Duncan Cubit & Ken Ellis: Vulcan: Last of the V bombers

Weak and dull.

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JPOC Rating

Four out of ten.

My Review

Conceived to deliver the British Nuclear Deterrent from the post war years until the arrival of the Polaris submarine system, the Vulcan delta winged aircraft are among the most remarkable of all post war aircraft. They were much loved on the air display circuit and, when they were finally retired from military and display service, they were much missed.

This book charts the remaining Vulcan aircraft. It lists all of the surviving aircraft and goes into substantial detail of each one from the construction details, through the aircraft's deployments and ultimate fate. The problem is that this means that the text in the book is mostly a list of dates, squadron numbers and airfield details. Now this information is of interest to a small number of people but I'm not sure about who would be interested in such information only for the small number of aircraft that survive. Most diehard enthusiasts want to know this information for all of the aircraft produced. Casual readers will find the text dull.

Like most books of this nature, the photos are at least as important as the text. The publisher does its usual good job in the production. The pictures are well rendered and printed on quality paper. They are not perfect. Some photos have been carelessly cropped late in the production process so that parts of the picture referred to in the captions are not reproduced. That is sloppy.

The book's remit, dealing only with the surviving airframes means that the material is limited. It is hard to make interesting photos of a series of scrap airframes on static display and the book suffers for that.