A View from the Hover
by John Farley
A marvellous book by one of our Shareholders, John Farley 4 Sqn. He tells the story of his life in flying, general, test flying and, of course, test flying the Harrier. This is more than an autobiography - it is a reference book.
John Farley's name will already be well-known to many pilots through his writing, teaching and speaking.
He was for many years the Chief Test Pilot for the Harrier but before that he had been an engineering apprentice at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, an RAF Hunter pilot, a flying instructor at Cranwell and a student at the Empire Test Pilots' School. After completing this course he was posted to the RAE Aerodynamics Research Flight where he flew all the UK research aircraft then flying.
Following his retirement as Harrier Chief Test Pilot after 19 years of VSTOL development, he continued test flying and added another 20 types to his logbook (bringing his overall total to nearly 100). He now does a great deal of work in education, passing on his passion for aviation and his unbeatable knowledge of how flying machines and their pilots work.
A View from the Hover is the summation of this lifetime of experience. Fully illustrated in 432 pages, the book describes John's career as a test pilot in the days of experimental jets through to the painstaking task of developing the Harrier and selling the concept of a jump-jet aircraft around the world. Johnemploys a wealth of anecdotes and sharp insight to bring this exciting part of aviation history to life.
That is only a part of A View from the Hover. The second half of the book is taken up with explanations of many different facets of flying and aviation - aerodynamics, spinning, simulation, instrument flying and much more, all explained with clarity and precision. You can also discover some of John's Greatest Aeroplanes.
The final chapter includes some 80 pages of thoughts for general aviation pilots - making this book not only a fascinating and highly informative read but one that will improve your flying skills.
Price: Hardback: £35.45 Paperback £25.45
(Both prices includes packing and postage - Don't bother with Amazon, whatever they claim they will never get stock).
Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Flyer Magazine, 9 Riverside Court, Lower Bristol Road, Bath, BA2 3DZ, England
Click to link to book site
Chapters in A view from the Hover
1. Start Here
2. My early background
3. RAE Farnborough
4. RAE Bedford
5. Kingston, Dunsfold and the Harrier
6. The Harrier VAAC programme
7. Evaluating other peoples' aeroplanes
8. Display and Demonstration Flying
9. Test Flying
10. Lift and Drag
12. Stalling and Spinning
13. Instrument Flying
15. Material and other matters
16. General Aviation thoughts (See below)
General Aviation thoughts
For ease of reference I have divided this lengthy chapter into topics
1. Learning to land
2. Approaching without power
3. Powered approaches
4. Crosswind approaches and landings
5. Staying current
6. Making mistakes
7. Showing off safely
8. Pilot types
9. Pushing your boundaries
10. Stability and control
11. Climbing speeds
12. The theory and practice of flying
13. Maintenance time
14. Very serious failures
15. Evaluation tips
16. Being your own test pilot
17. The PPL syllabus