Top critical review
10 people found this helpful
on 22 June 2012
I admire Tony Buttler's books, but must admit to finding this one a bit of a disappointment. As TB acknowledges, much of the British content is well covered in other books (Barrie Hygate, British Experimental Jet Aircraft and Barry Jones British Experimental Turbojet Aircraft). The French examples , presumably written by TB's co-author, lack the technical detail and comprehensiveness of the British section and display (to my mind) a touch of French chauvanism. To picture the Mirage IV with the description "perhaps the most successful of European cold war strategic bombers" is a waste of space (as is the advert for the Air and Space Museum at Le Bourget) and is a very debatable description. Strategic only because of its nuclear weapons load, and certainly not because of its unrefuelled operational radius of 700 miles.
TB also rightly says that the choice of X planes is necessarily subjective, but I was disappointed not to find the Dornier Do 31 included, as it was a significant experimental VTOL transport.
The book also shows some signs of its troubled and prolonged gestation - the inclusion of the originally proposed dust jacket illustration as the title page is a bit bizarre!