Aeroplane magazine’s Book of the Month (December 2017)
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.