The Aviation Historian, Issue 44, includes fascinating ‘Hawker’ articles: Matt Bone and illustrator Ian Bott examine the rocket firing Typhoon and its RP-3 rocket projectiles; Dr Tim Jenkins recounts a little known non-stop 1927 long distance flight by an RAF Horseley which flew a record 3,420 miles from Cranwell towards Karachi, ditching before it got there - however this was immediately overshadowed by Lindbergh when he landed at Paris after covering some 3,600 miles; and Peter Lewis details the lengthy but fruitless Swiss evaluation of the LTV A-7 Corsair II leading to the purchase of more Hunters. Also, Prof Keith Hayward completes his Comet saga with the Comet 4 story and J-C Carbonel describes the evaluation of the Short SC-1 by French intended VTOL test pilots.

    The recently remaindered ‘Hawker Siddeley Harrier - the World’s First Jump-Jet’ by Mark A Chambers, “a contractor for NASA Langley”, gets my prize for the worst written Harrier book ever. It also contains numerous errors, including the title. However, in spite of this, it is well presented and does have some value in that it contains many photographs of American origin, including P.1127 model testing at NASA Langley, not familiar to UK readers.
Book Reviews

Harrier: How to be a Fighter Pilot by Commander Paul Tremelling; Michael Joseph; 6 in x 9 in (250mm x 160mm); hardback; 358 pages; illustrated; 20. ISBN 978-0-241-55705-1.     After training on the Hawk Cdr Tremelling flew the Sea Harrier FA2 and the Harrier GR9 for the Royal Navy, and the F/A-18 Super Hornet on a posting to the United States Navy. He took part in numerous realistic air exercises as well as real bloody warfare with all of the risks that this entails. The book is illustrated with many previously unpublished and personal photographs.

    His book is not about flying but about operating naval fighters in air-to-air roles from ships, and close air support fighters against ground targets. He describes in a vivid fashion how the fighter pilot does his job by skilfully using the navigation , attack, communications and defensive systems he is provided with to find and bring maximum harm to his enemies with the array of weapons available to him. He also describes taking off by day and by night in all weather conditions as a prelude to the attack and the safe return to his base, be it heaving ship’s deck or chokingly dusty runway. The excited reader is taken on the sortie which must be the next best thing to actually being there.
    He writes particularly well about finding and ruthlessly attacking Taliban in Afghanistan and saving allied ground troops from falling into their cruel hands. Sadly Cdr Tremelling concludes that, after the untimely withdrawal of allied forces, the war had been a “complete waste of life, blood, tears and time”, not to mention the billions of dollars and pounds expended.
Although this is a serious book it is written in a very readable style, leavened with wit and humour. The reviewer was involved in the development of the Harrier from pioneering prototype to mature fighting aircraft and I treated the job, as I suspect many of my colleagues did, as an intellectual exercise. I knew it was a fighter but I really had no concept of what that meant in practice to the men who flew them into battle. Now I think I do.