Apologies to my readers for being rather silent recently but Christmas followed by a dreadful bout of flu just seemed to get in the way. I have just started a third novel in the Jacaranda series and like all my books I know where I want to end up by haven't a clue how to get there. One of the stars will be a submarine - the Nautilus - built between 1800 and 1804, it was actually quite successful but never came to anything - I'll soon change that! However, I now have a separate and parallel project. I have been liaising with a historian over certain aspects of the Falklands War that I was involved in and a few months ago he suggested that I would be uniquely placed to redress a wrong - that is to write a book about the Lynx helicopter, especially its achievements in war time. The aircraft is ending its service life this year and in my view has never been given the recognition it deserves, particularly for its performance during the Falklands. All the documentaries and books focus on the land battle once the soldiers were ashore but there was still a fight going on at sea and in the air. This is a departure for me as I won't be able to just make things up if I run out of material! So if anyone who was there reads this article I would really like to hear from you. My intention is to base the book partly on a factual account of its gestation and capabilities but in large part on the personal accounts of the guys who flew it. I will be using the Fleet Air Arm Officer's Association data base to contact most of the aircrew but not everyone is a member. All help will be greatly appreciated. Unlike my novels, I even have a publisher lined up for the book and intend to give a proportion of my royalties to the Fly Navy Heritage Trust.
My Lynx - in 1982, called ARFA
A full size, sectioned model of a submarine called Nautilus. 3 crew, 2 knots and four hours underwater endurance - not bad for over 200 years ago.