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RAF in Camera 1960s
Author: Keith Wilson
A unique photographic portrait capturing the ethos of the Royal Air Force during the 1960s. Extensively researched and illustrated throughout, this is a comprehensive study of an era characterised by rapid change and technological development.
The ‘Swinging Sixties’ was a remarkable decade. For the Royal Air Force it was a most interesting period in their history, representing a period of base closures, contraction and a significant change in equipment – especially in the level of technology operated.
In 1960, all three of the V-bombers – Valiant, Vulcan and Victor – were in service. The English Electric Lightning established a firm place in British aviation history by being the first single-seat fighter designed to exceed the speed of sound in level flight. Within Transport Command, the Britannia C.1 was operating alongside the Comet C.2, providing an excellent strategic transport capability. The Comet C.4 would enter service in 1962, the VC-10 C.1 in July 1966 and the Belfast C.1 by the end of 1966.
In January 1964, the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS) at RAF Fylingdales became operational. Dominated by three large, 140-ft diameter domes each sheltering 84-ft rotating antennae, the ‘Golf Balls’ quickly became an iconic landmark on the North Yorkshire Moors.
During the decade, the RAF celebrated its 50th Anniversary, having been formed on 1 April 1918. They also came to be embroiled in a number of conflicts, while still playing their part (alongside the British Army and the Royal Navy) in policing a number of territories and theatres including Malaya, Indonesia, Cyprus, Kenya, Rhodesia, Aden, Libya, Bermuda and Anguilla in the West Indies.
Here, Keith Wilson takes us on a richly illustrated journey through the decade, with each chapter focusing on a specific year and relaying all the fascinating events and highlights that characterised it. This is a colourful and insightful history, told with narrative flair and a clear passion for the subject matter at hand.
Author: Keith Wilson has been actively involved in aviation publishing for more than 35 years and is a prolific author. Keith is probably best known for his striking air-to-air images in Pilot magazine, during which time he has photographed almost 2,000 different aircraft; featuring a very broad range of subjects, from gliders, microlight, vintage and veteran, aerobatic and general aviation subjects right through to high altitude research aircraft, business jets, commercial jets and military fast jets.