Harpia Publishing, Beyond the Horizon

Title:  Beyond the Horizon...
Author: Ian Shaw with Sergio Santana
Publisher:  Harpia Publishing
ISBN:  978-0-9854554-3-9

...The History of AEW&C Aircraft

A new publisher now being distributed by Casemate Books is producing some good looking soft-cover books on aviation subjects.  This is one of these and is the first book I can recall seeing which devotes itself to the topic of Airborne Early Warning and Control.  The topic is covered in a chronological sequence from WW2 through to the present day.  In the same way developed from the early trails in WW2, using a rotating antenna on a Wellington bomber, through the Cold War and on to today and the adaptations of the technology to assist with the new war on terror.

Chapter 1 goes over the period from 1943 - 1963, including those early trails with Wellingtons, first against the E-boat threat, which did not work out well, and on to targeting fighters against V-1 carrying Heinkels later in the war.  The Americans worked on their radars during this period to find a solution to detecting intrusions from Russian aircraft and looked at airships as well as conventional types such as the Skyraider, the Lockheed Constellation and the early Tracer and Hawkeye types while the Russians used the Tu-126.  Also covered are the early RAF types such as the Gannet and the Shackleton.

Chapter 2 is 'Going to War' and Vietnam in the period 1964-1968.  Three is the Coming of Age between 1969 - 1980 then chapter 4, the Crucial Years, 1980-1990.  At that point there was a significant change with the collapse of the Warsaw Pact and the break-up of the Soviet Union and chapter 5 takes us into the New Era, 1991 - 2001, which includes their involvement in the Gulf War.  Chapter 6 goes on to the War on Terror, 2001 to present while Chapter 7 goes through AEW&C Operators today, going over all the countries that operate the variety of aircraft and helicopter types today.  That leads into some 58 pages of Appendix one, which gives a colour profile along with technical specifications of 26 different AEW&C aircraft and helicopter types before four pages of Appendix II that give Service Time Lines and Radar Types and Ranges.

Overall this is a well researched and well put together look at the subject, and which is well illustrated with good quality photos throughout.  It includes various operations they have been involved with, the development of the various types, including some which never got into production, such as the British Nimrod, and has a number of contributions from those who have worked with the various types over the years and the value they can bring.

Packed with information this is an interesting look at a subject which is not usually explored in such depth and which by the nature of the equipment tends to operate in the background and out of sight.

SRP is £34.99, but don't forget that there is a discount available from Casemate for members of this website, quoting the code given on the Casemate ad on our home page.

Thanks to Casemate Publishing, the distributors in the UK for our sample, it is available now.

For full details on this title, and all other Casemate Publishing titles, please visit their website Casemate UK