Book Reviews, October 1982, October 1982



“The Aeroplanes of the Roy. Flying Corps (Military Wing)” by J. M. Bruce. 642 pp. 83/4. 5./2″. (Putnam& Co., 9, Bow Street, London, WC2E 7AL. L25.00.)

As it recedes into truly distant history there is continuing interest in the First World War, which changed the European way of life so completely, and for our part the aeroplanes used by the Royal Flying Corps are of much interest. They bridged the gap between the early primitives which the pioneer aviators sought to fly and were doing so with increasing confidence and efficiency when war engulfed the peaceful pre-war days, and the aeroplanes in which “Mr. and Mrs. John Citizen” began to take an increasing interest after the Armistice, encouraged by the excitement of the first non-stop Atlantic crossing (by a British Vickers Vimy using Rolls-Royce engines) and the Aerial Derby, perhaps even going aloft in some barn-storming Avro. In the latest, weighty, copiously-illustrated tome from the House of Putnam comes historian J. M. Bruce’s record of those RFC aeroplanes of 1914 t 1918, with information about the years leading up to them. The arrangement is in Putnam’s usual style, i.e. the different makes of machines in alphabetical order, running from the Aeronautical Syndicate Valkyries and Airco OH Is to Dfi 10 Amiens, to the Voisins and the Wright biplanes. It is technical stuff, from which, however, the faint aroma of burnt castor oil and hot radiators manager to emerge from among the

fascinating statistics, specifications .cl descriptions of these old monoplanes, biplanes and triplancs, although I notice that the scale plans are missing.

In addition, Bruce covers the Numbering of Military Wing Aircraft, the Official System of Aircraft Nomenclature in 1914 and also gives the reader 34 pages on the Aeroplanes of the Military Trials of 1912, from the Aerial Wheel to the Vickers No. 6 monoplane, and tells of what befell them. Definitely one for the bookshelves and the lending libraries. — W.B. Osprey Publishing Ltd.,, of 1214 Long Acre, London, WC2E 9I.P, have joined the Ferrari-books band-wagon with two new titles. Their 160-page btx)k bY Gerald Roush and Eric

Braden covers “The Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona modelsand sells for £14.95, and Dean Batchelor has written an “Illustrated Ferrari Buyer’s Guide” from his personal experience of these covetable motor cars, which for £6.95 givrs those who are thinking of embarking on the motoring adventure of all time by purchasing some kind of Ferrari a potted history of the mar, the publisher’s own description) and a guide to all the twoand four-seater and sports / racing Ferraris that went into something approaching series production. Dean has done this in 160 soft-cover pages containing masses of pictures of cars, their engines, interiors, etc. and a whole host of data.

Most of us who drive cars probably give little thought to the heavy trucks, the big commercial vehicles we encounter on the roads, except perhaps either to condemn them as obstructions to our personal progress or to think highly of the skill of their drivers. But those who like the overall motoring scene and wish to learn more about the monsters that carry the fuel we use, the food moral, and the products of civthsation in general, have just the book in “Heavy Truck” by Chris Park (Osprey, 183 pp. 10″ x 71/2″ pages, £9.95), for the author, who sees the big commercials as usurping the one-time fascination of the goods trains, provides an introduction to the subject, explaining, for example, how steam Came and went, how wheels changed from metal rimmed to solid tyres, then pneumatic tyres, how the articulated trucks and the “Juggernautsdeveloped and so on. He also tells the reader about the make-up of modern trucks and vans — how they are geared, braked, and maintained, the diesel technology, how log-sheets and the tachograph work, and much more, with pictures of such vehicles, of all ages, and the cabs and components, and how they look on the road. Not very in-depth, but an introduction to the subject. The latest titles in the Brooklands Book Series cover the Lotus Esprit of 1975-1981, the Porsche 924 01 1975-1981, and the Ford RS Escorts of 1968-1980, each book costing £5.45, posted from

Brooklands Book Distribution Ltd., “Holmerisc”, Seven Hills Road, Cobham, Surrey.

The Frederick Warne / Olyslagcr Auto Library has added “British Cars Of The Late Sixties” to its previous series, the price being £5.95.

In the pot-boiler category is ‘”The Sports Car” by Ian Ward, using many previously-seen black ood white and some colour pictures to bind together a 160-page (10″ x 73/4″) story on the subject. The publishers, Blandford Press, Link House, West Street, Poole, Dorset, BH15 ILL, ask £8.95 for it -the back cover depicts a Vale Special (ALP 916) in colour. The Merseyside Aviation Society has published n book called “Wrecks & Relics”, listing and illustrating those airframes which are preserved, used for instructional purposes, or which are just derelict, in the UK and Eire. This is their biannual survey of the subject, and the 193-page

soh-cover book is essential to those who delight in tracking down rare or otherwise interesting non-flying aircraft. The idea started back in 1961, this being the 8th edition, and the record is divided into areas of the country and is packed with information. Copies are obtainable for £4.95, plus 55p for packing and postage, from MAS Publications, Room I4M, Hangar 2, Liverpool Airport, Liverpool, L24 8QE, mentioning MOTOR SPORT. — W.B.