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Tuesday 3 May 2011

Empire of the Clouds.

We reviewed this book when it was in hardback last year and it has sold steadily ever since. The paperback has just been published at £9.99 making it an even better buy. Not to be missed by any admirer of those wonderful aircraft and the incredible men who took them aloft for their first dangerous flights.

Empire of the Clouds
by James Hamilton-Paterson

In this 70th anniversary year of the Battle of Britain, this book covers the sad demise of the British aircraft industry ever since. From being one of the world leaders, we hardly have an industry at all, through misgovernment and mismanagement. Yet it is also a celebration of the amazing work that engineers and designers achieved against the odds and covers many of the great aircraft such as the Comet, the Hunter, the Lightning, the Vulcan, the TSR2 and Concorde. It is also the story of the test pilots, particularly Bill Waterton, though others such as Neville Duke, John Derry and Bill Beaumont are all included. A bitter exposure of what went wrong, an exuberant celebration of what was right.

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