From the highly-successful author of Lightning Boys and Lightning Boys 2, Richard Pike, comes a welcome addition to the 'Boys' series, Hunter Boys. A fascinating insight into the experiences and affections of those who flew the iconic Hawker Hunter. Fifteen aircrew relate their individual recollections of the highs and lows, the dramas and demands of this incredible aircraft, which came into service in July 1951 and changed the future of fighter development. Including a chapter by Neville Duke, Hawker Aircraft's chief test pilot, other tales recount the Aden emergency, the 1971 Indo/Pakistan war and a race against the odds in Gibraltar. All instances demonstrate the exceptional performance of this aircraftand illustrate its well-renowned lengthy service life with the RAF and internationally. In addition to the original photographs that accompany the text, renowned aviation artist Chris Stone has provided paintings especially for the book. The scope, style and pace of the writing in this book will appeal to the general reader as well as to the enthusiast.
Richard Pike joined the Royal Air Force in August 1961 when he became a flight cadet at the RAF College, Cranwell. He began his forty-year professional flying career on the English Electric Lightning then went on to fly the F4 Phantom and a number of other aircraft types. On leaving the RAF he became a civilian helicopter pilot flying the Sikorsky S61 for the North Sea oil industry as well as in the search and rescue and other roles. His duties took him to a wide variety of destinations, including the Falklands and Kosovo. In Kosovo he was involved with the humanitarian distribution by helicopter of emergency food aid supplied under the auspices of the United Nations World Food Programme. That was his last job as a pilot. Since his retirement from flying he has written eight books. He and his wife Sue live in Aberdeenshire from where they visit their three children and seven grandchildren in various parts of the United Kingdom.