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A Most Secret Place

A Most Secret Place

Ref: 5314

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{detailed description}Boscombe Down, a large airfield situated on the chalk uplands of Salisbury Plain, was without doubt one of the most closely guarded and secret places in Great Britain during the war years 1939-45 and has remained so up to the present day; now, as then, it is the base of the A&AEE: Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment. The '30 Years Rule', which has allowed many wartime secrets to be declassified, has released the archives of Boscombe Down and this volume reveals, for the first time, some of the fascinating work done at the A&AEE during the five years of the Second World War, including an investigation into the mysterious losses of the early RAF Halifax bombers, many of which were unaccountably spinning to destruction with the loss of their crews. Civilian scientists and test pilots of the A&AEE solved the mystery, though not without loss to themselves.
The Halifax file is one of many which include investigations into 'rogue' Lancasters and the assessment of wartime production aircraft or 'one-off' prototypes, some to remain obscure footnotes to aviation history while others, like the Martin-Baker M.B.5 fighter, showed excellent promise but never went into production for reasons which, until now that the A&AEE files are available, remained obscure.
Many of the original handling trials of American aircraft including the Mustang, Lightning and the original B-17 Fortress, are examined, as are the reports of some of the 'funnies': the Brodie suspension; the turret Lysander and the parachute dropping Barracuda. The successes and failures which remained hidden in the archives at Boscombe Down for over 30 years are revealed, illustrated with the original photographs, many hitherto unpublished.
The present book, based entirely on the contemporary official A&AEE reports, some of which are reproduced virtually in their entirety, is the joint work of Brian Johnson, a BBC Television producer who wrote the best seller The Secret War and Terry Heffernan, who worked at Boscombe Down during the war years and is today one of the A&AEE's Senior Technical Officers.
{Author / Publisher / Date}by Brian Johnson and Terry Heffernan
published by Janes 1982 1st edn. 193pp illustrated, index, appendix 16x24
{condition}small inscription, otherwise very good, in spine faded and very slightly worn d/j.
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