Book Review – Trials and Errors, Experimental UK Test Flying in the 1970s



The test pilot has been a key feature of aviation development since the first aircraft flew. Since 1903, the nature of test piloting has changed greatly. Where the first test pilots were often also the designers and constructors of the aircraft they flew, the Second World War saw the test pilot becoming as much an engineer as a pilot. This engaging new book covers the 1970s in Britain, where the computer had yet to significantly change the processes of designing, building the prototype and then testing it in the air. It was the point where new British aircraft had either started their design process during WWII, or were later marks of the first jets. It also marked the point where the British aircraft industry had been so damaged by interfering politicians that it was losing the ability to design and build new aircraft without joining other manufacturers in joint ventures. This is not only an enjoyable and informative book, but an important part of the story of British aviation, providing fresh insights. Highly recommended.

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