Tag Archives: Aircraft

Review of “Malta Victory”

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Book Reviews – “Malta Victory” eBook was published in 2016 (the original paper edition was published in 1980) and was written by Robert Jackson. Mr. Jackson published more than 50 books. This is the fourth in his “Yeoman” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set on the island of Malta in the Eastern Mediterranean during 1942, The primary character is Sergeant Pilot George Yeoman.

Yeoman is assigned to an RAF Spitfire squadron on the island of Malta. The British are resisting heavy bombardment and attack by both German and Italian aircraft. Yeoman and the other RAF pilots struggle to survive as they are severely out numbered by enemy aircraft. He adds to his count of aircraft shot down, but suffers from the loss of friends and poor living conditions.

The only thing holding off a German invasion is the lack of total air superiority over the island. The question is will the British be able to hold on long enough to keep the Axis powers from invading.

I enjoyed the 5+ hours I spent reading this 160 page World War II novel. I have read several Jackson novels now and this is much like the others – a little history mixed with fictional tales of his characters. The cover art is reasonable, showing Spitfires ready for takeoff. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Target Tobruk”

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Book reviewsWWII – “Target Tobruk” eBook was published in 2016 (the original paper version was first published in 1979) and was written by Robert Jackson. Mr. Jackson has published over 50 books. This is the third novel in his “Yeoman “ series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in North Africa and on Crete during 1941. The primary character is Sergeant Pilot George Yeoman.

The British are desperately fighting the German and Italian forces in North Africa. Yeoman gets assigned to Tobruk, which is essentially under siege by the Germans. He witnesses a lot of combat, though not all in the skies. He is also sent to Crete to help defend against invading Germans. The British are forced out of Crete and hundreds flee on a variety of Royal Navy vessels. Not all of which make it to the relatively safety of Egypt.Yeoman does his extraordinary flying, but finds himself having to bail out of his faltering aircraft yet again.

I enjoyed the not quite 4 hours I spent reading this 160 page WWII novel. I have read a handful of books by Jackson and found them all to be interesting. In this case you get an image of the war as seen by those fighting in North Africa. The cover art is OK, but since this is a book about Hurricanes, I think a combat photo of a fighter would have been better. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Hurricane Squadron”

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Book ReviewsWWII – “Hurricane Squadron” eBook was published in 2016 (original paper edition was published in 1984) and was written by Robert Jackson (https://www.fantasticfiction.com/j/robert-jackson/). Mr. Jackson has published over 50 books. This is the first novel in his “Yeoman “ series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in France during 1940 as the German Army invades the country at the outbreak of World War II. The primary character is Sergeant Pilot George Yeoman.

Yeoman is sent to France as a replacement to a Hurricane fighter unit stationed in norther France. The story tells of his exploits on air missions against the Germans. It also tells of his adventures after being shot down twice. The novel gives a historical view of this tumultuous and dangerous time in our history.

I enjoyed the 3.5 hours I spent reading this 144 page WWII Fiction novel. I already have read a few of the later novels in the series and enjoyed them as well. I liked the character of Yeoman as well as the look into the history of the period that the novel provides. The cover art is a reasonable choice for this novel. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Venom Squadron”

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“Venom Squadron” eBook was publlished in 2016 (original paper edition published in 1984) and was written by Robert Jackson (https://www.fantasticfiction.com/j/robert-jackson/). Mr. Jackson published over 50 books.This is the 10th of his “Sergeant Yeoman” series novels.

I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set mostly in the Middle East and Cypress. It is 1956 and the British and French are in deep conflict with Egypt over the Suez Canal.

A tiny oil rich Arab state, Muramshir, asks for help from the British. Wing Commander George Yeoman is sent with Venom fighter bombers as well as some British SAS soldiers to support Muramshir.

Things do not go as planned. A neighboring country’s threats become hostilities when they invade Muramshir’s oil field. Yeoman must lead his men in defending against the invaders, while trying not to let events spiral out of control. Russian ‘advisors’ are at hand ready to step in and establish a presence in the middle east.

This was a pretty good 5.5 hour Military Thriller of 176 pages. This story pits the West against the scourge of Communism. There is plenty of action with Yeoman finding himself in one fix after another. The cover is a little plain but it is consistent with all the books of this series. I have read several of the “Sergeant Yeoman” series books and they are all pretty good, though dated. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Hunter Squadron”

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“Hunter Squadron” eBook was published in 2016 (original paper edition published in 1984) and was written by Robert Jackson (https://www.fantasticfiction.com/j/robert-jackson/). Mr. Jackson published over 50 books.

I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set mostly in the Congolese Republic in 1960. The primary character is RAF Group Captain George Yeoman. Yeoman is now in command of a squadron of Hawker Hunter jet fighters (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawker_Hunter) and he is sent to Africa.

