“Fairey Aircraft since 1915” by H. A. Taylor. 450 pp. 8 7/10 in. x 5 1/5 in. (Putnam & Co. Ltd., 9 Bow Street, London, WC2E 7AL. £6.50).
This is yet another aviation history in the very acceptable Putnam series, written by an acknowledged authority about a Company which made many seaplanes and aeroplanes, among the latter the now-legendary Fairey Fox day-bomber of 1925/26 which was based on the American Curtiss R-3 Navy racer that had won the 1923 Schneider Trophy contest and which, using the low-drag Curtiss D-12 engine, was some 50 m.p.h. faster than any other equivalent day-bomber and faster than most of the fighters of its day—C. G. Grey’s “flying eversharp pencil”. Because it was a private venture, using an American engine and components, the Service did not love it and there was much interesting bickering about it. I rate the book worth buying for its account of the Fairey Fox alone! In fact, all the Fairey aeroplanes are there, the Hamble Baby, the F9, the Flycatcher, the long-range monoplanes, the helicopters, the Delta Two and the modern Fairey FD2, etc. Being in the standard Putnam format, the book is packed with good photographs and these useful three-view scale drawings. It opens with a history of the famous Company, which used to occupy the Harmondsworth aerodrome which was eventually engulfed by London’s Heathrow Airport, and its active and far-sighted personnel. C. S. Staniland was, of course, a Fairey test-pilot. A one-make history and reference work which could hardly be more comprehensive or better done.