Wings of the Weird and Wonderful  [9781902109169]

Wings of the Weird and Wonderful
Add to Cart
Date Added: Wednesday 29. June, 2011
In our last edition I reviewed the revised version of Captain Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown’s book Wings of the Luftwaffe and expressed the hope that some of his other books would receive the revision treatment from his current publisher Hikoki. Almost immediately, I received Wings of the Weird & Wonderful, an update of the original two volumes with the same name released in the 1980s by original publisher Airlife. The content has been redesigned and expanded and now features a total of 53 of the 490 different basic types that Eric Brown has flown. Indeed at the front of the book can be found a list of all those 490 types and they include the Catalina although our favourite flying boat is not one of the aircraft covered in the body of the book. In fact, marine craft coverage in the book is restricted to the Saunders-Roe SR.A/1 jet-powered flying boat, an example of which is now preserved in the Solent Sky collection in Southampton. Appearance and concept-wise, it would be tempting to assume that this aircraft would come under the ‘weird’ category although Eric Brown’s description of it as a “unique aircraft of unexpected quality” might suggest that he felt ‘wonderful’ was more appropriate. The fact remains that he nearly lost his life in the third example TG271 when a large piece of timber got in the way of the landing run upon Cowes Roads causing the jet to cart-wheel and continue along the water inverted. The full story is in the book of course. Elsewhere, there are detailed air test descriptions of such diverse types as the Avro Lancaster, Bell Kingcobra, Fairey Spearfish, Gloster Gauntlet, Horten IV tailless sailplane, Northrop Black Widow, the half-scale Stirling bomber and the very unorthodox Miles M.39B Libellula tandem wing aircraft, the latter certainly deserving of the description ‘weird’! A terrific book by this most well-known and literate airman, it is great to have it in new and expanded format.

Catalina News July 2011
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
Write Review