'in-house' publications, general sale and projects.
When carrying out my work with various military squadrons I'm sometimes asked to produce an 'in-house' publication for the air & ground crew, which can also be used for any visiting VIPs. This is always nice as it gives me the opportunity to use more of the photos I've taken then would normally be used by a magazine in a 2,000 to 4,000 word article. Some of the 'in-house' books I'm not able to share in the public domain, but what I can share is below. I also produce books for other people and projects. A couple of those are listed below, but again I'm not able to show all the publications.
736 Naval Air Squadron-The Royal Navy 'Aggressors'. From the end of 2013 through much of 2014 I was an 'honorary' member of the squadron as I was writing a 4,000 word, in-depth article on the unit. 736NAS had recently replaced the long-standing Fleet Requirements and Air Direction Unit (FRADU) as the aggressor squadron for the Royal Navy and her allies. Primarily home based at RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall, the squadron also has a couple of aircraft operating out of RNAS Yeovilton and it is here that I spent the majority of my time with 736. It was while having a chat with the then Commanding Officer, Lt Cdr Tim Flatman, that the idea of a book came up. The book was intended for the guys on the squadron and perhaps any visitors that they might entertain. For the book I needed a decent cover design, something which is not my forte! But luckily for me, I knew a man who could help, my good friend in America Travis Getz. The actual design is very striking and took a little while for Travis to perfect, but I think it's ideal for the book. Many, many thanks Mr G. I also had a lot of help from my good friend Mark Russell. He has produced some excellent websites and one on the history of both the FRADU Hawker Hunters ( www.fradu-hunters.co.uk/)and FRADU Canberra's ( www.fradu-canberras.co.uk). So with his permission I sourced much of the history of FRADU from his website, and I duly made him co-author of the book. Mark has since finished his FRADU Hawks website, and again it is top quality work and can be found here:www.fradu-hawks.co.uk/history. During another chat with the CO the idea came up of producing a new 'aggressor' patch for the air & ground crew. Again Travis came to the rescue and over the course of 5 months (including waiting for the busy CO to reply to emails) produced a striking design. The designs can be seen below, the last two images. The image on the left is for aircrew (with lightning bolt) and the right hand image is for ground crew (with appropriate spanners).
In March 2014 I was lucky enough to travel to Norway to write an article about that years exercise 'Clockwork 2014' for Airforces Monthly. Exercise Clockwork is the Commando Helicopter Force’s annual chance to test their mettle – and metal – in the harsh arctic winter of northern Norway. Following a winter in Norway, In 1968, where the limitations of HMS Bulwark’s Air Group were keenly exposed, Flag Officer Naval Flying Training (FONFT) ordered 846 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) to conduct trials and training in an arctic environment in order to improve the aviation combat support provided to 3 Commando Brigade (3 Cdo Bde) Royal Marines. The NATO Northern Flank reinforcement plans, in which 3 Cdo Bde played an essential part, identified the Royal Norwegian Air Force Base (RNoAF) at Bardufoss as a key area, and it was here that the arctic training came to be centred. I spent a week at Bardufoss and was able to witness the work carried out both in the air, and on the ground, by the assembled forces. This winter was also the only time that Royal Navy Westland Sea king HC.4 operated alongside its future replacement, the AugustaWestland Merlin HC.3/3A; so it was a great opportunity. I managed to fly five times in both the Junglie Sea King & Merlin and was able to capture the aircraft in some stunning locations. On returning home the subsequent article was published a month later in Airforces Monthly entitled: 'Life in the Freezer', which I thought was very apt! As a little thank you to the guys of the navy, marines & air force I produced a little book where I was able to expand on the original article, and also include some extra photos. The chief photographer from AgustaWestland (now Leonardo Helicopters), Simon Pryor has also kindly allowed me to use some of his excellent photos alongside my own. I made available to the guys a number of books free of charge. About a year later I started an article for Aviation News which followed the early transition phase of the Merlin HC.3/3A into Royal Navy service. For this article I spent about 6 months visiting the Junglie squadrons at RNAS Yeovilton, Somerset. During these visits I was able to fly a few times and also take lots of photos from various locations as well as hangar, apron & office shots. The article was published and I was very pleased with how it turned out; well done Dino! Shortly after I was asked about the original 'Clockwork' book and if it was still available. This gave me the idea of expanding the book and include this new piece covering the transition phase. So the final version now gives a good overview of the final year or so of the venerable Sea King HC.4, and the early transition of the Merlin HC.3/3A. The book now has a lot more words, diagrams and photographs and I think it's a good memento for any serving Junglie, or indeed enthusiast.
The book is now available from Blurb at: www.blurb.co.uk/b/8939435-joint-helicopter-command-clockwork-2014-junglie-me