Handley Page Aircraft Since 1907

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“Handley Page Aircraft Since 1907” by C. H. Barnes. 664 pp. 8 3/4 in. x 8 3/4 in. (Putriam-.& Co. Ltd., 9, Bow Street, London, WC2E 7AL. £12.50)

I am delighted that Putnams have published another of their inimitable aeroplane histories, which now cover a great many of the famous and less well-known makes. I have sometimes levelled at the motoring historian the criticism that he does not always attain as high a standard of detailed information and unravelling as his counterparts in the railway and aviation worlds. While there arc several exceptions that fortunately challenge my statement, notably the Vanwall Story and similar recent motoring histories, I am reminded of my anxiety in this respect whenever I study, quite frequently this series of Putnam aeronautical histories.

They abated for a time, so one welcomes this latest big volume with all the greater pleasure. It follows the form of previous Putnam histories, which means that it is full of good pictures, three-view scale plans and project drawings, of every type of Handley Page aeroplane (I dislike calling the older machines “aircraft”) or projected. The text covers these aeroplanes individually, from the early experimental gliders and monoplanes to types we all remember, like the 0/400 and V/1500 giant biplane bombers, the W8 pioneer airliners, and the Much later Heyfords, liampdens, Halifax, Victor, Herald and so on.

The book brings out the personality of Mr. Handley Page, whose earlier aeroplanes represented air-lines to the lay-public, at a time when every other aeroplane Was, to them, an Avro. I found particularly fascinating the chapters about these big biplanes, although I searched in vain for reasons why a V/1500 was abandoned at Waddon (CroydOn) aerodrome in the early 1920s, where I am fairly certain I was shown it as a boy. Interesting that the Clayton caterpiller tractors which were used by the RAF for towing these big machines appear in more than one photograph. The book has many entertaining anecdotes, So will please the ordinary reader as well as the aviation experts. Thus, all technical librarians should order this important book, by the author of similar Putnam’s histories of Bristol and Shorts aeroplanes, without delay.—W.B.