View Full Version : British Military Airfield Architecture - Paul Francis

Paul Francis
13-02-2010, 21:03
I am now seriously thinking about re-doing my 1996 book, updating it and generally improving, adding more buildings, different site plans etc. I could probably get the latest edition out by Christmas.

British Military Airfield Architecture - Paul Francis
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Patrick Stephens Ltd; First Edition edition (6 Aug 1996)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 185260462X
ISBN-13: 978-1852604622

I will wait for 100 positive posts from 100 different members before doing anything - that will be a good indication as whether its worth going ahead with or not - over to you!

The idea of this thread is to show a publisher that it is a viable project so the posts on here can be used in support of the case (or not). The first stage is to scan the book and convert the text into Word - not something I am looking forward to doing.

Chris Lowe
13-02-2010, 21:30
Paul I'd buy a copy.


ted angus
13-02-2010, 21:32
Me tooo !!


Dave Smith
13-02-2010, 22:39
Paul, I think the fact that abebooks.com are offering copies at 49.50, 70 and 129 says it all!


Richard Flagg
13-02-2010, 23:19
Couldn't agree more, its a great book and in demand.


Peter Kirk
13-02-2010, 23:31
There are quite a few of us on here that would like a an updated version, myself included but would that be enough?

You could take commitments from this forum and other contacts to assess likely print run.

I'm sure those with websites could also do some publicity. The word could also be spread via other forums.


14-02-2010, 00:18
Count me in.:-D



14-02-2010, 07:51
Yes - I would buy a copy Paul


David Thompson
14-02-2010, 10:32
Hi Paul
I would certainly buy another copy and as PNK said , so would many Forum members but that alone would not guarantee enough sales . Do you have a publisher in mind or would you self publish like you did with your Control Towers book or perhaps combine the two ? With the demise of PSL I suppose Haynes , Crecy or Crowood would be possible suitors or perhaps Midland Counties ?
No matter I'm sure you would get a lot of support and contributions from AiX and ARG members . Good luck .

All we need now is a certain aviation memorials book updated.........!


14-02-2010, 11:50
I prefer an updated version than buying a second hand copy... so add me on the list !


Dave Smith
14-02-2010, 12:53
Me too - I'll buy one!!

And David, forget about that certain memorials book it would be about three times the length by now!


14-02-2010, 13:23
I'll buy one, provided you sign it this time!



14-02-2010, 16:08
Put me down for a copy. My old copy is looking well thumbed and a bit tatty. Could do with a new one.


14-02-2010, 17:02
yes would also have a copy!


14-02-2010, 17:11
Yes-definitely Paul


14-02-2010, 17:26
I'm definitely not going to buy one! I want one (unautographed) when I've proof read it :-D.



Martin Bull
14-02-2010, 18:32
I have quite a few books on the subject but somehow missed this one. I would most certainly buy an updated reprint.


15-02-2010, 14:21
Add me to the list NP


P Bellamy
15-02-2010, 14:25
And another one for the list here.
I really can't keep my local library's copy on semi-permanent loan. :-D



15-02-2010, 14:34
Even though I just found and bought the old one, I'm up for getting the new one!



15-02-2010, 19:52
Yes please Paul !!!!!!

as its been said 2nd hand are a wee bit expensive for me !!


16-02-2010, 00:43
Got the old one, but an updated version never goes amiss.

16-02-2010, 19:07
I'd buy one....


16-02-2010, 21:09
If you bump the total, I'll buy TWO and donate one to the US Air Force Museum. (You already have counted me once



Chris Lowe
16-02-2010, 21:15
Good plan Tommy I'll buy 2 & donate one to the Carpetbagger museum at Harrington.


16-02-2010, 22:48
A new bible from NP, definitely!!!



17-02-2010, 13:08
Add me to the list.


18-02-2010, 23:26
You have my support 100% mate.



19-02-2010, 00:06
Count me in Paul.

My old copy's looking a bit battered and bruised nowadays so a new version would be great.


Alex Brown
19-02-2010, 00:33
I will buy one just so I can imagine the looks on the faces of the current price-gouging sellers when they see that the laws of supply and demand work both ways!

22-02-2010, 11:18
Put me down for one, I have used my copy so much its almost worn out!!


