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Author Topic: The Admiralty and the Helicopter  (Read 13689 times)

Offline CJGibson

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Re: The Admiralty and the Helicopter
« Reply #90 on: November 24, 2018, 09:16:58 am »
Lovely book, needs bigger photos and drawings. It is an excellent history of early UK helicopters but would have been much, much better in large format with bigger images.

A classic example of publishers ignoring rotary wing subjects and a passionate author going it alone.

Chris
« Last Edit: November 26, 2018, 07:33:03 am by CJGibson »

Offline newsdeskdan

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Re: The Admiralty and the Helicopter
« Reply #91 on: November 25, 2018, 04:15:32 am »
Lovely book, needs bigger photos and drawings. It is an excellent history of early UK helicopters but would have been much, much better innlarge format with bigger images.

A classic example of publishers ignoring rotary wing subjects and a passionate author going it alone.

Chris

It's certainly not a patch on The Admiralty and the Helicopter in terms of visual presentation. TAATH's 68-page near-A4 format allows the 86 images to really stand out, particularly the full colour photos towards the back.

With The Sycamore Seeds, it appears as though MacKay stopped working on the project in 1994 because the guy supporting it asked him to drop it and do something else, which he did. The guy then died and MacKay simply never went back to it. He later rediscovered it as a text file on a floppy disc in 2013 and the book was published in July 2014 - between 19 and seven months later, depending on when he rediscovered the disc. Allowing time for him to knock it into shape as a book and prepare all the images, I would guess that he went straight down the self-published route, rather than offering it round the various publishers and being ignored. I reckon someone like Fonthill would have been interested, or maybe The History Press. Do you know whether MacKay pitched it to anyone?
« Last Edit: November 25, 2018, 05:31:44 am by newsdeskdan »

Offline Hood

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Re: The Admiralty and the Helicopter
« Reply #92 on: November 25, 2018, 05:06:31 am »
I ordered a copy yesterday and I'm quite excited about this book.

It is lucky for us that he found that floppy disk and decided to publish the results. From the sounds of it, a lot of research would have been lost if he hadn't rediscovered it. I notice that MacKay has written and published other books himself, so I guess he had that knowledge which made sense not to seek a publisher. At 7.95 its a bargain, a mainstream publisher would charge around 20 for the same.

Saying that, I think someone like History Press might have taken it on had he offered it. They have published a lot of little gems over the last two decades, books like Stuck on the Drawing Board and the Forbat Vickers books come to mind, at around 220 pages they are similar in size too.

Offline newsdeskdan

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Re: The Admiralty and the Helicopter
« Reply #93 on: November 25, 2018, 05:44:37 am »
I ordered a copy yesterday and I'm quite excited about this book.

It is lucky for us that he found that floppy disk and decided to publish the results. From the sounds of it, a lot of research would have been lost if he hadn't rediscovered it. I notice that MacKay has written and published other books himself, so I guess he had that knowledge which made sense not to seek a publisher. At 7.95 its a bargain, a mainstream publisher would charge around 20 for the same.

Saying that, I think someone like History Press might have taken it on had he offered it. They have published a lot of little gems over the last two decades, books like Stuck on the Drawing Board and the Forbat Vickers books come to mind, at around 220 pages they are similar in size too.

It's a little gem. I think it would've found a pro publisher but at least it did get published! Chris is right - the images would look much better used larger. Then again, it's hard to say what sort of quality the originals might be.

Offline Arjen

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Re: The Admiralty and the Helicopter
« Reply #94 on: November 26, 2018, 07:04:51 am »
I tried to order The Sycamore Seeds through Amazon.co.uk, but Amazon doesn't deliver the book where I live. Bookfinder pointed me to Ebay -
 https://www.ebay.com/itm/323569506451
- so that's where I ordered it.
It is possible the link goes dead as soon as somebody places an order - it did yesterday, could be something about Ebay's internal workings - but it's up again today.

Offline CJGibson

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Re: The Admiralty and the Helicopter
« Reply #95 on: November 26, 2018, 07:30:55 am »
Funnily enough it was a self-published book - Sniffing and Bottling - that led to Listening In and Black Box Canberras by Dave Forster. Hopefully similar will happen with The Sycamore Seeds.

Chris

Offline newsdeskdan

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Re: The Admiralty and the Helicopter
« Reply #96 on: November 28, 2018, 04:28:22 am »
Funnily enough it was a self-published book - Sniffing and Bottling - that led to Listening In and Black Box Canberras by Dave Forster. Hopefully similar will happen with The Sycamore Seeds.

Chris

If the same thing happens with The Sycamore Seeds, I'll definitely buy it. On a slight tangent, I found loads of interesting material in The Admiralty and the Helicopter. One of the first things that really struck me when reading it was the story-within-a-story of British postwar airborne torpedo development. I mean, development of Pentane alone lasted eight years! And in the end it was just ditched as being out of date. And before that there were Zeta and Zonal. Red Admiral's photos of a chart at the Museum of Naval Firepower in Gosport show that Zonal at least was a fantastic-looking weapon. https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,8127.msg165778.html#msg165778
I'd never really heard of any of them before.

Offline Hood

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Re: The Admiralty and the Helicopter
« Reply #97 on: November 29, 2018, 06:08:25 am »
If the same thing happens with The Sycamore Seeds, I'll definitely buy it. On a slight tangent, I found loads of interesting material in The Admiralty and the Helicopter. One of the first things that really struck me when reading it was the story-within-a-story of British postwar airborne torpedo development. I mean, development of Pentane alone lasted eight years! And in the end it was just ditched as being out of date. And before that there were Zeta and Zonal. Red Admiral's photos of a chart at the Museum of Naval Firepower in Gosport show that Zonal at least was a fantastic-looking weapon. https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,8127.msg165778.html#msg165778
I'd never really heard of any of them before.

Thanks Dan, I tried to include a lot of related developments, many of which haven't been covered elsewhere in depth.

Britain's torpedo troubles post-war would form a pretty lengthy story, especially with the related ship-launched and submarine-launched torpedo woes. This would probably warrant a book in itself! The best I could do was give a potted history.
Pentane's seeker had certainly become dated and the newer lightweight torpedoes were a far more practical solution. Lugging a full-size 21in torpedo around was not really a credible proposition and it was causing headaches for all the designers who were asked to integrate it, even for larger aircraft like the Gannet.