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ProjectTech Profiles / Re: The Admiralty and the Helicopter
« Last post by Hood 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 And in the end it was just ditched as being out of date.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.
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ProjectTech Profiles / Re: The Admiralty and the Helicopter
« Last post by newsdeskdan 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 And in the end it was just ditched as being out of date.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.
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ProjectTech Profiles / Re: The Admiralty and the Helicopter
« Last post by CJGibson 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
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ProjectTech Profiles / Re: The Admiralty and the Helicopter
« Last post by Arjen 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.
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ProjectTech Profiles / Re: The General Staff and the Helicopter
« Last post by hesham on November 26, 2018, 07:01:07 am »
Oh my God,brilliant,thank you my dear Chris.
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ProjectTech Profiles / Re: The General Staff and the Helicopter
« Last post by Mark Nankivil on November 26, 2018, 06:57:57 am »
Thanks for the tease Chris - look forward to obtaining a copy when it is published.

Enjoy the Day! Mark
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ProjectTech Profiles / The General Staff and the Helicopter
« Last post by CJGibson on November 26, 2018, 06:09:50 am »
Since 1918 and the formation of the RAF, the British Army has sought its own dedicated close support capability. This finally entered the Army Air Corps (AAC) order of battle in 2004 with the arrival of the WAH-6D Apache Longbow.

The AAC had been arming its helicopters since the service’s establishment in its modern form in 1957, even if that was a Sterling poked out the door of a Skeeter. The arrival of the Scout saw heavier weapons, including guided weapons, mounted on the AAC's machines but it was the Lynx and its TOW anti-tank missiles that gave the British Army the means to halt the Soviet Horde. Meanwhile, across Europe, armies sought an attack helicopter - what the popular press call a ‘gunship’ - as an alternative to the US Apache and Europe's helicopter builders proposed types such as the Fokker/VFW/Westland P.277, Agusta A129, Eurocopter Tiger, Westland WG.44, WG.45 and WG.47 types for consideration.

The General Staff and the Helicopter examines these alternatives to the AH-64 Apache from the British Army’s perspective, drawing on previously unpublished material from HM Government and company archives to describe how the AAC’s doctrine changed from the agile, small and stealthy Agusta A129 and WG.44 of GST.3971 to the large and tough Apache of SR(A).428. This change saw the resulting procurement process become a foregone conclusion but rules of procurement saw the Cobra Venom, LHX, Mangusta, Rooivalk and Tiger up against the General Staff’s favourite; Westland’s WAH-64D Apache.

Lavishly illustrated with many previously unpublished photographs and drawings, including original artwork by Luciano Alviani, The General Staff and the Helicopter tells the story of how the British Army acquired the most formidable close support helicopter on earth as its long sought after organic close support platform.

Hopefully we'll have The General Staff and the Helicopter available in the spring.

Thanks for your ongoing support in our efforts to document areas of aerospace that receive little attention.

Chris
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ProjectTech Profiles / Re: The Admiralty and the Helicopter
« Last post by newsdeskdan 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.
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ProjectTech Profiles / Re: The Admiralty and the Helicopter
« Last post by Hood 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.
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ProjectTech Profiles / Re: The Admiralty and the Helicopter
« Last post by newsdeskdan 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?
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