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The Beaufighter

Old 8th Aug 2019, 21:32
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The Beaufighter

I have just started reading 'Beaufighter Boys' by Graham Pitchfork, and I have learned something interesting.
The chapter one intro says:
"With its massive ROTARY engines thrusting forward of the cockpit, the Beaufighter's sturdy profile portrayed a sense of power and aggression".

I always thought that the Beaufighter was powered by Bristol Hercules RADIAL engines.
Is this a typo? Or have I learned something new?

Richard
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Old 8th Aug 2019, 21:58
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The aircraft had Bristol Hercules Radial engines of various `Marks`,except for the Beaufighter Mk IIF which had R-R Merlin XX engines...
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Old 9th Aug 2019, 02:53
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Oh dear. What a mistake from an author who “has established himself as one of the pre-eminent British historians and writers specialising in RAF history.”

I have learned that he was a navigator so perhaps that explains the error.
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Old 9th Aug 2019, 07:06
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Originally Posted by India Four Two View Post
Oh dear. What a mistake from an author who "has established himself as one of the pre-eminent British historians and writers specialising in RAF history."

I have learned that he was a navigator so perhaps that explains the error.

The "massive rotary engines" reference is actually a quote from "Lost Without Trace", an earlier (2010) biography of RAAF war hero Squadron Leader Wilbur Wackett by Leon Kane-Maguire (P127).

LK-M was an academic and amateur aviation historian who could perhaps be forgiven for the error, but not an Air Commodore, former MoD Director of Military Intelligence and member of the RAF Historical Society committee !
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Old 9th Aug 2019, 07:40
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Happens a lot: there is a truly awful B-52 'monograph' (it doesn't deserve the term) which contains error after error, most of which can be traced, via plagiarism, to Wiki and other piddle-poor excuses for decent research.
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Old 9th Aug 2019, 13:12
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Happens a lot: ........piddle-poor excuses for decent research
There is no better example than Eric "Winkle" Browns sorry excuse of a book "Miles M.52". Talk about factually incorrect from an individual who should have been on top of his subject.
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Old 9th Aug 2019, 19:12
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"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone". I can only assume that the critical posters above are all experienced authors who have never missed an error when proof reading their own or someone else's work; I wish I was good enough to join you.

Oh dear. What a mistake from an author who “has established himself as one of the pre-eminent British historians and writers specialising in RAF history.”

I have learned that he was a navigator so perhaps that explains the error.
India Four Two, for your information Graham was my squadron commander and my navigator at one time. Please explain to me (and him - I will pass on your explanation) the justification for your last sentence? I suspect (hope) that it was an attempt at humour.. Remind me of the books that you have written ....

Last edited by LOMCEVAK; 10th Aug 2019 at 13:00.
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Old 9th Aug 2019, 21:37
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Errors missed yes - usually typos etc; sometimes missed overzealous editors' changes too. My example (plagiarism and plagiarism of errors) is hopefully one habit I haven't adopted.
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Old 10th Aug 2019, 01:41
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LOMCEVAK, in the case of Browns book it errs in being factually incorrect at almost every level, and the message you take away is that he, Brown, has an axe to grind, taking every opportunity to debase the efforts of the US and its X-1 program. Sour grapes that Yeager got there first and not him?
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Old 10th Aug 2019, 07:39
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I suspect (hope) that it was an attempt at humour.
LOMCEVAK, yes, it was a bit of banter as denoted by the smiley, which you neglected to include in your quote of my post.
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Old 10th Aug 2019, 08:19
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Amazing how many people on here have had a sense of humour by-pass. The whole point of emojis is to show the tone. I thought it was just the young who were perpetually offended but it seems not. I agree rotary and radial are two entirely different things and while others may shout "pedant", what's wrong with asking for accuracy?
BTW there is now a Beaufighter Road on the Bristol Shadow Factory housing estate in Weston-super-mare, along with a string of other aircraft and engine names as well as Glider and Slingsby reflecting the Air Cadets gliding school use of the site. The runway is now the main access road.
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Old 10th Aug 2019, 09:48
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Suspect more an editorial or proof reading error rather than the author
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Old 10th Aug 2019, 10:51
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All very interesting , but the Beaufighter - what would you given to have had a go at flying one? Not in combat, just a dam good couple of hours driving it around for fun.

Mind you, it would probably have frightened me witless, especially the first take off given that there were no training versions!!
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Old 10th Aug 2019, 12:58
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megan,
I agree regarding Eric and the M.52; he was very bitter about it. It was not professional for the factual inaccuracies to which you refer to be presented in that book.

