Javelin Boys: Air Defence from the Cold War to Confrontation

Javelin Boys: Air Defence from the Cold War to Confrontation

by Steve Bond


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The Gloster Javelin was the UK’s first line of night and all-weather air defence both at home and in RAF Germany. In the 1950s, when it replaced the Meteor and Venom, this revolutionary bomber/interceptor became the focus of many great stories told here in terrific detail.

With an unorthodox aerodynamic design, the Javelin initially had major production issues, which involved a tendency for engines to self-destruct under certain conditions. Despite this and the criticism it faced – its nicknames included ‘Flying Flat-Iron’ and ‘Harmonious Dragmaster’ – the aircraft still receives much affection from its former aircrew.

Starting from the first deliveries of Javelins in 1956 until the final withdrawal from RAF squadron use in 1968, Javelin Boys describes adventures in Cyprus, Singapore during the Indonesian Confrontation and Zambia during the Rhodesian declaration of UDI. In this period a total of 434 Javelins were built, with their use spanning across eighteen different squadrons.

Steve Bond has interviewed a number of veterans, all with captivating tales of their time on the aircraft. Alongside their anecdotes is a detailed history of this unusual aircraft, accompanied by photography never seen before in print. This book is bound to appeal to all aviation fans.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781910690406
Publisher: Grub Street
Publication date: 10/30/2017
Product dimensions: 6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Dr Steve Bond is a life-long aviation professional and historian. He served in the Royal Air Force for twenty-two years as an aircraft propulsion technician, with tours on many different aircraft, and was part of the Eurofighter Typhoon project team in the MoD. A fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, he is also the author of many magazine articles and books including: Heroes All, Special Ops Liberators (with Richard Forder), Wimpy, Meteor Boys and Javelin Boys for Grub Street.

Table of Contents

Preface 6

Introduction and Acknowledgements 9

Chapter 1 'We Rise to Conquer' - 46 Squadron 18

Chapter 2 The javelin Force Grows 38

Chapter 3 Fighter Command - The Final Years 66

Chapter 4 The javelin Abroad - RAF Germany and Beyond 91

Chapter 5 Riggers, Sooties, Leckies, Plumbers and Fairies - The Ground Crew 124

Chapter 6 End of the Line - Singapore and Boscombe Down 151

Appendix 1 Operating Units 177

Appendix 2 Production List 182

Appendix 3 Accidents 184

Abbreviations 193

Select Bibliography 196

Index 197

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