After spending 37 years in the RAF, it is hardly surprising Horncastle’s David Gledhill is renowned as one of the country’s leading authors on military aircraft.
He’s hoping to enhance that reputation with this soon to be published novel ‘Phantom in the Cold War’.
It tells the inside story of the important role RAF Phantom fighter jets played during the often tense relationship with ‘Iron Curtain’ countries - notably Russia.
David served 13 years at RAF Coningsby, culminating in three years as Executive Officer on the Tornado F3 Operational Conversion Unit.
However, it is his experience as a navigator on Phantom jets while based at RAF Wildenrath on the GermanDutch border that forms the basis of his new novel.
David explained: “The book includes many previously unpublished Cold War incidents and describes how the Phantom would have operated had the Cold War turned ‘hot’.”
Since he retired from the RAF in 2010, David has written twelve books. His previous factual works, published by Fonthill Media, describe his experiences in the cockpit of the Phantom and the Tornado F3 in the UK, Germany and the Falkland Islands.
He has also published a series of novels in the Phantom Air Combat series following the exploits of a fictional Phantom fighter crew.
Having flown more than 3,000 hours, he is keen to pass on his experiences by lecturing to aviation enthusiast groups.
David also shows visitors around the Phantom cockpit at Newark Air Museum during shows.
He has recently acquired the Tornado F3 mission simulator which is now on display at Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre near to the Tornado’s former home at RAF Coningsby.
David says his books have a ‘sinister resonance’ given the rising tensions between NATO and Russia. Typhoons from Coningsby recently flew to Romania on a NATO mission.
○The book will be officially launched at the annual ‘Cockpitfest’ at Newark Air Museum on June 17.