Non-Fiction Books:

F-4 Phantom

A Pilot's Story


Paperback / softback

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F-4 Phantom by Robert Prest
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'A stone cold classic. One of the best military aviaton memoirs ever written' Rowland White, author of Vulcan 607 'I only have to think Speed, and I am at 600 knots in seconds. Think Height and I am gazing down from a eight-mile-high perch within one minute. Think Freedom and I am wrested away from a dank, cold world, cloudbase at 300 feet, through a brief shock of cloud to emerge into a golden blue world, another dimension, crystal clear for miles and miles' Fighter Pilot. Robert Prest had never wanted to be anything else. And even as a boy he had set his sights on flying the awesome McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom. The big, twin-engined interceptor offered an irresistible combination of charisma, power and performance. Air combat, strike, gunnery, bombing and rocketry, the F-4 was jack-of-all-trades, master of most. From the lonely pursuit of Soviet intruders out over the North Sea and strength-sapping high-g dogfights, to maintaining Quick Reaction Alert on Germany's Eastern border, ready to scramble Battle Flight at a moment's notice, Prest and his fellow aviators stood toe-to-toe with a powerful opponent. But the defence of the West came at a cost, and comrades in arms would pay with their lives. No other book so vividly brings to life the high-pressure, high stakes, high-speed world of an RAF fighter pilot on the Cold War frontline. But it's more than that. In capturing a sense of the wonder and magic of flying, Prest's book ranks aviation classics from writers like Saint-Exupery, Richard Bach, Cecil Lewis and Ernest Gann.

Author Biography

Robert Prest was born in 1949 and educated at Downside School. He obtained a flying scholarship and joined the RAF in 1968. After basic training on Jet Provosts and advanced training on Gnats and Hunters, he graduated from the Phantom OCU (Operational Conversion Unit) in 1971. His first operational posting was to 43 Squadron at Leuchars. He returned to Coningsby for the QWI (Qualified Weapons Instructor) course, after which he completed 3 years on the OCU staff, where his speciality was teaching Air Combat Tactics. Following tours with 92 and 23 Squadrons, he left the RAF in 1980. The next five years were spent flying Jaguars in Oman with SOAF (Sultan of Oman's Air Force) and Nigeria (with British Aerospace Jaguar Training team). That marked the end of his military flying. Since then, he has pursued a civil aviation career with various airlines in the Middle and Far East, flying a variety of Boeing and Airbus aircraft, from the B737 and B767 to the A330/340 and B747, finally retiring on the B777. In retirement, he still maintains a passion for aviation, albeit in the slightly slower form of floatplanes.
Release date NZ
April 21st, 2017
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Illustrations, black and white
Silvertail Books
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