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Potential New "Secret Projects" books

overscan (PaulMM)

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Hi All.
Adding to the discussions so far, I would love to see a post-WW2 French Secret Projects and I think there is scope for two volumes. In fact relatively little detailed information on French programmes has ever been published in English, so these would fill a lot of gaps. I would like to think that would also help sales.

As far as I know Midland/Ian Allan are interested in doing this but we cannot find an author. I cannot read French (which is a great frustration) but if required I could edit someone else's work. I do have a few original documents here but nothing like enough. I guess it might be possible to translate the Cuny books, but again that would not be easy and I suspect copyright issues would also have to be sorted out. At the moment I don't have a solution, which is a great frustration.

I think a post-WW2 European Secret Projects might be possible as well. I could cover Sweden, but again I would need co-authors for the other countries like Germany. These ideas can be difficult to bring to fruition because they need authors with stacks of reference material, drawings and photos, and with copyright clearance to use them.

Returning to French projects, can anyone tell me please what project drawings are included in the Mirage IV Docavia title and in the recent Lela Presse title on the Mirage III? It is near impossible to get Docavias in the UK. Many Thanks.

Best Wishes to all, Tony Buttler.
 

Skybolt

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As for the the Mirage III book, the list has been already done by Pome, here http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,2205.msg20084.html#msg20084. Mirage IV:
Mirage IV light interceptor, single engine
Same, var. A
Same, var. B with Gyron
Same var.C
Same var. D
Same mod var. A
Same mod var B.
Same, mod, var C with two engines
Mirage IV high altiude intercepor two engines
Mirage fighter-bomber, two engines
Mirae IV light bomber two engines
Mrage IV Marine
Various early developments of Mrage IV-A
Mirage IV-01 (early and definitive)
Mirage IVB (versions with 4 different engine types: Atar9C, Super Atar, Orenda Iroquois, RB-142)
Mrage IVB with J-75s
Same with J-79s
Same with Olympuses
Mirage IV-02 with four Atar9Cs (two variants)
Super Mrage II (modified Mirage IVA to lauch stand-off weapons)
Mrage IVA2
Mirage IVA modified to carry the Gamma mssile and a Sud Aviation mssile
Mirage IVC (Pw JTF10)
Mirage IVR
Mirage IVT2 (TF-30 and derivatives)
Mirage IVEx (export)
Mirage IVO
Mirage IV"K" (RR Avons)
Mirage IVRJ (Israel)
Mirae IV Spey
A couple of other relevant projects are briefly treated in the monumental Dassault company hostory (I remember the Mirage Minerve)
 

blackkite

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Yes! Most mysterious and exciting region same as U.S military secret projects.
 

duibuqi

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There was an interesting article in Air&Cosmos, No 1791, 27 April 2001, pages 16-17 :

La France entre dans l'ère des plasmas -
Dassault Aviation mène des recherches pour réduire la traînée et la signature radar des avions de combat grâce à l'utilisation des plasmas
by Serge Brosselin

It seems that this has something to do with the concept of "plasma stealth" developed in Russia by Anatoli Korteiev (sp?) and his team.
 

saturncanuck

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Tony, that would be great.

A wonderful addition to the series.

overscan said:
Hi All.
Adding to the discussions so far, I would love to see a post-WW2 French Secret Projects and I think there is scope for two volumes. In fact relatively little detailed information on French programmes has ever been published in English, so these would fill a lot of gaps. I would like to think that would also help sales.

As far as I know Midland/Ian Allan are interested in doing this but we cannot find an author. I cannot read French (which is a great frustration) but if required I could edit someone else's work. I do have a few original documents here but nothing like enough. I guess it might be possible to translate the Cuny books, but again that would not be easy and I suspect copyright issues would also have to be sorted out. At the moment I don't have a solution, which is a great frustration.

I think a post-WW2 European Secret Projects might be possible as well. I could cover Sweden, but again I would need co-authors for the other countries like Germany. These ideas can be difficult to bring to fruition because they need authors with stacks of reference material, drawings and photos, and with copyright clearance to use them.

Returning to French projects, can anyone tell me please what project drawings are included in the Mirage IV Docavia title and in the recent Lela Presse title on the Mirage III? It is near impossible to get Docavias in the UK. Many Thanks.

Best Wishes to all, Tony Buttler.
 

Stargazer2006

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"I cannot read French"
Isn't that going to be rather crippling, as it will prevent Mr Buttler from acceding to primary sources or even untranslated secondary sources ? What was the situation in that regard for his two volumes on Soviet Secret Projects ?
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Yefim Gordon was the primary source of information for the Russian books and the person able to access Russian language materials.

The French book would require a French and English speaking writer or writers, with Tony contributing material, contacts, and editing the resulting book. This is the same arrangement as BSP 4 which was written by Chris Gibson.
 

duibuqi

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A good thing would be to have access to the full collection of Air&Cosmos, which is the French (small) equivalent of AW&ST.
 

cluttonfred

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As folks will have noticed from my posts in this forum and others, I have big interest in French aviation history. I am American, but I do speak French, in fact, I have a degree in teaching French. I also write for a living as I work in public relations of a sort. I do not live in France, right now I live in Tunisia, though I visit a couple of times every year as my wife is French and we are finishing up a house near Lyon.

