The V-Bomber force was the result of a need for four jet engine bomber aircraft conceived as being needed following the end of World War 2 and resulted in the Valiant, Vulcan and Victor bombers serving in the RAF. These aircraft served as the nuclear deterrent of Great Britain from the early 1950’s and in the case of the Valiant and Victor ended their lives as in-flight refuelling aircraft; the Victor outliving them all seeing nearly a decade of service after the Vulcan was retired from service in 1984.
The following portion of this introduction is as supplied by Pen and Sword:
Britain's desire to stay at the leading edge in the design and development of modern jet powered aircraft was born in the later stages of the Second World War. The Royal Air Force sent requests to the leading aircraft manufactures for a variety of specifications, amongst which was one for a long-range heavy bomber. Three designs were accepted and eventually went into production – these became the V-Bomber Force.
The Vickers Valiant, Vulcan and Victor saw prolific and varied service during the course of their careers. This book contains fabulous colour profiles (created by Dave Windle) of all three types in different operational modes, configurations and colour schemes. Martin Bowman has written detailed descriptions and photographs to create the perfect enthusiasts reference. This enhanced and revised edition (the book was initially published in 2009) comes complete with model-making content as well as a host of brand new design features, making for a lively new addition to our esteemed Flight Craft series.
This offering from Pen and Sword is part of a series titled Flight Craft. This offering is authored by Dave Windle and Martin Bowman and these two authors have worked together on a couple of occasions; Martin Bowman however has a huge list of titles with a particular interest in RAF bomber aircraft I believe. The book is a soft backed offering with a stiff card that offers a reasonable level of protection to the contents. The contents themselves consist of 64 pages of a semi gloss paper that present both text and photographs in a good way and I have just discovered they are stitched rather than glued which is nice to see.
The contents of this offering breakdown as follows:
V-Bomber Colour Schemes
V-Bomber DATA tables
Modelling the V-Bombers
This offering from Pen and Sword moves away from looking at a particular aircraft and instead looks at the V-Bomber Force as a whole. I will be honest and say that I would prefer that these aircraft were looked at in the own right as they all deserve personal attention, but with that said I was pleased that the Vulcan, which tends to be the aircraft everyone turns towards does not get extra attention at the expense of the other two aircraft.
The book begins by taking you through the requirement that these aircraft met and follows on with their development both before being accepted and after going into service. The text does a surprisingly good job of covering the design and development of these aircraft considering that three aircraft are covered and it is a book of only 64 pages. Of the three aircraft types on two saw combat as bombers and these were the Valiant during the Suez Crises and the Vulcan during the Falkland Islands War. The Victor saw active service as an In-flight refuelling aircraft during the Falklands War and the Gulf War. All of these actions are covered in the book, but the information provided could in my opinion have done with a tad more depth.
The photographs provided in this title are well chosen and show the aircraft types from inception to retirement. The photographs are all of a good quality and have very good captions included with them. And the section showing the camouflage and markings via artists drawings compliment the photographs in the title.
The modelling section in this title is a little dated now and so does not cover the excellent releases by Airfix of the Handley Page Victor in two versions so far available. The result of these new releases from Airfix is that they pretty much control the model market on the V-Bombers, but the Vulcan kit is getting long in the tooth and could do with being refreshed.
This book covering the V-Bomber Force is a good offering that provides a good background on the aircraft as a whole, but I still feel that despite the contents these aircraft would have been better covered in their own right. The photographs are of a very good quality and are improved far further by the excellent captions included. The model section is a little out of date which harms it a little, but this will not affect the modeller with a reasonable knowledge.
Highs: Very well captioned photographs that increases their worth.Lows: The model section is a little out of date and I would have liked to see the aircraft covered separately.Verdict: A great addition to the series that provides affordable reference on what were great aircraft in their day.
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About Darren Baker (CMOT) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...