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on 2 December 2012
I was lucky enough to see the last airworthy Javelin performing it's farewell fly-by over RAF Marham, but until reading this book knew very little about the aircraft and it's role in service.

A previous reviewer mentioned that they found the first part of this book heavy going, and I agree. However my diligence paid off when reading the second part of the book. There were 9 marks of Javelin and when considering it's role as a (very) high altitude interceptor at the limits of aerodynamic and engine performance the knowledge gained in the first section of the book was vital in understanding the subsequent informative accounts by the squadron aircrew.

As an aside I have to admire the crews that flew these aircraft. The consensus was that it was generally an easy aircraft to fly but as you'll learn in the book it had some unpleasant flaws in service which could rapidly turn a good day into a bad one!

I'm giving this book five stars because I now feel I know what the Javelin was really all about.
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on 18 February 2017
Very disappointed. Just a technical overview of the plane. Nothing about the politics of the world and the role that it played.
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on 9 December 2013
Peter Caygill had a wonderful career in the RAF flying the front line fighters of the 50's and 60's. The book the the Javelin is excellent and gives the reader a behind the scenes insight into the challenges of effectively operating this all weather fighter. Aviation enthusiasts are familiar with performance data such as top speed and operational ceiling but Peter explains about the flight envelope and how small the margin is when trying to intercept bombers at the limits of performance.

The Javelin was a very important aircraft of the period. It looks great in photographs and the PR machine of the period made in sound great. The author lets us know what it was really like and you can only admire the skill and professionalism of the men that had to maintain and fly it.

Great book, any aviation enthusiast would love it.
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on 14 September 2013
As a airbuff this is the kind of book that I really enjoy, but because I'm an airbuff I want to read all the technical stuff and to follow the development of the aircraft. However it IS very technical, and the reader may well feel bored with all the measurements and statistics that are in the text.
I found that the author had been very thorough in his research and has managed to 'join up' the technical stuff with a readable narrative to go with it.
Perhaps an aspect which I had not realised was the day by day danger the regular pilots were in from malfunctions in the Javelin, be it engine fires to systems failures, which necessitated the ejection of the crew. I didn't count the number of pilots, and navigators who perished on a regular basis in these early years of advanced jets in squadron service. Today we take reliability in jet engines and in ejection situations for granted.
I loved the shape of the Javelin, and it was well liked by the pilots and crews and had a very capable radar. The author's recalling of many intercepts of other fighters, in all weathers was really exciting. In fact when the Phantoms came along, there were many pilots and crew who would rather have kept their Javelins.
A great read for all airbuffs
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on 12 February 2015
The first third of the book is pretty hard going with lots of performance and technical details for each mark of Javelin, but then we get to the first-hand accounts of those who flew in them from the front or back seat. It was a revelation as I, even after 24 years in the RAF always had the opinion they were killers. Okay, they had their design and construction faults but it seems, in spite of the accident rate, the crews seemed to love the things. Understandable really, as their previous mounts for night fighting had been Meteors and Venoms and few of those with bang seats when things stopped burning and turning. Well worth the cash and very revealing.
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on 6 February 2014
A great read for anyone who wants to get into a mixture of the technical and the era. Good information on the development of the aircraft and systems and the way it was used. I learned that it was a much more impressive piece of kit that was credited by some. it was overshadowed by the much sexier Hunter and its aerobatics and then the Lightning and its sheer power, but for the job it vwas supposed to do it did it pretty well. Well worth reading
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on 22 July 2012
A very informative book, a little heavy handed regarding times to altitude and speeds to high mach numbers in the first 65 pages. All aircrew mentioned by name and plane types recorded . Interesting aspect of this book was the writers care in describing accidents of the Javelin a fighter troubled by engine failure and bad stalling and handling during engine failure. I was interested when thinking of buying this book and it fulfilled my interest. A well written episode of British Aircraft in a testing time fighting Governments interference in the production of Aircraft at this time. A good read from Amazon Books.
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on 19 February 2015
Brilliant book, watched this aircraft as a lad and to read it's history, so well written and researched, brings it all back.
All at a great price
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on 25 April 2016
Only the lack of colour photos stopped a 5 star review.
Otherwise a fascinating and informative look back to the RAF of my childhood.
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on 10 December 2014
Having flown this aircraft it was interesting to see how technically correctit would be - can't fault it
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