Fleet Air Arm Boys Volume 1 or 2  Author Steve Bond
Fleet Air Arm Boys Volume 1 or 2  Author Steve Bond
Fleet Air Arm Boys Volume 1 or 2  Author Steve Bond

Fleet Air Arm Boys Volume 1 or 2 Author Steve Bond

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Volume 1: Air Defence Fighter Aircraft Since 1945...True Tales from Royal Navy Aircrew, Maintainers & Handlers.

Volume 2: Strike, Anti Submarine, Early warning and Support Aircraft since 1945...True tales from Royal Navy men and women air and ground crew.


The signatories representing the Fleet Air Arm include:

Warrant Officer Keith Abnett.      Artificer. 766 NAS Sea Vixen RNAS Yeovilton, 700P Phantom Intensive Flying Trials Unit RNAS Yeovilton, 892 NAS Phantom & Sea Harrier. Served on five carriers inc. HMS Ark Royal & HMS Illustrious: HRH Prince Charles' Chief 'Tiff' - Wessex training on 'Dragon Flight'.

 Wing Commander Robert Crane   Observer. 893 NAS Sea Vixen, HMS Hermes, Phantom Navigator with the RAF, US Navy F-4J’s at Oceana, and Tornado F.3

 Commander John Ford.  Pilot. Flying training with the US Navy; 802 NAS Sea Hawk HMS Albion inc. Suez campaign; 800 NAS Scimitar HMS Ark Royal inc. aerobatic team; Aden campaign; Commander (Air) HMS Ark Royal

 Flt Lt Brian Grant.      Pilot. RAF 151 and 29 Sqns Javelin. Exchange service with the FAA, 766 and 890 NAS Sea Vixen HMS Ark Royal. Hunter, Sea Vixen, Canberra and Hawk FRADU 1970-1994, and 1995-1997.

Leading Wren Bev McDermott              Radio Operator. RNAS Yeovilton Communication Centre, also HMS Drake and HMS Daedalus.

Petty Officer Terry McDonald               Radio & Radar Technician. Lossiemouth, Hunter, Sea Vampire, Sea Venom, Sea Hawk; 899 NAS Sea Vixen HMS Eagle; 848 NAS Whirlwind HMS Bulwark

Lt Kim Sharman.      Pilot. Two tours 899 NAS Sea Vixen, made last launch and landing of the type on HMS Eagle 1972. Martel missile trials 'C' Sqn A&AEE. 750 NAS Sea Prince.

Lieutenant Commander Digby Stephenson          Observer. 824 NAS Sea King; 800 NAS HMS Eagle and 809 NAS HMS Ark Royal Buccaneer; A-6 Intruder instructor with US Navy squadron VA42

Leading Airman John Stevens          Aircraft handler. 1962-71 served on HMS Ark Royal, HMS Hermes and HMS Eagle

Vice Admiral Sir Jonathan Tod KCB CBE.      Pilot. Two tours 800 NAS Scimitar HMS Ark Royal; Sea Venom 750 NAS Hal Far738 NAS & 800 NAS HMS Eagle, 801 NAS HMS Hermes, 803 NAS Buccaneer; Officer in Command HMS Illustrious; Deputy C-in-C Fleet

Steve Bond - Author

Please note that not all of the listed signatories are able to be present throughout the signing sessions We have endeavoured to capture as many as possible for each book.

Steve Bond has spent nearly 50 years in aviation. He served in the Royal Air Force as an aircraft propulsion technician and was part of the Eurofighter Typhoon project team. He later joined City University London where he developed and ran the world’s first MSc Air Safety Management (ASM) programme, lecturing on the subject all over the world. He has a PhD in ASM, is a chartered engineer, and a fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. Now a full-time author he was recently elected Freeman of the Honourable Company of Air Pilots in recognition of his contribution to aviation.


The Royal Navy has always been a good source of stories (or dits as they are known in RN/FAA parlance). The maritime environment, worldwide locations, complicated equipment operated in a small space or in harsh weather, great characters within a strongly bonded team and centuries old naval tradition all add up to a recipe for some cracking tales. Author Steve Bond has gathered dits from across the generations of veterans and current serving Royal Navy and Fleet Air Arm. These books are terrific reads for anyone interested in British sea based aviation.

In the author's words...

'The RAF's continuing role in the projection of air power in the defence of the United Kingdom and its overseas interests since the end of the Second World War is well known. However, the same cannot always be said about the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm (FAA), in part due to the ten-year gap between the retirement of the Harrier and the arrival of the F-35B and the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers. Flying high performance aircraft off a carrier demands not only a high level of skill, but also a considerable amount of courage and determination, not least to land back on a very small piece of real estate bobbing about in a rough sea, often at night, with no possibility of diversion. The nature of these operations has meant that the accident rate and aircrew losses were very high - and accepted as part of the job. With the arrival of the Queen Elizabeth and the Prince of Wales, it is time to redress the balance and bring the FAA's extraordinary story to the audience it so richly deserves through the words of those air and ground crews who have been part of it since 1945. What emerges is an amazing close-knit esprit de corps, often accompanied by a long-standing and still simmering rivalry between the RAF and the Royal Navy over who should project air power overseas. Enormous respect is shown by the aviators and ships' senior officers for the aircraft handlers and maintainers, who work long hours in a highly dangerous environment on the flight deck. This first volume looks chronologically at every aircraft type flown in an air defence role since 1945. Involvement in conflicts including Korea, Suez, the Falklands, Bosnia and elsewhere is included, and perforce the cost in human lives, even in everyday operations, frequently emerges. Balancing this are the everyday grind, the good times, the humour, the 'runs ashore' and the sense of pride in a job well done. All delivered in the words of the men and women themselves.'

We also have a number of copies of Volume 1 signed by FAA Aircrew and Engineers.

Lt Cdr Paul Chaplin - Pilot - Sea Vixen and Phantom

Lt Adrian Tuite - Observer - Gannet, Sea Vixen and Phantom

Lt Kim Sharman - Pilot - Sea Vixen

Cdr Tim Gedge AFC- Pilot - Sea Vixen, Phantom, Sea Harrier

Cdre Duncan Reid MBE FRaeS BA RN - Air Engineering Officer, Task Force Chief Aircraft Engineer

256 Pages
15.2 x 22.9 cm


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