ISBN 1908117273 , The Quick and the Dead: The Perils of Post-War Test Flying by William Arthur Waterton 1956 First Edition
ISBN 9781908117274 , First edition second impression August 1956. Hard cover. Frederick Muller Ltd, London (1956)
Good. No dust jacket. A good tight copy, Boards shelf soiled and rubbed at the edges and spine, light spotting to edges of text block. 237 pages. Illustrated. Blue cloth over board, Black lettering to spine.
First published in 1956, but still relevant and thought-provoking today, this book is an absolute revelation on test flying with the British aircraft organizations and manufacturers in the 1950s. Written from the pilot’s viewpoint, with refreshing candor and honesty – which allegedly cost him his job at the Daily Express – this account details what really went on behind the scenes in the defense world. Waterton pulls no punches in recounting the non cooperation of civil servants and designers in improving/altering recognized faults (often minor) when developing aircraft – to the cost of lives lost. Mainly centering on his work with the mighty Gloster Meteor and the Javelin interceptors, this is an astonishing insight into the workings of the aircraft industry. Uncomfortable reading for many, it was seen by his supporters as a wake-up call at a time when British ingenuity and prowess were being overtaken by the Americans and Russians. An astonishing insight into the workings of the British aircraft industry.
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