Blue Envoy Press present their next title, The Air Staff and the Helicopter.
The helicopter’s appearance at the end of the Second World War presented Britain’s armed forces with a quandary – what should it be used for and who should operate it? Initially seen as a replacement for the light liaison aircraft in army co-operation and artillery observation roles, as their load carrying capabilities improved the helicopter was viewed as a logistics aircraft that could support the British Army in the field.
The RAF was ultimately given control of that aspect of the helicopter and this is the subject of The Air Staff and the Helicopter.
From the Air Horse of 1947 and the plans for a ‘Hover Force’ and ‘flying three tonner’, the RAF’s equipment ranged from the Belvedere, Wessex and Puma in the Sixties and Seventies to the advent of the Chinook in the Eighties and Merlin in the Noughties. The Air Staff and the Helicopter examines the numerous projects and design studies and outlines how that army support role became key to British operations around the world.
The Air Staff and the Helicopter draws on archive material and, using new artwork and photos, shows how the RAF’s transport helicopters evolved to meet the challenges it faced around the world.
Projects covered include the Fairey Rotodyne, Blackburn's SP.60 Helicrane and B.118 lifting platform, Bristol Siddeley's 'Flying pigs'. the saga of AST.404 and the short-lived Merlin.
'Ivan doesn't hunt!' - If you love the smell of napalm in the morning, you'll enjoy the 'Household Air Cav', who would have loved the smell of stirrup cup in the morning and probably lugged their hunters around in the back of their Air Horses. An interesting diversion into the use of helicopters for air assault in the early 1950s.