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Item Title:

The Secret Years: Flight Testing at Boscombe Down 1939-1945 (Cons-Used


Books, Comics, Magazines



Item Condition: Used
Current Time:24 Oct 16 16:33:50
Time & Date displayed is forUnited States - EDT
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Price per item: £36.98 ($45.37)

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Item Specifics - Books ISBN : 9781902109145
Author : Tim Mason
36.98 16635209 The Secret Years: Flight Testing at Boscombe Down 1939-1945 (Consi http://medium.snazal.com/?9781902109145 http://large.snazal.com/?9781902109145 Tim Mason 9781902109145 9781902109145 Media Books 23.0
Lot # 16635209
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Bookshop2000 (106|0)
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Item Location: Leicester
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Position In File: 8008
Source Text: The Secret Years: Flight Testing at Boscombe Down 1939-1945 (Consihttp://images.cqout.com/Books/9781902109145.jpghttp://large.snazal.com/?9781902109145Tim Mason97819021091459781902109145Media > Books23.07The Secret Years: Flight Testing at Boscombe Down 1939-1945 (Consign)This is the latest book from Crecy under the Hikoki label and was first published by Hikoki over a decade ago. Between 1939 and 1945 over 1500 aircraft were tested at Boscombe Down. Some of this work was for evaluation and also they carried out things such as armament trials. From the very beginning this book became compulsive reading as it became obvious that many machines were `not fit for purpose' and required extensive modification before they could be `signed off'. It is impossible to chronicle even a small section of the problems encountered in a short review so I will pick out a few of them. One of them was vibration, in some cases it was found that the pilots hands became numb because of it and much modification was needed to eradicate it. All sorts of experimental work were carried out. For instance, in February 1944 American Mk 10 smoke tanks were tried out on a Typhoon, they worked well but they struck and damaged the wings when jettisoned. Another aircraft used for experiments was the Barracuda. This was an aircraft renown for its eccentric handling, which was not improved by adding a lifeboat. It must have taken great courage for two unfortunately souls to be transported in wing pods, another unusual experiment.There are dozens of examples to be found within the pages, there are a huge number of illustrations and artwork accompanying the text. This book is a goldmine of information, some of which will not be familiar to most readers. This must include the Hillson Bi-Mono, a light weight aircraft that was used for trials in jettisoning the upper wing, a system tried with the Hurricane, but in this case it was found that the speed of the `bi-plane' was below the stalling speed of the monoplane, this made it interesting when the upper wing was jettisoned!Students of aviation will find this book hard to put down and many of the excellent illustrations will be of great value to the modeller.Many reference collectors will have missed this the first time round; so do not make the same mistake again. --Ernie Lee - Scale Aircraft Modeller It is always a delight to get the opportunity to read Hikoki books. They are generally superbly researched and equally well written, this one being no exception. It is also on a subject that many of us love to get a chance to look into, flight testing. Boscombe Down was Britain's major flight testing establishment, getting aircraft after they had initially flown to be able to see just how they fly, how the systems work and how they could be improved. It was here that suitability for service could make or break a prototype and where already in service types were evaluated for improvements to the next variant or to test new weapons installations or possible modifications to extant types. The book starts in with a history of Boscombe Downs as an airfield. I found it interesting that there is a considerable difference in elevation from one end of the landing field to the other. One would think this would be a disadvantage, but apparently it was something taken in stride. There was no paved runway at Boscombe Downs until near the end of the war and most of the buildings were either WWI vintage or, as the population of the field increased, temporary and crowded. But then, it was the flying that brought people in and not the lack of decent accommodations. After reading through all the sections on the aircraft, two things stuck in my mind. One is that the British seemed to be overly concerned with an aircraft's exhaust system. Flame dampening effectiveness and the amount of exhaust fumes that leaked into the crew compartment are mentioned in nearly every test. Seems to be as important as the actual performance of the aircraft. The rest of the book is divided into sections according to the type of aircraft being tested. Everything from heavy bombers at one end of the scale to trainers at the other. This also includes a section on naval aircraft. Not only British planes were tested, as you'll find types other than the expected Spitfire, Lancaster and Lysander. Any type that was provided under lend lease or diverted from other orders is included. So you find the Buffalo, Corsair, and Marauder included. Several captured types were also tested as Boscombe Downs. Some planes were extensively put through their paces while others were at the field for only a brief amount of time. The author has also included a rather extensive appendix section with table covering the performance of every type tested as well as an organizational table, list of flying hours, personalities involved and other units based at Boscombe Downs during the war, just to name a few. In all, a book that I found very interesting and while it is not a quick read, is an excellent reference on the performance of a huge variety of aircraft. A book that I can quite easily recommend to you. --Scott Van Aken - May 2011 modelingmadness.comBoscombe Down was the Royal Air Force's main experimental test station during World War II. In 1939, the peacetime station at Martleston Heath was moved to Boscombe Down, a World War I airfield with some permanent buildings, and everything was moved within a short time period. Shops and hangars were set up, but strangely, for nearly all of the war, the facility operated using only a grass runway area with a maximum length of 1800 yards, just over a statute mile, in any direction. I find that amazing, as they operated Halifaxes, Lancasters, Stirlings, and even Meteors and Vampires from the field regularly. Facilities included a control tower, a few hardstands, gunfire stop butts, a wind tunnel, accommodations and engineering shops, and finally at the end of the war, a paved runway. Nearby were firing and bombing ranges. The role of the facility was to test aircraft, engines, and weapons systems. Later, the beginnings of the Test Pilots' School were established. By 1944, the station had become a permanent RAF installation. This facility did not have the same function as performed by the USAAF at Wright Field or the Navy at Patuxent River. It was truly a unique installation. The testing at Boscombe Down included nearly every type the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy operated. In addition, a number of foreign types were tested, including a few former Luftwaffe aircraft, although these were mainly examined for specific functions, such as flame damping exhausts and general flying characteristics. Strangely, many aircraft didn't reach Boscombe Down until the types were in operational service, and the test programs only aimed to evaluate specific problems encountered with the planes by service units. They didn't generally test the first prototypes, but rather, production models. Often, "rogue" aircraft were tested. These were planes that units were having problems with, and they wanted technical advice on how to solve particular issues. More than 1,500 aircraft of British, American, and German manufacture were tested, including some rather obscure types such as a Pitcairne Autogyro, the Miles M.20 fighter, and the Delanne conversion of the Lysander, which had a power turret in the rear, a truly bizarre aircraft by any standards. The Book This is not one of your run-of-the-mill airplane books. It is a history or a Royal Air Force station that fulfilled an essential function during the war, that of finding out specific information about aircraft, discovering faults and correcting them, and improving the efficiency of service types. It is also about the outstanding bravery of the pilots an

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