Goodness me! 390 pages filled with really stunning pictures! Mostly colour but also a couple of black and white ones. I was already a bit of a fan of this expanding series and now completely. It was in 1971 that I was born and that was the time that within the RAF absolutely an enormous variety of planes flew: from Hunter till Wessex, from Schackleton till Phantom and from Lightning till Victor and I can go on for while like this. In the eighties I would see a lot of these types flying, especially at RAF Wildenrath, where my love for aviation and the RAF grew immensely.
The book contains 10 chapters (1970, 1971,…1979) with a foreword of Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Johns and a great introduction which describes the most important developments of that time (i.e. politics, cold war, terrorism and developments within the RAF). The book closes off with a couple of appendixes about a huge helicopter meeting at Lee-on-Solent, a flight show at Finningley, and one about an air sample by the RAF across the world. Especially those appendixes give a beautiful impression of that time, the things that played, the amount of plane types and the gigantic military offensive power that seemed available by air.
Is this than only a picture book? No! There has been paid a lot of attention to the texts in the chapters and the captions of the pictures. The chapters describe things as new planes that were taken into use; specific drills, operations during missions; squadrons exchanges; development with squadrons in inland and abroad; dismantling of squadrons etc. etc. These texts are all very well readable, not too long or too short and informative. To my opinion, the author has understood what the reader wants and doesn’t want to know and see in this book.
In my next life I want to have the job of Keith Wilson…I am already looking forward to RAF 1980s….With more than 250.000 pictures in his archives, a beautiful book must come out of it!