S u m m a
Title and Author
||Scimitar From the
Cockpit 2 by Michael J Doust
Ad Hoc Publications
colour covers; A4 portrait format, printed in black and
white on 84 good quality, semi-gloss pages. Includes 4
pages of colour artwork and many black and white
postage and packing
examination, of an often underrated Fleet Air Arm
aircraft, by the people who flew and maintained them.
Good range of photographs, with most not seen by this
reviewer before. Written by someone who actually flew
Supermarine's final aircraft design.
Reviewed by Steve Naylor
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Following hot on the heels (or should that
be the rudder?) of the first book in this series, on the Wyvern,
'From the Cockpit No.2' covers the Supermarine Scimitar.
with its forbear the Swift, the Scimitar was a classic British
compromise. Originally designed for one role (in this case, high
altitude interception), it ultimately excelled in another
(ground/surface attack). Often underrated, and with a relatively
short operational career, the Scimitar nevertheless provided a
formidable weapons platform in its adopted roles, bridging the
technological gap between the era of the Hawker Sea Hawk and
that of the Blackburn Buccaneer, which eventually superseded the
Scimitar on Royal Naval carrier operations.
Having authored the first in this new
series, and mirroring his own career progress as a Royal Navy
pilot, Michael J Doust returns for this second outing, having
himself moved onto Scimitars as they came into service. As
before, this gives him an ideal perspective from which to
comment on the aircraft's performance, handling and operational
history. The format of the book follows the now established
layout, with his text being printed in two-columns-per-page
format, interspersed with photographs, either as inserts or
forming the frame or background to the text on each page. Whilst
these excellent, good quality, images are again only in black
and white, their subject matter more than makes up for that.
Inevitably, one or two have appeared in print elsewhere, but the
majority have not been seen by this reviewer before and provide
a suitably rounded view of this aircraft in service. To
compliment the photographs, there are again also four pages of
colour artwork (profiles), including a more extensive two page
spread covering the author's own aircraft, as flown from HMS Ark
Royal in November 1963.
Scattered throughout the rest of the book, and supplementing the
main text, are separate accounts written by other pilots and
groundcrew of the period. Together, these provide useful
alternative viewpoints on various aspects of the Scimitar, in
both front and second-line service. Finally, there are also the
usual 'box-outs', containing pertinent data on performance,
squadron lists, etc.
Ad Hoc has again succeeded in
producing an excellent and informative title, in what promises
to be a very useful series for modeller and aviation historian
alike. As with the Wyvern, this book provides a valuable insight
into the aircraft as part of an integrated fighting unit, rather
than just a piece of machinery. Equally, just as the Wyvern was
Westland's last piston-engined design, this book on the Scimitar
is also a tribute to what turned out to be Supermarine's last
design before that company disappeared into the history books.
Although the next title in this series is not mentioned, it
seems certain, based on the first two offerings, to be well
received whatever the subject. As the author Michael J Doust
moved on to the Buccaneer after the Scimitar, maybe that will
provide a clue, and if so, there will be much for the Fleet Air
Arm enthusiast to look forward to in the future.
Review copy courtesy of my
wallet (No comment at this time. Wallet).
Copies should be available to
order from most good book stores, but can also be ordered direct
Ad Hoc Publications
Suffolk IP1 2HX
Tel: 07776 134277 Email:
[N.B. At the time of writing
(early December 2006) , this website still seems to be a
Review Copyright © 2006 by
This Page Created on 05 December, 2006
Last updated 05 December, 2006
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