British Special Projects: Flying Wings, Deltas and Tailless Designs

Author(s): Bill Rose

ISBN: 9781781558058
Count: 483
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An extensively researched examination of British flying wing and delta aerospace projects of the 20th century.
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  • An insight into British ambitious and often unrealistic aspirations to stay at the forefront of advanced technology such as the development of the atomic-powered warplane

  • The world’s first military flying wing was a British design that saw operational service during the First World War

  • A manned rocket-ship launched from a converted V-bomber was proposed, capable of reaching the edge of space

  • Beautifully illustrated with many rare and unpublished photographs

  • Of interest to aviation and military historians, modellers, gamers and flight simulator enthusiasts


Flying wings, deltas and tailless aircraft continue to generate enormous interest within the aviation community and many of the older designs still look surprisingly futuristic.

British Special Projects: Flying Wings, Deltas and Tailless Designs examines the lesser-known and frequently secret British projects undertaken for research or military purposes during the last century and also covers those aircraft that were built and in some cases entered service. The first commercially successful British flying wing biplane designed by John Dunne undertook limited military reconnaissance duties during the First World War.

Various flying wings followed but the German development of the delta would prove massively influential with post-war British aerodynamicists immediately recognising the potential for a new generation of high-performance designs. Parallel research into advanced flying wings would produce plans for the superb looking Barnes Wallace supersonic swing-wing bomber, although his design was too far ahead of its time to progress any further.

There were also dead-end projects for bombers powered by atomic propulsion, vertical take-off concepts and over-ambitious ideas for British spacecraft that utilised delta- and blended-wing bodies, but were too technically challenging and costly to develop further. Nevertheless, many of these designs that stemmed from the simple flying wing remain influential today.

BOOK ISBN 9781781558058
FORMAT 248 x 172 mm
BINDING Hardback
PAGES 288 pages
PUBLICATION DATE 10 December 2020
TERRITORY World
ILLUSTRATIONS 262 black-and-white illustrations







Bill Rose grew up in north London and was educated at Buckingham College, Harrow Technical College and the University of Westminster. He began his working life as a laboratory technician, became a Fleet Street press photographer and eventually moved into journalism. He has worked for science magazines, technical publications and various national and provincial newspapers. Rose has also undertaken research for UK-based television production companies and is now recognised for his books on aviation and spaceflight.

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