I would be very interested in participating in such a project, though my own interest and expertise tends to be in the pre-WWII period. I think I could contribute a lot for that period, and be helpful as a language resource overall.

Personally, I would be most interested in a French parallel to the early-period BRITISH SECRET PROJECTS volume, so covering the very innovative period of the 1930s through to perhaps the early 1950s. That would hit a lot of the very interesting designs and projects from Delanne, Fauvel, Payen, Riffaud, Wibault and many others including the early French jets.

If this is a serious offer from Tony Buttler looking for potential partners in this project, I'd be happy to discuss it further.

Cheers,

Matthew
 

Abraham Gubler

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I for one would like to see a British Secret Projects 5: Transports, Trainers and Helicopters. And it doesn't need a French translator!
 

Thorvic

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Abraham Gubler said:
I for one would like to see a British Secret Projects 5: Transports, Trainers and Helicopters. And it doesn't need a French translator!

Tony would still need a co-author as he only really covers warplanes research so such a book would be better written by somebody with a much greater passion for those aircraft types to do them justice. Of course Tony would willing help with it to get it published in the series, much as he did with Chris Gibson for BSP:IV.

Geoff
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Thanks to everyone for showing so much interest in French Secret Projects - it is very encouraging to see so many suggestions and much appreciated. I will try and speak to Ian Allan next week to get their latest thoughts on the matter.

I must stress that any potential author will have to have the documents, or access to them, and be able to piece together the whole story. My lack of French-reading ability doesn't just block out writing the book, but also making sure that all of the research is done and that all of the material is in there. It really needs to be carried out by an expert.

A particular thank you Matthew for your offer of help. At the moment I cannot say what will happen, but can I keep your offer in mind please? I can say that at this stage Ian Allan were only talking about post-war fighters and bombers. 1930s and WW2 coverage would, by its nature, have to be a separate volume and in many respects that would depend as to how well the earlier volumes might have sold (if they happen of course).

As regards a BSP 5, I'm afraid that there are some problems. First of all major publishers almost never touch helicopters. They are perhaps the most versatile type of aircraft around, but it is a fact of life that they are not 'sexy' and never sell books - just look at how many titles appear on specific types. Sorry to be so negative about this, but I think that a helicopters BSP will probably never happen.

Transports and trainers perhaps fall into that category a little bit as well. Over the years I have concentrated on fighters and bombers because they are my great interest, and I have struck lucky in being able to write about them. Because of the costs involved however, I have generally restricted my research to these areas. I could well be wrong about this but, overall, I do not remember seeing the same level of documentation for trainers in various archives as I have for fighters and bombers. For example, trainers rarely generate any controversy.

However, transports might support a volume on their own. Some friends have told me I should do it but at the moment I don't have any documents at all. I would have to start from scratch and that will mean several years of research. But if anyone out there has the material to cover all of the RAF transport and heavy lift programmes since 1945 and would be prepared to try and put together say 90 to 100,000 words on the subject, I will gladly help as much as I can. That would include approaching Ian Allan for you (although I cannot promise that they would take it), and putting you in touch with many contacts.

Thanks again for all of your interest. Keep your fingers crossed that something comes out of all of this.
Tony.
 

zanenobbs

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Hi Tony,


Don't know if you're aware of my little organization, the International Resin Modellers Association (www.internationalresinmodellers.com), that makes kits for nations that have not had their first aircraft in kit form before, or at least not their first jets. Anyway, over the years, I've amassed scores, if not hundreds of aviation books that include several aircraft projects from various nations including: Argentina, Brazil, China, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland and others. These are native language sources, but with enough aircraft for a volume on each nation. Would love to help out in expanding the Secret Project series!


All the best,


Zane
 

hesham

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zanenobbs said:
Hi Tony,


Don't know if you're aware of my little organization, the International Resin Modellers Association (www.internationalresinmodellers.com), that makes kits for nations that have not had their first aircraft in kit form before, or at least not their first jets. Anyway, over the years, I've amassed scores, if not hundreds of aviation books that include several aircraft projects from various nations including: Argentina, Brazil, China, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland and others. These are native language sources, but with enough aircraft for a volume on each nation. Would love to help out in expanding the Secret Project series!


All the best,


Zane


Good news,on behalf of all members and Mr. Tony Buttler,thank you.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Dear Zane.
Many thanks indeed for your kind offer of help with future books in the secret projects series. It is very much appreciated.
In fact, since the last post on this thread JC Carbonel has written two splendid volumes of French Secret Projects which are now in the queue of titles waiting publication by Crecy/Hikoki.


