On the Wings of a Gull Book Review
|Date of Review||June 2013||Title||On the Wings of a Gull: Percival and Hunting Aircraft|
|Author||David W. Gearing||Publisher||Air-Britain|
|Format||384 pages, hardbound||MSRP (BP)||£42.95 (non-member price)
£32.59 (member price)
With Miles, Percival remains one of the classic British manufacturers of racing and light aircraft during the 1930s and 1940s.
Now it's the subject of a cool, comprehensive compendium from Air-Britain – On the Wings of a Gull: Percival and Hunting Aircraft.
The first four chapters chart company history from Percival to Hunting to BAC. Twelve subsequent sections detail individual production designs – including the renowned Mew Gull, Proctor, Prentice, Provost and Strikemaster.
Contents then segue to a bewitching brace of chapters on experimental and concept projects. That where you'll find exceptionally engrossing entries like a Vega Gull light bomber and "Burnelli-style" freighter. Intriguing!
No proverbial stone remains unturned. And coverage concludes with three chapters and four appendices with AIR-BRITAIN's typically masterful mix of production lists, serials, construction numbers, registrations and sundry stuff.
Well-executed scale drawings and hundreds of photos – both color and B&W – add plenty of visual appeal. And a general index neatly wraps things up.
This terrific tome includes all key planes and players – except for one cinematic slip! Author Gearing dutifully documents the botched permutation of Percival Proctors into semi-scale Stukas for the 1969 epic, Battle of Britain. But he fails to note the Mew Gull's starring role as a doomed enemy fighter in Alexander Korda's 1936 production of H.G. Wells' Things To Come – one of my favorite films.
But forgive that nitpick. David Gearing's brilliant book supplants all prior Percival histories – including PUTNAM's superannuated study. I absolutely loved it.