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the Fighter Aircraft POCKETBOOK

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This lovely pocketbook, which contains many photographs, depicts the various fighter aircraft in service around the world from 1913 to 1961.


Format 15 x 12 x 2 cm
Nbr. de pages 256
Finition Glued binding
Aviation belge No
Année d’édition 1962
Langue English
Etat du livre A little damaged
Auteur Roy Cross


The modern fighter pilot's mount is a marvel of engineering, evolved in less than fifty years from a simple wooden fabric - covered structure, hardly able to carry the additional weight of a machine gun and ammunition, into a present - day weapon of astonishing complexity and performance. Yet there seems to be no publication which gives, even in outline, the whole impressive story of the fighter from its beginnings in 1914 - 15 until today*. This task the author hopefully sets out to perform within the confines of this little volume. ( ... )
* 1962.
Roy Cross

Roy Cross ( April 23rd, 1924 ) was born Camberwell ( London, England ).

As a young lad he recalls how he and his younger brother frequently spent the long summer holidays with " Aunty Nell " who lived at Station Road, Smallford ( in between Hatfield and St. Albans, the actual house is no longer standing ).

On rainy days he would sit in her conservatory and read her books on art. He was inspired by the works of Constable, Turner, Frederick - Lord Leighton and Sir Lawrence Alma - Tadema and other great masters. And even later in life the work of great artists helped develop his own abilities ( although he is less impressed with today's " household " names ). In particular, he singles out Montague Dawson for marine subjects, Frank Wootton for aviation and cars, and Terence Cuneo for figures and railways.

In October 1935, he enrolled at Reay Central School, Hackford Road ( South West London ), after failing his 11 - plus exams. The headmaster was Arthur Tasker M.B.E. It was here that Roy Cross had his first formal art lesson. 1938 : with storm clouds gathering across Europe in the lead up to the Second World War, 14 - year - old Roy joined the Air Defence Cadet Corps ( later called the Air Training Corps ). Eventually, becoming a Cadet in No. 343 Camberwell Squadron and promoted to Flight Sergeant for " general efficiency ". He also found he was a capable draughtsman and was engaged by the A.T.C. Gazette ( the Corps publication ). He was also selected to be No. 343 Squadron's lecturer on aircraft recognition.

1940 : recognising that he was not cut out for an academic career, at his father's suggestion, Roy Cross left school before his sixteenth birthday and returned to London. He got his first job – working for a shipping agent at Lower Thames Street, a Danish company called All Transport & Storage. In February 1941, Roy Cross sent Leonard Taylor ( Secretary of the Air League and the Editor of the Air Training Corps Gazette ) sketches and an article on the new U.S. fighter aircraft being adopted by the R.A.F. in his guise as a member of No. 343 Squadron, A.T.C. ( the sketches were eventually published in April the following year ).

In April 1942, he applied to join the drawing office at Flight magazine. Managing Editor Geoffrey Smith while praising his work turned him down when he learnt that Roy was expected to get his call up in the next six months. In the meantime, he had left the shipping job and was working for International Stores, retailers in the City.

Roy's poor eyesight meant he would not be able to enlist as aircrew, and he left the Air Training Corps. However, the sketches he had submitted a year ago were published in the A.T.C. Gazette. These were the first of many sketches and articles to appear in this publication. The same year, his first complete work : U.S. Army Aircraft - a fold out leaflet - was published after his eighteenth birthday. He progressed from there to producing advertising art for the aircraft industry and other companies. He illustrated for The Aeroplane and the Eagle comic.

In 1952 he joined the Society of Aviation Artists, but it is for his work at Airfix which he is best known. He started in 1964 with box art for Airfix's Do 217 and his last work for them was the box art for the German heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen ( 1974 ). He went into marine paintings. Much of the Airfix artwork was destroyed but the lids of many millions of boxes remain.

( sources : amazon, Fine Rare prints,, Wikipedia )

Founded in 1843 by Bradley Thomas Batsford ( 1821 - 1904 ), B.T. Batsford has a reputation in the subjects of fashion and design, embroidery and textiles, British heritage, and architecture. As part of this reputation, the publishing house hosts an annual competition for students of applied and fine arts called the Batsford Prize. Currently, B.T. Batsford is an imprint of Pavilion Books, a publishing company headquartered in London ( England ) with a specialty in illustrated books. ( sources : Wikipedia,, )
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