|Top Secret Boeing|
|Tuesday, 31 July 2012 00:00|
(by Dr Bob Shaw; ISBN 978-0-9547045-1-3; self-published; 6in x 8¼in softback; 216 pages, illustrated; £11.95)
Every now and then a self-published book turns up on a subject which has not been covered before, and this is a good example. It is the history of the only RAF Boeing 247D, DZ203, which began life as NC13344 and later went to the Royal Canadian Air Force as 7655.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was working on a centimetre-wavelength radar project and needed to get a working prototype for airborne-interception radar to Britain for demonstrations and trials. The Canadians were working on a similar programme and offered to supply the Boeing which arrived in 1941 at the Telecommunications Research Establishment, Hurn to be operated by the Telecommunications Flying Unit, this moving to Defford in May 1942.
The aircraft was very popular with crews and considered luxurious for the time. It flew the first 10cm radar used by British night-fighters, helped in research of submarine detection and was the catalyst in the auto-landing system.
The book gives a comprehensive description of Boeing 247s in US airline service and a detailed history of DZ203 which was scrapped in July 1947, but if you want to see a 247D, the former NC13340, a near relative of DZ203, is preserved with the Science Museum Collection at Wroughton.
A comprehensive and well-illustrated history using many previously unpublished photographs of an interesting and unusual aircraft, published at a bargain price.