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Author Topic: Scooter: The Douglas A4D Skyhawk Story by Tommy Thomason  (Read 19201 times)

Offline PaulMM (Overscan)

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Scooter: The Douglas A4D Skyhawk Story by Tommy Thomason
« on: September 09, 2010, 03:11:51 am »
Scooter: The Douglas A4D Skyhawk Story

Pub. Date: February 2011
Publisher: Specialty Press
Format: Hardcover, 276pp
ISBN-13: 9781580071581
ISBN: 1580071589
"They can't see our arses for dust."
 
- Sir Sydney Camm

Offline AeroFranz

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Re: Scooter: The Douglas A4D Skyhawk Story by Tommy Thomason
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2010, 05:42:37 am »
Nice! I trust Tommy will give us some teaser-glimpses of the contents in due time... ;)
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Offline Tailspin Turtle

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Re: Scooter: The Douglas A4D Skyhawk Story by Tommy Thomason
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2010, 08:27:58 am »
Huh - hadn't seen the latest iteration. The final cover will probably include the Skyhawk Association badge. (n.b. Skyhawk Association members will get a prepublication discount.) As for illustrations and information, it was difficult to come up with anything new since the A-4 has been covered so well, so many times. I was able to provide some details and a bit of fresh information on design decisions, development problems, and product improvements (e.g. the actual reason for the canted in-flight refueling boom, among other things), so I'm satisfied that it is worth buying for those of you who know what kind of book I write (it's short on first-hand "there I was" stories and doesn't have any markings profiles). A few illustrations:

Offline F-14D

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Re: Scooter: The Douglas A4D Skyhawk Story by Tommy Thomason
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2010, 11:39:24 am »
There may be a bit of a problem here.  Both of those ISBNs, depending on where you check, either resolve to  "Scooter", or to "Boeing 777 - Airliner Tech Vol. 2" by Jim Upton

Amazon, for example has two different pages for the 777 book, one for  the 10 digit  and one for the 13 digit ISBN.  Interestingly, the 10 digit page also shows a picture of Tommy!  The 777 book also shows up on another page with different ISBN numbers which you get to by searching for it by name.   Conversely, it's somehow on Tommy's Amazon author page.  BTW, Amazon Canada does resolve to "Scooter"

I'd think this was just an Amazon problem, except that there are a number of stores where these ISBNs resolve to the 777 book.    Maybe these numbers were originally intended for the 777 book, then it got changed, and they're now being reassigned?

Offline Tailspin Turtle

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Re: Scooter: The Douglas A4D Skyhawk Story by Tommy Thomason
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2010, 12:15:03 pm »
There may be a bit of a problem here.  Both of those ISBNs, depending on where you check, either resolve to  "Scooter", or to "Boeing 777 - Airliner Tech Vol. 2" by Jim Upton

Amazon, for example has two different pages for the 777 book, one for  the 10 digit  and one for the 13 digit ISBN.  Interestingly, the 10 digit page also shows a picture of Tommy!  The 777 book also shows up on another page with different ISBN numbers which you get to by searching for it by name.   Conversely, it's somehow on Tommy's Amazon author page.  BTW, Amazon Canada does resolve to "Scooter"

I'd think this was just an Amazon problem, except that there are a number of stores where these ISBNs resolve to the 777 book.    Maybe these numbers were originally intended for the 777 book, then it got changed, and they're now being reassigned?

I've informed Specialty Press of the problem.

Offline amsci99

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Re: Scooter: The Douglas A4D Skyhawk Story by Tommy Thomason
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2010, 07:53:42 am »
Anyone has read this other title on the Scooter?

http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/?product_id=619

Saw a lot of good reviews but don't know if it covered A-4K Kahu from New Zealand or the A-4SU Super Skyhawk from Singapore.

Offline fightingirish

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Re: Scooter: The Douglas A4D Skyhawk Story by Tommy Thomason
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2010, 08:25:03 am »
amsci99,
according to Google Books, that book "Douglas A-4 Skyhawk" mentions the A-4K and A-4SU.

But IMHO, we should keep this topic only first to promote and later then to discuss Tommy Thomasons' book "Scooter! -  The Douglas A4D Skyhawk Story".
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Slán ist an Irish Gaelic word for Goodbye.  :)

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Offline Tailspin Turtle

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Re: Scooter: The Douglas A4D Skyhawk Story by Tommy Thomason
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2010, 11:00:49 am »
I appreciate having a dedicated topic, but the breadth or depth of the other Skyhawk books should be recognized and compared and contrasted to mine, which is a bit different than the best of the rest in focus and coverage.* As I said in the preface to my Skyhawk book, the ones by Brad Elward http://www.amazon.com/McDonnell-Douglas-Skyhawk-Crowood-Aviation/dp/1861263406/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1284139127&sr=1-1 and Jim Winchester http://www.amazon.com/DOUGLAS-4-SKYHAWK-Close-Support-Fighter/dp/1844150852/ref=pd_sim_b_2 are terrific: "Just matching them in quality and content was ... hard work."

Further, If you want coverage of the Skyhawk in Vietnam, buy Peter Mersky's book http://www.amazon.com/Marine-Skyhawk-Vietnam-1963-1973-Aircraft/dp/1846031818/ref=pd_sim_b_3, or the Israeli Skyhawks and usage, buy Shlomo Aloni's http://www.amazon.com/Israeli-Skyhawk-Units-Combat-Aircraft/dp/1846034302/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1284139127&sr=1-3-fkmr0. These two books also have illustrations by Jim Laurier.