Quemerford,
Your references to the B-52 monograph errors are also in a different category to to those in Graham's book so my comment was not aimed at you.

Blackfriar,
I am afraid that I am from far a distant, pre-emoji generation! I don't use them and don't actually look at them when people send them to me. Therefore, they communicate nothing to me. But, now that I know that some do use them as part of their communication, in future I will! I am, perhaps, one of the worst grammar pedants around and I agree with your desire for accuracy. However, I do accept that proof reading/editorial mistakes do happen. Thread creep here but in the last issue of 'High Life', the BA passenger magazine, there was an article written by one of their FOs that said that they have aircraft in their fleet up to a maximum weight of, from memory, 686,000 tonnes!

india four two,
As Graham is a well respected personal friend, I just felt that, for me, your humour was somewhat inappropriate and insensitive. It sounds like that may be just a personal issue for me.

Rgds

L





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Old 10th Aug 2019, 14:17
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Originally Posted by LOMCEVAK View Post
Thread creep here but in the last issue of 'High Life', the BA passenger magazine, there was an article written by one of their FOs that said that they have aircraft in their fleet up to a maximum weight of, from memory, 686,000 tonnes!
I suspect that one is an editorial fluff-up; not understanding what '686.00' (or 686.000) tonnes meant possibly. It's like the similar misuse of 'knots per hour' for speed and 'bars' for pressure.
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Old 14th Aug 2019, 21:22
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Not alone, L. I have enjoyed a warm correspondence with Graham Pitchfork over a number of years.
I have always found him helpful and knowledgeable. For my part, on such acquaintance, I'd call him a friend.

Hercules/rotary is a blunder no doubt, which editing should have picked up.
It's not the only one I've spotted, others seemingly scan errors.

One, eg, (also a Ch intro) says "no hard experience" in relation to the Whispering Death myth - plainly a ts error for "no hard evidence".
Grub Street edit thoroughness/expertise on proof check seems to have been lacking, in my view.

Still, it is a fine book, entirely horse's mouth from Beaufighter aircrew, direct to Graham in almost all cases.
Sought and collected by him as Aircrew Association archivist from the early 2000's, direct from Assn members
(bar Dennis Spencer's chapter and Sutherland Brown's chapter, both duly & fully acknowledged).

Shot Down and in the Drink
Shot Down and on the Run
Missing Believed Killed
Men Behind the Medals (two volumes)
Airmen Behind the Medals
Buccaneer Boys
Forever Vigilant
RAF Day by Day
All his work.

Jibes about Graham's standing as an author, "plagiarism" etc etc: are a poor reward for all his efforts.
Likely water off a duck's back to such a senior commander and experienced author, but leaves a nasty taste.

This is the last Forum where I've been active: I'll not be again.

Forum rules preclude my posting a working link to my 211 Squadron site.
Don Clark
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Old 14th Aug 2019, 22:38
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Originally Posted by DonClark View Post
Jibes about Graham's standing as an author, "plagiarism" etc etc: are a poor reward for all his efforts.
Nobody has accused him of plagiarism. I simply pointed out that the quote in the OP's post isn't original and comes from a 2010 book.

GP's book isn't officially published until next month, and I fully expect to find that he credits the quote to its original author.

Perhaps the OP could confirm that in the meantime ?
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Old 16th Aug 2019, 21:04
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DaveReidUK
I bought the book 'Beaufighter Boys' about 3 weeks ago from an online seller of second hand & new books.
I can't see any credit as yet. Although there is an 'Introduction & acknowledgements' at the front and a 'Bibliography' at the back. Neither of which I have read.
I am finding the rest of the book far more interesting and as such has my complete attention.

Richard
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Old 17th Aug 2019, 02:36
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If you have a couple of hours to waste, interview with chap who has thirteen confirmed kills and 1,000 hours in the Beau, 5-600 of those night.

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Old 24th Aug 2019, 06:15
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Slight thread drift. Re erroneous books.

There are sometimes those errors made with such conviction they leave you, for a while, worried about even your own sanity. I was browsing a bookstore a few years ago and found a book about the failure of materials in aviation. Somewhere in the middle there was a page in which the author announced that wood, as a material eventually was replaced by metal because the latter was less susceptible to fire. He then went on to say that typically Spitfire and Me109s were prone to catching fire in combat because of their wood construction.

I had to read that four or five times because I had always believed they were metal aircraft. It took me until half way back to my hotel to catch myself mentally. I know perfectly well what they are made of. I have touched them (Spitfires at least,) since i was five years old but the faux pas was so astonishing it made me question everything I know.
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