly talented pilot, of course)! Highly recommended book for any aeroplane lover.
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 7 April 2014
I recommend Bill Waterton's book without reservation
It is no wonder that the British Aircraft industry went into terminal decline after WW2. Even though it had first class craftsmen, technicians and Engineers, the combination of incompetent senior management and indifferent civil servants was too much of a millstone around the Industry's neck.
Test pilots of Waterton's skill, courage and bravery were the real heroes of the Industry, without whom the end would have come a lot sooner. Many RAF and RN pilots owe their lives to Bill Waterton's skill and experience, as he doggedly refused to allow basically unsafe aircrft to be released for squadron duty. My admiration for him grew steadily as I read this book as he confronted the gutless "company" men who were prepared to sign off aircraft that were clearly unfit to fly, let alone defend our country.

.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 21 March 2013
This man lost his job, because he could see what was wrong with the British aircraft industries, So many pilots lost their lives because no one would listen to the pilots about problems they found.
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 28 January 2013
A major company in decline immediately after a revolutionary breakthrough described by their chief test pilot who was left in disgust at the way he was treated - superb
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 27 July 2015
A classic account by test pilot Bill Waterton of his time at Gloster's just after the War. Waterton's job revolved mainly around what was then the World's coolest jet, the Meteor. In addition to test flying, he also showed off the Meteor to potential customers the world over and was involved in delivering the plane (and training pilots) to places from Argentina to Turkey and from Belgium to Egypt. In the latter capacity he met all sorts of dignitaries including the Greek royal couple, the Romanian ex-king and, lo and behold, Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands (of whom he has a very favorable opinion). The showing-off part of the job very much included what must have been epic 'beat-ups' of various cities such as Paris and Rome. In Paris, Waterton would fly his Meteor literally through the streets at below rooftop level (he had to descend after flying over the Arc de Triomphe to fly through the Champs Elysees at tree-top level!); in Rome he deafened pope & cardinals by passing over the Vatican so low that the windows broke. Too bad that this kind of spectacular antics is history in today's more 'safety-conscious' (boring) world.

Anyway, as nice as Waterton's job sounded, his enjoyment was tempered by his critical attitude to the people who designed and built the planes he flew (understandably since it was his life that was on the line). This attitude, combined with his brutal honesty (which is very endearing when talking about his own fears, but must have been less so for the objects of his criticism), eventually led him to be booted out of Gloster's. Pity, because the interesting part on testing the Javelin is cut a bit short by his involuntary leave from the company. This section is still very interesting though, as it involves an accident where he almost burned to death. Another interesting part is about his adventures in Canada, test flying Avro Canada's CF-100.

Concluding, 'the Quick and the Dead' is an absolute page-turner. Most highly recommended.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 22 January 2013
Very interesting and a real insght into the successess and the ultimate failure of our aircraft industry,
Mr Waterton doesn't pull any punches about the mismanagement of what was once a world leading industry.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 27 December 2012
It is a very interetsing read along with "Empire of the clouds" and I think that today we still have a muddled MOD and competition between the three forces all to the detriment of the poor old squadies. Surely the MOD has got to be the most incompetent purchasing people on the planet. i.e Chinooks that can't fly Carriers with no planes, the Yanks fly Harriers and we bin them and what about all those things we don't hear about.
0Comment| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 29 May 2013
****************This review is based on the first edition copy I have***********

This book illustrates the reasons why the UK no longer has a manufacturing base for aviation. Post-war the manufacturing industry sat there fat, dumb and happy using government handouts to build out-of-date aircraft using out-of-date methods. We had a state of the art lead after the war with jet engine and we handed it on a plate to the Americans. Waterton in this book calls a spade a spade and points out the industry short falls, and the powers-that-be ignored him considering him as a trouble maker.

After the publication of this book his then employer, the Daily Express - he was their aviation correspondant, had pressure applied to fire him and they did.

One only has to look at our manufactureing base 50 years later to see who was right
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)