S u m m a
Title and Author
||Gloster Javelin -
The RAF'S First Delta Wing Fighter
by Richard A Franks
Dalrymple & Verdun Publishing 2006
colour covers; 21.5cm x 28cm portrait format, printed in
black and white on 112 good quality, semi-gloss pages.
Includes 19 pages of colour artwork by Richard J Caruana
and many black and white, plus some colour, photographs.
postage and packing available online from Dalrymple &
||Good selection of
photographs and numerous colour profiles.
Reviewed by Steve Naylor
HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron.com
Published simultaneously with their book on the De Havilland
Sea Vixen, 'Gloster Javelin– The RAF's First Delta Wing Fighter'
is Dalrymple & Verdun's latest title in this series and, as with
the former, is also penned by author Richard A Franks.
book's format follows the now established style, being just
under A4 size, having soft covers bearing a distinctive, 'Pop
Art' style, cover artwork. Printed on semi-gloss/satin pages,
the main chapters are supplied with some 150 black and white
(plus some colour) photographs and technical line drawings.
These photographs are excellent, showing the Javelin in
development as well as front line service. As now seems to
becoming the norm in this series, these photographs are culled
from a wide range of sources, with many of them having not been
published before. The text is reasonably comprehensive and
follows the life of the Javelin chronologically, from Ministry
specification (including the reasoning behind the choice of a
delta), through the somewhat 'difficult' development phase and
finally into its service career at home in the UK, as well as
Complimenting the photographs, there are some 19 pages
containing over 55 colour side profiles and 4-view illustrations
by Richard J Caruana, covering the aircraft in squadron service
(grouped by version) and as a trials aircraft.
The story of the Javelin is covered by the book in seven
chapters, with chapter one covering the background to the choice
of a delta for this aircraft and the links to the parallel
development of the DH.110, De Havilland's prototype Sea Vixen.
The remaining chapters cover; the protracted development phase
('Testing, Spinning and Super-Stalling'), introduction and
service operation ('The 'Flat Iron' Goes into Service'),
operational use overseas ('The Javelin Abroad'), the technical
aspects ('Javelin Technical Description and Armament'), lists
and proposal drawings for Javelins real and imagined ('Projects,
Proposals and Drawing Board Javelins') and finally, detailed
information on the various service and other schemes
('Camouflage and Markings').
There are also three appendices: 'Technical Data' on the Mk's 1
through 9, plus the T Mk.3; 'Javelin Squadrons', including
selected units and those used in Government research, and
finally 'Javelin Production' (mostly with just a brief note on
each serial's squadron allocation, occasionally with a more
detailed history). The book concludes with Glossary &
Bibliography page and an Index page.
Having recently also finished reading the 'sister' title (if
I can call it that) in this series, on the Sea Vixen, it is
tempting to draw comparisons. Both aircraft were big and bold
solutions to perceived threats and both had troubled development
phases. Both were also twin-engined and gave the delta wing
concept its first real test in service use, both becoming
'iconic' aircraft of their respective Services.
Comparing the two books, Dalrymple & Verdun's 'Gloster Javelin–
The RAF's First Delta Wing Fighter' is certainly on a par with
their 'Sea Vixen' offering, whilst the inclusion of technical
line drawings this time round, is a welcome enhancement. Again,
this is a useful book for the modeller and whilst the text is
still very informative and useful, it is again the photographs
and colour profiles which will probably be of most interest to
buyers. This is particularly true, when allied to the
information on aircraft colours and schemes in chapter seven and
the aforementioned technical drawings.
'The most distinctive fighter of the Cold War'? Almost
certainly. This 'brute' was the RAF's first missile-armed jet
fighter (1955) and remained in service until 1968 before
replacement by types such as the Lightning. Perhaps perceptions
of the Javelin have been coloured, like the Supermarine Swift,
by its early teething troubles and, like the Swift, really only
excelled in its final form. This book certainly shows the
Javelin in a much better light, dispelling some of the myths and
so will surely provide modellers with the inspiration to add one
to their collection.
Review copy, courtesy of my meagre finances.
be available to order from most good book stores, but may also
be ordered direct from:
33 Adelaide Street
Review Copyright © 2007 by
This Page Created on 29 January, 2007
Last updated 24 December, 2007
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