The raf

The power behind The Few: Rolls-Royce’s Merlin engine

Eighty years ago this summer Britain was facing its greatest moment of peril as Göring’s Luftwaffe attacked airfields, cities and convoys in a prelude to invasion. Nazi plans for us included all able-bodied men being sent to slave labour camps on the Continent. Thanks to the bravery of the RAF and the brilliance of their flying machines, the Battle of Britain saw Hitler beaten back in the first aerial campaign in history. Graham Hoyland has written a stirring account of how these hand-wrought machines, geared for speed and encased in elegant airframes such as the Supermarine Spitfire’s ‘symphony of ellipses’, delivered us in 1940. He takes the story of the