As regards the other nations, China's fighter projects has been covered well by Andreas Rupprecht's 'Dragon's Wings', there are plans to do an Italian title, and we (Crecy and myself) have discussed South America and other countries. The trouble is, none of these smaller nations (except perhaps Sweden) really have enough projects to make a full-size book worthwhile, and it would be difficult to link Argentina with say Canada and Romania within a single volume and then make it saleable. From a marketing point of view that would be very difficult indeed.


I have for some time considered a book on Sweden's jets which could include many SAAB projects (which I would love to do), but several publishers have turned it down. I can see why because I'm afraid print runs for aviation titles and sales are falling steadily and there might not be sufficient interest in the UK for a £30 book on a Swedish subject.


However, on a more positive note, I believe a book is planned on South American aviation which hopefully might include some Argentine studies.


I was not aware of your website, which looks excellent.
Thanks again.
 

Thorvic

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Simples ;D - Do it like sports :-"Rest of the World" then you could break it down by Continent
 

zanenobbs

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For any potential expansion of the Secret Projects series, I have in my collection of foreign language books about so many
aircraft for each nation:Argentina - 105Brazil - 60China, Republic of - 5China, People's Republic of - 120Hungary - 26Netherlands -
159Romania - 182South Korea - 1Sweden - 120Switzerland - 14These are indigenous designs for each nation including all types of
military and civil: gliders, pisto-engine, jet-engine, helicopters, gyro-copters and etc. Not all reached completion, but most at least
made if off from the drawing board.I may have more, but this is it for short notice. We use these for our unusual assortment of
kits in 1/72.All the best,Zane
 

Avimimus

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My own preference: A book on Shturmoviks. A comprehensive and complete book on Shturmoviks. A comprehensive search of this forum brought home the fact that I'd only every read about 25% of the projects.
 

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What about Japanese Secret Projects 3: Postwar designs? One about Sweden or Germany would be interesting. Would about one for British Airliner projects?
 

Justo Miranda

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All- weather fighters of the early Cold War: F-89, Meteor N.F, D.H. Venom, XP-87, F-94, Canuck, F3D, Javelin...defence organization , DEW Line, combat tactics, first air-to-air missiles and SECRETS!
 

Wyvern

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Maybe Argentine Secret Projects? Swedish Secret Projects sounds interesting too. Maybe Eastern European Secret Projects?

"German Secret Projects: Postwar Fighters, Bombers and Transports" would make an interesting publication, maybe one about helicopters as well? I do believe that there are authors out there who would be interested in helping out.

Italian Secret Projects: Postwar Fighters, Transports, Patrol Aircraft and Helicopters would certainly make an interesting read.

It seems the choice is endless. If only I had the time, information and experience when it comes to writing about such topics.
 

Schneiderman

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(Engage grumpy old man mode)....It looks as if Crecy are more interested in publishing books on trains and buses at the moment, those on aviation subjects appear to be a lower priority....(back to normal now)
 

Thorvic

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The Post War Naval projects would make for an interesting book, many are referenced in various publications or sites such as this but it would be nice to see them together in a book possibly broken down by type then country.

Post War Tank & AFV projects would also make for an interesting book
 

Antonio

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English translations from Ucon books,

Many articles and books about Russian naval, armour, technology exist but Russian language only. I’d love to learn Russian but sadly I’m too old and busy.

There are also many known unbuilt projects which deserve better books and compilations because those projects are shown out of their context.

Sometimes I dream on writing articles or books by myself but all my hopes for an early retirement are pinned on Euromilllion Lottery. By the moment results are elusive
 
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JohnR

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What about Post War West German/Unified German Projects?

Armoured Vehicle Projects that didn't lead to a production vehicle?
 

Hood

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Access to archives is one limiting factor. The PRO remains a goldmine in the UK, but one that has been rather tapped and of course new releases are slowing up and at some point there will be fewer and fewer paper trails to follow and more and more is likely to have gone into the shredder before it got anywhere near Kew.

In the aviation sector we have numerous collections and parts of old company archives spread around under the custodians of the retired former workers and other like-minded volunteers. There are efforts underway in the UK to somehow centralise or at least make more accessible and preserve as much as possible of these various archives. Whether it can ever be achieved is open to question.

For naval archives there is the Brass Foundry in the UK for RN vessels and former company archives remain in various local museums or archives where the shipyards were located (especially Scotland and the North-East, Barrow in Cumbria). Some companies were better than others at saving their files. Based on posts I have read here regarding access to foreign shipbuilding company archives, the results are very hit and miss and it must be supposed that a lot failed to survive.

Reading David Lister's The Dark Age of Tanks it reveals the lamentable tale about how little did survive outside of the PRO and Bovington. Like the shipbuilders, most of the few private armour companies have long gone or been merged ad Infinitum with overseas companies and access is probably difficult and little may survive.

I would read a good book about Argentine, Dutch or Swedish aircraft development in English, but I doubt whether much 'new' material would be unearthed that aviation historians have already unearthed in native language books. And like it or not, these would be niche books to the wider market.

How someone can prefer a book about two-seater Spitfires (*shouts fakes and runs away*) over unknown helicopter projects I can't imagine, but its a fact of life. Its a diverse market out there.
 
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