Title: Royal Air Force Demonstration to Members of ...
Publisher: H.M. Stationery Office by Fosh & Cross Ltd. London.
Publication Date: 1939
Binding: Soft cover
Book Condition: Very Good
Edition: 1st Edition
16 printed pages, printed in red & black. 2 maps & 10 black & white photographs of aircraft on 4 pages. Printed Air Ministry compliments slip loosely inserted. Includes Foreword, Ground Programme, Photographs, Bomber Aircraft, Fighter Aircraft, General Purposes & Reconnaissance Aircraft, Flying Programme, Trainer Aircraft, Balloon Barrage, & The Home Commands. 13.5 x 21 cm. Original buff, staple-bound, colour-printed card covers (designed by Swann Studio). Upper cover with blue & red lettering & RAF ensignia, back cover with ensignia & roundel. This event on May 23rd 1939 was a private Air Ministry demonstration to members of both Houses of Parliament. By 1939, Northolt had new concrete runways and during World War 2 was an active base. The demonstration centred around the Operations Block, part of the Dowding System , a method of communication developed by Air Chief Marshall Sir Hugh Dowding, using early radar, spotters & phone lines in concert to intercept enemy aircraft. The event's objective was to show the government where money allocated to the RAF during its vast expansion was being spent. Flight magazine said: [The ground park] contained three Hurricanes, three Spitfires, three Gladiators, a Hudson, three Hampdens, three Whitleys, three Wellingtons, three Blenheims, three Battles, and examples of the Henley, Harvard, Tutor, Oxford, Anson, Walrus, Beaufort, Defiant, Roc, Skua, and Master . It also included a demonstration of a Barrage Balloon & a sight of the newest types of planes of the Aeroplane & Armament Experimental Establishment such as the prototype Boulton Paul Defiant, K8310, the Beaufort first prototype L4441, the third prototype Blackburn Roc, L3059 (powered by a 905 h.p. Bristol Perseus XII engine) & the L7999 or Reaper. This last prototype (military serial L7999) Gloster F.9/37, also known as the Gloster G.39, was a British twin-engined design from the Gloster Aircraft Company for a cannon-armed heavy fighter to serve with the RAF, planned before the Second World War. The F.9/37 was rejected in favour of other designs, but at the time the aircraft was still unknown and as such had not been disclosed to the public. It was to be another 5 years before any details were officially released. With 1,060 hp Bristol Taurus T-S(a) radial engines, it first flew on 3 April 1939 & demonstrated excellent performance, its maximum speed of 360 mph (580 km/h) being the best recorded by a British fighter at the time: the fastest time of the day was not put up by the Spitfire, but by a secret twin-engined machine, which streaked over from the west . On July 8, 1939 Gloster delivered L7999 to the Aeroplane & Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE) at RAF Martlesham Heath, Suffolk to undergo an official performance, handling & maintenance evaluation. Sadly, the trials were cut short when the machine was severely damaged following a belly landing just two weeks later. Even during this brief period the fighter had left a favourable impression on those who'd flown it, revealing that the prototype was very manoeuvrable and "a delight to fly". Although the F.9/37 offered much potential, had it been put into production it would have almost certainly been outclassed by newer, more advanced enemy fighters mid-way through the war. Not many documents have survived that describe the F.9/37 s career in detail and, with very few photos, an air of mystery surrounds this striking machine. The early crash of the first prototype while with the A&AEE delayed its trials by almost 9 months & this may have made all the difference to the Reaper's story. Provenance: Sir George Bishop C.B., O.B.E. (1913-99), in 1939 a statistician at the Ministry of Food, running its Emergency Services division. Bishop later became the youngest ever Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Food 1945-9. No copies traced or found for sale. Rare propaganda asserting the power of the RAF as being central to defending the country. Seller Inventory # 5069