Empire of the Clouds : When Britain’s Aircraft Ruled the World
by James Hamilton-Paterson
Editor: FABER & FABER
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In 1945, Great Britain was the designer and builder of the aircraft – a major achievement that was not mere rhetoric.And what the plane they wereElegant, the Comet, the first jet airlinerThe awesome delta Vulcan wings, an intercontinental bomber that can be projected on the sky like a fighter.The Hawker Hunter, the most beautiful fighter plane built and lightning, which could zoom ten miles above the clouds in a couple of minutes and whose nominal pilots are flying like better than sex.How did you British, in order to lose the route that today there is not a single major aircraft manufacturer in the country?What has become the great industry of de Havilland or Handley PageAnd what it was like to be alive in this wonderful postwar period, when innovative British aircraft made their debut, and pilots were rock stars of the age.James Hamilton-Paterson captures this season of glory in a convincing book that the fuses from his own memories of a schoolboy’s flying schoolboy spotting the plane with a realistic regret of the history of British decline – his loss of self-confidence and power.It is the story of the great and charismatic machines and the men who stole: heroes such as Waterton Lakes Bill, Neville Duke, John Derry and Beaumont Bill that took inconceivable risks, so that we could fly without a second thought.
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