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Empire of the Clouds: When Britain's Aircraft Ruled the World

James Hamilton-Paterson

$24.99

Paperback

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Faber & Faber
07 July 2011
History; Aviation manufacturing industry; Aircraft: general interest
In 1945 Britain was the world's leading designer and builder of aircraft - a world-class achievement that was not mere rhetoric. And what aircraft they were. The sleek Comet, the first jet airliner. The awesome delta-winged Vulcan, an intercontinental bomber that could be thrown about the sky like a fighter. The Hawker Hunter, the most beautiful fighter-jet ever built and the Lightning, which could zoom ten miles above the clouds in a couple of minutes and whose pilots rated flying it as better than sex. Just what was it like to be alive in that marvellous post-war moment when innovative new British aircraft made their debut, and pilots were the rock stars of the age?

James Hamilton-Paterson captures that season of glory in a compelling book that fuses his own memories of being a schoolboy plane spotter with a ruefully realistic history of British decline - its loss of self confidence and power. It is the story of great and charismatic machines and the men who flew them: heroes such as Bill Waterton, Neville Duke, John Derry and Bill Beaumont who took inconceivable risks, so that we could fly without a second thought.
By:   James Hamilton-Paterson
Imprint:   Faber & Faber
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 200mm,  Width: 130mm,  Spine: 25mm
Weight:   327g
ISBN:   9780571247950
ISBN 10:   0571247954
Pages:   400
Publication Date:   07 July 2011
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Author Website:   http://www.jdhp.net/

James Hamilton-Paterson is the author of Gerontius, winner of a Whitbread Prize; Seven-Tenths: The Sea and its Thresholds; Playing With Water; and most recently, of the wild comic trilogy Cooking With Fernet Branca, Amazing Disgrace and Rancid Pansies. He is also an unabashed fan of great aircraft.

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