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FROM HEADLAMPS TO AIRLINERS

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    Posted: 26 Mar 2009 at 22:45
FROM HEADLAMPS TO AIRLINERS: Blériot in Britain 1899 – 1927
by Ray Sanger
 
Click on the cover to buy from Amazon!
Air Britain (Historians) Ltd, 41 Penshurst Road, Leigh, Tonbridge, Kent TN11 8HL. 191pp, 220 × 302mm, illustrated, hardback. ISBN 0851303994
£37.50 (usual discount applies to CCI members)
 
Anyone who has met Ray will know the zeal with which he has worked to ensure the publication of this book. Now, appropriately published in the centenary year of Blériot’s Channel flight, Air Britain have done Ray’s in-depth research proud, with a handsome book, printed on quality, glossy paper.

The introduction covers Blériot’s early career, up to 1909, and includes detail of his collaboration with Gabriel Voisin for his earlier designs and involvement in the Antoinette concern. The chapter takes the history up to 1909.

Ray then moves on to the real meat of the book, beginning with a look at the various companies that Blériot established in this country, from Blériot Ltd of 1902 to the Air Navigation and Engineering Company Ltd of 1919. He continues with chapters on the pre-war use of Blériot aeroplanes, which brings in all of the famous personalities of the era leading up to the war, and, with imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, then looks at the wide range of machines produced here and based on the lines of Blériot’s machines.

Service use, by the RFC and RNAS, is well covered, with detail given equally to pre-war and wartime experience with the various Blériot types acquired. There is also information on SPAD S.VIIs built by Blériot Aeronautics and reference to British designs built by that company, under its original name and as ANC. This section is complemented by a further one on the known service histories of individual machines.
Technical details are not ignored and there is a chapter which covers all of the pre-war types that appeared in Britain. This contains a selection of technical diagrams, some drawn from contemporary sources.
Ray rounds off the text with a look at the products of ANEC in the post-war years; its diversification into motor manufacturing and the development of aeroplanes for the burgeoning civilian market. A final, colour section, illustrates a selection of surviving and replica Blériot designs.

Well researched, excellently written and profusely illustrated with many interesting and rare photographs, this book will be indispensable to anyone with an interest in early flying.
 
JMD, Volume 40 Number 1


Edited by AndyK - 22 Jun 2009 at 15:29
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