Nimrod: Rise and Fall. By Tony Blackman. London: Grub Street, 2011, 2013. Photographs. Illustrations. Maps. Pp. 223. $30.00 ISBN 978-1909166022
This work should be in libraries for readers from high school and up. Blackman was the associate test pilot for the program to convert the de Havilland Comet IV into a much-needed maritime reconnaissance platform.
Both the excellence of the frequent full-color photographs and the helpfulness of the explanatory technical concepts are useful. In fact, this is a well-conceived and executed publication. A professional test pilot and author of many books in the subject, Blackman was associated with the Comet IV conversion into the various Nimrod maritime surveillance machines during the forty years of their native service. He flew in most of the aircraft built--much of the time spent at less than 1,000 feet ASL.
Blackman walks the reader through not only the equipment, but also the tasks for which the airplane was designed, including both anti-submarine warfare and search and rescue missions. His descriptions are backed up with specific examples. Especially interesting are the stories of the Cold War cat-and-mouse game with the Soviet Navy's submarines. There is a lot worthy of note in this book, down to the UK government's final bad decision to scrap the Nimrod MRA4...