HPM008 World X-planes The Saga of SR 53 (Second Edition) 65 pages
Henry Matthews & Allan Wood
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There was a time in the late 1950s when it seemed that Britain stood at the threshold of space. Its tool to join the space faring super powers, would have been a sleek white delta interceptor prototype which used rocket and jet propulsion and was named SR.53. Built by Saunders-Roe, this little aircraft or its more powerful derivatives would have spearheaded the construction of suborbital and orbital air-launched spaceplanes. Its principal derivative, the SR.177, had looked set to capture the huge interceptor market so successfully taken by Lockheed’s Starfighter. Political shortsightedness, bad economy and a tragic fatal accident felled this success story in the bud.
The SR.53 remains one of the brightest achievements of British aircraft industry. For years, its history was in limbo, with contradictions surrounding the number of flights, the boundaries reached, the ambitious plans drawn.
Now at last the full story of this saga can be told, with never-published-before pictures, complete flight log and company documents detailing the project from conception to end, as well as recollections by project personnel.
Peter ‘Sheepy’ Lamb, DSC*, AFC, MRAeS, the third and last test pilot of the SR.53, wrote the foreword for this book, which was reviewed and corrected by Richard B. Stratton, chief project engineer.
For every space buff and every x-plane enthusiast, this book is a must-buy!
* Origins and Design Development
* SR.53 Characteristics
* Construction and Systems
* The Flying Programme
* Excerpts of the Accident Investigations
* Flight Log; Chronology
* SR.177, Avro 720; SR.187
* The SR.53 Pilots