Vulcan’s Hammer  [9781902109176]

Vulcan’s Hammer
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Date Added: Friday 30. September, 2011
MUCH HAS BEEN written about Britain's three V-Bombers, but this new book explains how British policies changed and influenced weapons development, and how scientists and engineers met the Air Staff's requirements in the 20 years after the Second World War.

The author has dug deeply into many archives and produced a survey of what was and what might have been. There are many illustrations of projects, a good starter on page 9 being a graphic illustration of a Bristol RA.6 target marker taking off with rocket assistance; very realistic and one of a number of such paintings by Adrian Mann which enhance the book. The first chapter, "The Alternative V-Force", shows, for instance, the Minimum Conventional Bomber, a flying wing with two Conway bypass turbofans, proposed to the Air Staff but rejected.

Elsewhere, many other projects are described and illustrated, such as the weird Avro 727, a VTO Avro Vulcan, a Vickers VC10 with six AQLBMs or eight Skybolts, a de Havilland Trident with four Skybolts, and so on. The term "poffler" comes up several times, referring to airborne alert aircraft. It comes from the Scots term "poffle", for a small area of farmland. The significance of this is not clear to me!

An air-defence version of the Vulcan, carrying ten Sea Darts, was proposed while the Panavia Tornado ADV was awaited; this and many other intriguing designs make Vulcan's Hammer essential reading for those interested in airborne armaments and, probably, politics, which is never far from the aviation scene.

A worthy Book of the Month.

Aeroplane August 2011
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
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