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List of Project Tech Profiles

overscan (PaulMM)

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Dec 27, 2005
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Vickers VC10: AEW, Pofflers and other Unbuilt Variants - Chris Gibson (2009)

Spanning four decades, "Vickers VC10 - AEW. Pofflers and Other Unbuilt Variants" presents a history of many of the VC10 project studies proposed by Vickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft) Ltd., the British Aircraft Corporation and British Aerospace PLC. The VC10's fortunes were linked to the economic and political influences on this important aircraft and these are reflected in the design studies.

Intended to fill a variety of roles in the Royal Air Force, these proposals included ballistic missile carrier, maritime and electronic reconnaissance, airborne early warning, flight refuelling tankers and the world's largest interceptor.

To meet the disparate needs of these roles, Vickers and BAC proposed multi-role VC10 airframes, modular aircraft with detachable fuselages and ultimately the fitting of systems from existing types.

Using newly available archive material and original artwork, many of these are described for the first time.

BAe P.1216: Supersonic ASTOVL Fighter - Mike Pryce (2011)

The British Aerospace (BAe) P.1216 project of the 1980s was a supersonic Advanced Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (ASTOVL) fighter, designed by the same team that originally designed the Harrier. It was the last major attempt at an independent British fighter aircraft project, and was developed through many versions over the course of the 1980s.

Had the P.1216 been fully developed the UK could have led a programme for an ASTOVL combat aircraft that would be in service around the world today, in place of the Eurofighter Typhoon and F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. The fact that it did not go ahead will have a significant impact on the aerospace industry and armed forces of the UK and other nations for many years to come.

This book tells the story of the P.1216, looking behind the political, technical and business aspects of its design and testing, using access to previously secret documents and interviews with key personnel involved in the project. It is lavishly illustrated with original technical diagrams, photographs and colour artwork.

As well as telling the story of the P.1216 it also provides a new perspective on the decades-long quest to create a supersonic ‘jump jet’; in the words of Ralph Hooper, the original designer of the Harrier, “one of the last prestigious hurdles for aviation to clear”, and a formidable challenge to this day. This book will be of great interest to all those with an interest in modern combat aircraft, the technical aspects of aerospace project design and the politics of weapon system acquisition.

The Admiralty and AEW: Royal Navy Airborne Early Warning Projects - Chris Gibson (2012)

Continuing the Project Tech Profile series, “The Admiralty and AEW: Royal Navy Airborne Early Warning Projects” examines the development of this essential role from the Vickers Wellington of 1941 up to BAE Systems’ 2005 Boeing V-22 Osprey and Sidetrack proposals for the forthcoming Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers.

Concentrating on unbuilt design studies aimed at meeting AEW requirement on the Royal Navy’s carriers, “The Admiralty and AEW” describes for the first time the numerous projects intended to provide the ultimate crow’s nest. Fairey’s initial foray into AEW with the Spearfish “Guppy” in 1945 and Blackburn’s B.54 from 1949 set the scene for the 1950s and 60s. Blackburn Aircraft at Brough was particularly active in AEW, specifically the P.119 and P.139 series of Buccaneer-based studies and the many configurations of the portly “Flying pig”. Avro Woodford’s design studies based on the Avro Type 748 with American radars are also examined, as is their attempt to interest the US Navy in a BAe 146 with AN/APS.120 radar in the 1980s.

The Admiralty’s abortive attempt to procure the E-2 Hawkeye is described for the first time, as are the three occasions long before the Falklands War when helicopters were proposed as AEW platforms.

Government and company archive material has been used throughout and these, combined with original artwork by Adrian Mann, show how the Royal Navy and the aircraft designers hoped to fill what has become a pivotal role in naval warfare.

The Air Staff and AEW: Royal Air Force Airborne Early Warning - Chris Gibson (2013)

"The Air Staff and AEW" describes the projects and design studies carried out by the UK's aircraft companies to produce an airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft for the Royal Air Force.
The book covers the earliest Wellington ACI and Operation Vapour attempts at AEW, along with Bomber Command's use of Fishpond to concentrate raids and the search for its Big Picture system. Postwar Hamilcar trials of the airborne warning and interception (AWI) system also came to naught in the cash-strapped Forties.

The improvements in radar technology in the Sixties and Seventies saw a resumption of AEW studies including the VC10, BAC 1-11, Britannia and of course, the Nimrod. The story ends in the Eighties with the saga of Nimrod AEW.3 and the Air Staff getting what it had wanted since the inception of the type: Sentry.

"The Air Staff and AEW" follows on from "The Admiralty and AEW" and makes for very interesting reading.

Hawker P.1103/P.1121: Camm's Last Fighter Projects - Paul Martell-Mead & Barrie Hygate (2015)

Sir Sidney Camm firmly believed that fighters were the only form of aircraft design worth doing and as the force behind the Hurricane, Typhoon and Hunter sought to continue that line in a supersonic fighter aircraft for the Royal Air Force.

Hawker P.1103 and P.1121 examines Camm’s work to develop a successor to the Hawker Hunter, firstly with the P.1103 interceptor to meet the RAF Specification F.155T and the later attempts to produce a multirole aircraft in the shape of the P.1121. Underway at a time when the UK aircraft industry was at a watershed, these projects marked the end of the stand-alone design process and the start of a fully-integrated weapons systems approach. As such Hawker P.1103 and P.1121 examines the airframe, engines, weapons, radar and avionics with their influence on the development of the aircraft themselves. These aspects, when combined with the politics and personalities of the individuals involved, provide a new look at Camm’s last designs.
Drawing from archive sources, interviews with the personnel involved and contemporary accounts, the story of the Hawker P.1103 and P.1121 includes newly-released drawings and photographs combined with specially commissioned art work.

The Air Staff and the Helicopter - Chris Gibson (2017)

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. [/QUOTE]

The Admiralty and the Helicopter - James Jackson (2018)

A companion volume to The Air Staff and the Helicopter, this latest addition to the Project Tech Profile series charts the development of the Admiralty’s pioneering requirements and the numerous projects and design studies drawn up to fulfil them from the early 1950s to the present day. These range from the cancelled Bristol Type 191 tandem-rotor helicopter and the tiny Fairey Ultra-Light of the 1950s, the Westland Wasp, Wessex and Sea King of the 1960s, the aborted plans to acquire Chinooks to the more recent Westland Lynx, EHI Merlin and Leonardo Wildcat. Also covered are the weapons, including anti-submarine homing torpedoes and seaskimming anti-ship missiles, developed to equip the Fleet Air Arm’s helicopters.[/QUOTE]

The Admiralty and the Helicopter draws on archive material, new artwork, stunning paintings by Luciano Alviani and photographs to show how the Fleet Air Arm’s helicopters have continually evolved to fulfill ever more diverse roles.

The General Staff and the Helicopter - Chris Gibson (Forthcoming)

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.
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ACCESS: Restricted
Jan 22, 2008
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Any news about this title ?

The General Staff and the Helicopter - Chris Gibson


Not sure about changing it now.
Aug 16, 2016
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Some interesting titles there. Can anybody suggest a UK stockist (not Amazon!) where I can spend my money?

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