Under the Radar by James Hamilton-Paterson (ePUB, MOBI)


Under the Radar by James Hamilton-Paterson
English | Thriller & Suspense | EPUB, MOBI | 819 KB

1961. A squadron of Vulcan aircraft, Britain’s most lethal nuclear bomber, flies towards the east coast of the United States. Highly manoeuvrable, the great delta-winged machines are also equipped with electronic warfare devices that jam American radar systems. Evading the U. S. fighters, the British aircraft target Washington and New York, reducing them to smoking ruins.
They would have done, at least, if this were not an exercise. This extraordinary raid (which actually took place) opens James Hamilton-Paterson’s remarkable novel about the lives of British pilots at the height of the Cold War, when aircrew had to be ready 24 hours a day to fly their V-bombers to the Western USSR and devastate its cities.
This is the story of Squadron-Leader Amos McKenna, a Vulcan pilot who is suffering from desires and frustrations that are tearing his marriage apart and making him question his ultimate loyalties. Relations with the American cousins are tense; the future of the RAF bomber fleet is in doubt. And there is a spy at RAF Wearsby, who is selling secrets to his Russian handlers in seedy East Anglian cafes.
A macabre Christmas banquet at which aircrew under intolerable pressures go crazy, with tragic consequences, and a disastrous encounter with the Americans in the Libyan desert, are among the high points of a novel that surely conveys the beauty and danger of flying better than any other in recent English literature.

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  1. I got a chance to watch a Vulcan fly in 1975. It was absolutely amazing! It was in the same size payload category as the U.S. B52 (which is still flying whereas – alas – the Vulcans have long since been retired) but it performed like a fighter – albeit a REALLY BIG fighter. One pass they climbed to about 20,000 ft, dove at full power and screamed past 250 ft off the ground doing 550MPH! That maneuver would have just about torn the wings off of a B-52. Then the pilots pulled the nose up into a vertical climb, rolled the aircraft 180 degrees and pushed the nose over into level flight going back the way they had come. For the non-flight nuts that’s called an “immelman turn” and a B-52 pilot told me that if he tried that the wings of the B-52 would have touched over the fuselage like a person doing jumping jacks. That WOULD have torn the wings off. Beautiful aircraft!

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