Steve Ginter's series on the A-4 (as well as just about every one of his titles) is particularly valuable to the modeler and those who want to know which squadrons used which types.

*I have an aeronautic engineering degree and am a pilot, and worked as a flight test engineer and aerospace program manager. That background strongly influences the content of my books. I'm very grateful to Specialty Press and Steve Ginter for their indulgence of what interests me about aircraft projects and naval aviation history.

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Re: Scooter: The Douglas A4D Skyhawk Story by Tommy Thomason
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2010, 10:28:02 pm »
There may be a bit of a problem here.  Both of those ISBNs, depending on where you check, either resolve to  "Scooter", or to "Boeing 777 - Airliner Tech Vol. 2" by Jim Upton

Amazon, for example has two different pages for the 777 book, one for  the 10 digit  and one for the 13 digit ISBN.  Interestingly, the 10 digit page also shows a picture of Tommy!  The 777 book also shows up on another page with different ISBN numbers which you get to by searching for it by name.   Conversely, it's somehow on Tommy's Amazon author page.  BTW, Amazon Canada does resolve to "Scooter"

I'd think this was just an Amazon problem, except that there are a number of stores where these ISBNs resolve to the 777 book.    Maybe these numbers were originally intended for the 777 book, then it got changed, and they're now being reassigned?

I've informed Specialty Press of the problem.

The problem seems to have been resolved.  Whew!

Offline Tailspin Turtle

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Re: Scooter: The Douglas A4D Skyhawk Story by Tommy Thomason
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2010, 07:02:03 pm »
Now announced on forthcoming books on the Specialty Press web site:

http://www.specialtypress.com/vstore/showdetl.cfm?DID=8&User_ID=2984499&st=632&st2=81099&st3=39453&Product_ID=2276&CATID=1

Barnes & Noble has it as well but Amazon, which usually is cheapest, not yet.

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Re: Scooter: The Douglas A4D Skyhawk Story by Tommy Thomason
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2010, 02:08:48 pm »
My only contact with the A-4 was a program at Grumman to upgrade A-4Cs, taken out of the desert, for Malaysia.  The variant was designated A-4PTM (Peculiar To Malaysia).  The upgrade involved adding an A-4F-style avionics hump and other updates.  When they got the first airplane into the building in Bethpage, I was told that a couple of live scorpions fell out!  I did not see them, but the airplane did smell rather nasty.

Looking at the '50s-vintage drawings, I realized how far we had come.  Whereas newer aluminum aircraft typically utilized chem-milling to take weight out in the pockets between substructure components, with thicker lands along the substructure, the A-4 skins were the thickness of the pockets, and waffle-shaped doublers were spotwelded to the skins along the substructure to provide the added thickness!  Because the double-thickness in the areas of the fastener attachments precluded the use of countersinking (lest knife-edge conditions occur), the skins were dimpled where flush-head fasteners were needed.  Very quaint.....

I hope that some of this is in the new book.....

Offline Tailspin Turtle

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Re: Scooter: The Douglas A4D Skyhawk Story by Tommy Thomason
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2010, 04:55:31 pm »
My only contact with the A-4 was a program at Grumman to upgrade A-4Cs, taken out of the desert, for Malaysia.  The variant was designated A-4PTM (Peculiar To Malaysia).  The upgrade involved adding an A-4F-style avionics hump and other updates.  When they got the first airplane into the building in Bethpage, I was told that a couple of live scorpions fell out!  I did not see them, but the airplane did smell rather nasty.

Looking at the '50s-vintage drawings, I realized how far we had come.  Whereas newer aluminum aircraft typically utilized chem-milling to take weight out in the pockets between substructure components, with thicker lands along the substructure, the A-4 skins were the thickness of the pockets, and waffle-shaped doublers were spotwelded to the skins along the substructure to provide the added thickness!  Because the double-thickness in the areas of the fastener attachments precluded the use of countersinking (lest knife-edge conditions occur), the skins were dimpled where flush-head fasteners were needed.  Very quaint.....

I hope that some of this is in the new book.....

I regret that I didn't mention that particular detail about the wing structure (because I wasn't aware of it; wish I had been) but I did find out that PTM really stood for Persekutan Tanah Melayu (Federation of Malaysia). Another interesting fact was that the six PTM two-seaters were created by Grumman from existing single seaters.

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Re: Scooter: The Douglas A4D Skyhawk Story by Tommy Thomason
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2010, 12:20:04 am »
Tommy,

Any word on how the shut down of Speciality Press (see here: http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,11543.0.html) will affect your book?

Regards,

Greg

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Re: Scooter: The Douglas A4D Skyhawk Story by Tommy Thomason
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2010, 05:31:46 am »
Tommy,

Any word on how the shut down of Speciality Press (see here: http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,11543.0.html) will affect your book?

Regards,

Greg

"Missed it by that much..." Scooter! was the farthest along of the five books cancelled. It was ready for print, within days of going to China. My understanding is that it is being shopped to other publishers.

Offline TinWing

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Re: Scooter: The Douglas A4D Skyhawk Story by Tommy Thomason
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2010, 11:44:14 am »
Tommy,

Any word on how the shut down of Speciality Press (see here: http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,11543.0.html) will affect your book?

Regards,

Greg

"Missed it by that much..." Scooter! was the farthest along of the five books cancelled. It was ready for print, within days of going to China. My understanding is that it is being shopped to other publishers.
\

I'm sure that you won't have any problem finding a new publishing house?  Incidentally, are literary agents prevalent in this niche market?