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Miles M52

A few comments

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Erfolg22/04/2013 21:47:07
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I have just read Miles M52, by Eric Brown. pub Spellmount.

A number of contributors have commented on reading this book. Although I am not aware of a review other than, we should read it.

As many other people I have read about the M52 previously. These have been manly technical descriptions, with little real insight provided to the reader often concluding with the official reasons for cancellation.

As has been written by others "History is written by the victor". The Mile 52 story could well be such a case. In that case, the Eric Brown book has some importance in providing a different view on the history.

The story is provided from the perspective of a team member, whose role was one of pilot, and input to the ergonomics from the pilots perspective.

It is obvious that this is an inside the project perspective, relaying the roles of individuals, personalities. Although various factors are discussed, a definitive answer is not provided, although very strong hints are there.

This could be due to Eric Brown being diplomatic, not wishing to offend individuals who were culpable, also the Official Secret Act constraints, which probably demand prior viewing of content and censorship rights (even today).

There is a weakness in the story, as presented. That is some things which are seen as usual, for those who have worked in the CS &GOCOs, will seem, well unsual. To those from private companies will seem bizarre.

The notion that there will be committees, which report on your topic area, that you will be unaware of their existence, therefore you cannot have a representative present. Which will contain direct competitors for both money, influence, amongst many other aspects. Will not seem strange. Stupid, yes, that is unless you are on the committee

That there will be competitors and various self interested parties, lobbying for funds, There will also be Phds, with very differing take on the same issues, with some again, saying your project is a waste of resources etc. For some, this is the real world, for others it is the world which only exists in the mind of a paranoid, for many in the private sector, it cannot be true.

Then there is the issue of USA interests, of why it would suit some for the M52 to be cancelled. Particularly important for a bankrupt UK.

The story also includes a revelation, that the USSR broke the sound barrier with a Third Reich research plane, built and designed by Germans, flown by a German pilot. Again politics prohibited public acknowledgement by the USSR as the project was not Russian.

It is a very good read. Worth reading, with Eric Brown providing very heavy hints as to which groups and individuals would benefit from cancellation. Yet to get the most out of the book, either working, or have worked in the same type of fibril world, of the Mad Hatter's Tea party.

He does provide an insight as to how much actual design many very senior engineers undertake. Their principle roll is that of a political beast, protecting and winning funding for their company, in Whitehall and various other Research environments, by "Hook and by Crook",

I was very disappointed by little was said about the project being overspent by a factor of 2. Did this matter, maybe, maybe not. the airframes and engines were 90% complete., after all

Yep, I agree a good book, well worth buying

 

Edited By Erfolg on 22/04/2013 21:49:52

Edited By Erfolg on 22/04/2013 21:55:11

Edited By Erfolg on 22/04/2013 21:57:52

Simon Chambers22/04/2013 21:58:32
789 forum posts
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Have you got the ISBN for this book?

Posted by Erfolg on 22/04/2013 21:47:07:

The story also includes a revelation, that the USSR broke the sound barrier with a Third Reich research plane, built and designed by Germans, flown by a German pilot. Again politics prohibited public acknowledgement by the USSR as the project was not Russian.

That reminds me of the story that the SR-71 project used more titanium than the USA could manufacture - so a large proportion was purchased from the USSR. Quite how they achieved it has never been fully, satisfactorily explained to this day...

Si.

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