Years Flew Past:- 40 Years at the Leading Edge of Aviation
Bee Beamont has deservedly won the reputation of being one of Britain's greatest pilots. This book includes his reminiscences and observations of forty years flying at the leading edge of high-speed flight.
At the age of twenty-two Bee commanded No 609 Squadron equipped with the Hawker Typhoon. In 1944 he formed No 150 Wing, equipped with the Hawker Tempest fighter. In the final months of WWII a new design team was set up at English Electric to create the first British jet bomber. Bee, as Chief Test Pilot, was the first man to fly the Canberra through all stages of its development. Then came Britain's first and only supersonic fighter, the Lightening. Bee soon found himself at Mach 2 exploring the boundaries of space.
This book also includes some of his remarkable experiences test-flying the TSr 2. From 1965 to 1978, Bee became heavily envloved with the design, manufacture and introduction of the Panavia Tornado.
. . This work I think is his best. It is well-written and illustrated with some hitherto unpublished photographs, both in black and white and in colour.It may be said that this book repeats much of his earlier work; maybe so, but I found that his last effort puts his distinguished career in a new perspective. His account of building up the test flying and development team at Warton underlines the responsibilities of a chief test pilot with major national projects on his hands. His initial flights on the TSR-2 were difficult enough with the technical advances in this very potent strike aircraft, let alone with the high level political pressure on its future. THE AEROSPACE PROFESSIONAL