Confessions of a Phantom Pilot: Memories of Flying the Phantom FGR2

Author(s): Tug Wilson

ISBN: 9781781558508
Copies: 464
£17.50 £25.00

A young fighter pilot shares his tales of flying the Phantom and partying hard as the Cold War winds down.
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  • Historically rich in detail with previously unpublished photographs

  • A fascinating and eye-opening memoir that will appeal to fliers and non-fliers alike on how to fly the fastest jets in the RAF

  • A must-have for military enthusiasts, historians, modellers and those interested in the complexities of aircraft design and manoeuvres during the Cold War

“72 scrambling!” calls my navigator and now I know this is it. Not a practice… This is my first battle-flight scramble, and I am bricking it!

Confessions of a Phantom Pilot is the true story of a young RAF pilot who gets his dream to fly the workhorse fighter of the Cold War. From his first flight where he thought the jet was trying to kill him through to his final trip of leading eight aircraft on a frontline fighter squadron, his thoughts, feelings and anxieties are relived as he stumbled his way through each sortie where he relied on skill and blind luck to survive.

In essence, it is a love letter to the Phantom FGR2 from a starstruck pilot who felt he was out his depth. Tug Wilson reveals little-known histories of the RAF such as its outrageous drinking culture, which was a major part of Cold War frontline operations, and it is a wonder how he did not cause serious damage to himself in and out of the cockpit.

Lavishly illustrated with unpublished colour photographs, this riveting read reveals how it was to be a fighter pilot on the frontline where a nuclear holocaust could happen at any time. The triumphs and disasters are described in an honest and revealing account as Wilson partied hard as the Cold War thawed.


BOOK ISBN 9781781558508
FORMAT 234 x 156 mm
BINDING hardback
PAGES 272 pages
PUBLICATION DATE 21 October 2021
ILLUSTRATIONS 28 colour photographs


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Tug Wilson grew up in North Yorkshire and in 1985, his dream came true when he joined the RAF to fly fast jets. He was selected to fly the mighty Phantom for his first tour. After raging around for three years at the frontline, Wilson became a tactics and flying instructor on the BAE Systems Hawk. Following this, he was extremely lucky in securing an exchange tour with the US Marine Corps flying the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet in California. His final flying tour was on the Tornado F3 before a heart condition curtailed all his fun.