The small state of Warambe is the home to uranium mines that supply the British. A local politician in an adjoining country, Nkrombe, is stirring up trouble and has assembled a small mercenary army including F-86 Sabre jet fighters (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_F-86_Sabre). Yeoman’s mission is to prevent disruption of Warambe mining.

This is not a long read at less than 6 hours for this 160 page novel. It was an interesting read, I have read several of Jackson’s “Yeoman” books now. This was a pretty good Thriller, though it is certainly dated. It was not filled with action, but the pace was good and kept my interest. I think that part of the reason I liked it was that it continues the story of a character I have come to know. The book cover is ‘OK’, though not very exciting. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

World’s Largest Aircraft Takes Flight

The Airliner 10 took its maiden flight August 17th. Granted it was only a 30-minute,  five-mile loop around the airfield never exceeding 500 feet altitude, but it did make its debut. While it was originally built for long term surveillance duties, it has the potential with a 50ton cargo capacity of fulfilling several other roles. The new aircraft is expected to find use in civil, military and leisure applications.

This aircraft is 92 meters (301 feet) long with a wing span of 43 meters (142 feet) making it the largest aircraft. It uses helium to lift and has four diesel engines that can power the craft at 148 km/h (92 mph). The vertical take off and landing capability will allow it to operate without an airfield.

Who knows. A ‘cruise’ in the not too distant future may have you looking down at the passing countryside. A throw back to the airships of the early 20th century.

Review of “Sea Strike”

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“Sea Strike” eBook was published in 2016 (July, though the paper edition was first published in 1980) and was written by Richard Townshend Bickers (https://www.fantasticfiction.com/b/richard-townshend-bickers/). Mr. Bickers has published nearly 60 books, mostly on World War II aircraft.

I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set during the early days (1940) of World War II and tells of life in the RAF.

While the primary character is Flying Officer Lawlor, many flyers are examined. Lawlor is the pilot of a Bristol Blenheim light bomber with a crew of three. The flyers fight the Germans while the British ground forces struggle to evacuate through Dunkirk. Lawlor’s ambitious commander volunteers the flyers for one mission after another, sometimes reckless with his men’s lives.

I enjoyed the 4+ hours I spent reading this 232 page World War II Thriller. It is written in a very British style. As much time is spent on the thoughts of the various flyers as it is on the war itself. I give this novel a 3,8 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Jagger’s Secret challenge”

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“Jagger’s Secret Challenge” eBook was published in 2016 (original paper version published in 1964) and was written by Richard Townshend Bickers (https://www.fantasticfiction.com/b/richard-townshend-bickers/). Mr. Bickers has published more than 60 Fiction and Non-Fiction books, most dealing with the British RAF during World War II.

I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The novel is set in England during the early 1960s. The main character is RAF Flight Lieutenant Mike Jagger.

Jagger is a fighter pilot and superb athlete, a world level contender in the pentathlon. He is approached by RAF officers to take part in a secret mission. Enemies of England have developed and are using a radio based weapon to affect RAF pilots. Jagger is temporarily reassigned to an intelligence unit to find and eliminate the weapon.

Jagger has barely begun his new assignment when he is ambushed and barely escapes. He, and close friend and fellow RAF pilot Tommy Tyrrell, dodge one close call after another as together they close in on the ship from which the radio signal is being beamed.

Time soon becomes critical when an aircraft demonstration to be attended by Royal visitors is only hours away. Jagger and Tyrrell must step outside their orders to try and thwart the inevitable attack on the Royal party.

This was not a bad 4 hour read of this 140 page novel, though it was not the best read either. This tried to be a spy novel much like ‘James Bond’, but I felt that it fell far short of that mark. The story used Jagger’s pentathlon skills to thwart the ‘enemies’ of England. He also on several occasions when faced with opponents intending to kill him, used his pistol expertise to merely wound them in hand, arm or leg. I have to consider the time frame when this was written, but I really feel like it does not stand the test of time. I give this novel a 3.3 (rounded down to a 3) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Fortress England”

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“Fortress England” eBppk was published 2016 (originally published on paper in 1998) and was written by Robert Jackson (https://www.fantasticfiction.com/j/robert-jackson/). Mr. Jackson has written over 50 books, both Fiction and Non-Fiction, on World War II, with a focus on aircraft of the era. This is the third novel to feature RAF pilot Ken Armstrong.

I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The setting of this Thriller novel is England during the 1940-41 period of World War II. This novel picks up the story of British RAF officer Ken Armstrong shortly after the second novel of the series “Flames Over France” concludes.

It contains a lot of history from that period and is another good description of life in England during the war. In this novel Armstrong and his pilots are concerned with German surface raiders attacking convoys coming from North America. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).