22-02-2010, 12:35
At the moment i use the NMRC library copy but i have to fight with other military interested bods to gain use of it...It's very poplular in Swindon. I would love my own copy though, so I would also buy one :-D


23-02-2010, 02:39
Only 31? Better make it one more then


Another Number
24-02-2010, 10:29
I would like to get a copy at a sensible price so it it is being reprinted then put me down for one. Thanks


02-04-2010, 10:22
put me down for one please.


Able Mabel
02-04-2010, 10:29
put me down for one please.

...and another


04-04-2010, 11:36
I'll gladly get a copy, can't afford the high second hand prices, 100+ on Amazon

Jim Coker


07-04-2010, 22:38
Count me in too!


18-04-2010, 23:10
Count me in for a copy


Paul Francis
04-05-2010, 15:18
I have decided that rather than re-print the whole thing in one go which will be a massive undertaking, given the huge amount of new material at my disposal, I will be producing a brand new set of books to replace the original one. Each of these (apart from the first) roughly follows one of the chapter headings in the old book. Not including the first one, there were seven chapters Technical, Balloons / Airships, Control Towers, Hangars, Synthetic Training, Domestic Buildings and Huts in the old book. But over the coming months there may be more books than this as two are already written on WW1 (but are not ready for printing yet). The first 'new' book (which was not a separate chapter in the old book but was a small part of one of the chapters) is being proof read as I write this and will be available from 1 June. An announcement containing more detail will be made soon.

30-05-2010, 17:55
Sounds good... !


Richard Drew
31-05-2010, 10:26
Sorry Paul I have just found your thread, just what we all need. Thank you I too would like a copy please.


31-05-2010, 16:17
Stick me down for a copy - it will be a handy asset to have!


01-06-2010, 08:07
Sorry Paul I have just found your thread, just what we all need. Thank you I too would like a copy please.

would just like to echo the above!


12-10-2010, 23:13
I'll give this another boot. Put me down for one please Paul.


20-04-2011, 21:07
I got mine from Amazon....can't remember which arm went for it tho'......but I'd love the update when it happens!


28-04-2011, 02:17
Was chatting to the guy in Western Front books today, and he said he recently sold 2 copies of this for 95 and 125 on Amazon! Must keep my copy safe and mint :)
Also picked up the new defences book there, excellent work Paul, I may be badgering you for a signature!


01-11-2012, 16:20
Whilst doing some sorting in the book threads I looked this up today....300 (plus delivery) new / 75 second hand so if you still have any copies in a box Paul it's probably time to sell them

19-02-2013, 05:51

Count me in if it provides more plans/drawings!

Tigger Bounce
15-06-2013, 16:50

Yep, put me down for a copy too.

18-11-2013, 01:54
I would also buy A copy of your book. Lars S. Knudsen, Denmark:-D

Paul Francis
02-03-2014, 14:49
Disregard everything I have previously said, the new book is now being serialised on AiX, plus a whole load more:


Peter Kirk
02-03-2014, 21:37
No as good as a hard copy though, until computer/tablet screens become as comfortable to read as my old Kindle. I still print stuff out to read, and my smartphone is the biggest waste of money for using outside in sunlight as I can't see a damned thing.

Paul Francis
02-03-2014, 22:33
I agree with that but we do not have the funds to invest in another book yet, AiX reaches a wider audience and people don't buy full-price books any more.

03-03-2014, 09:04
I would have thought that a publisher would be interested in doing this, and trump up the costs at some stage?
Airfields/architecture seem to be very populor now and a book with your knowledgable text, various photos and the likes of Stevos & P Bellamys' virtual creations would surely be very well recieved?

PS, what happened to spell check on this site?!

Dave Smith
03-03-2014, 10:08
What about trying Haynes? Their Owners' Workshop Manuals for aircraft, tanks etc are doing well. some of them are very good. A WW2 airfield manual could work ...

03-03-2014, 10:23
Why not just do self-publishing/print on demand? Services like Lulu (www.lulu.com) let you do that.

It's a legitimate book and you get a ISBN number which allows it to be searched for and even purchased via their preferred book retailer.

The beauty of self-publishing/print on demand is that you don't have to do a run and have stock sitting around. They just print the books as they are ordered.

03-03-2014, 10:46
Why not just do self-publishing/print on demand? Services like Lulu (www.lulu.com) let you do that.

The few books I've had from them have had terrible quality 'Perfect binding'. Some with glue extending a couple of cm into the pages, some with almost no glue. Fine if the books are never actually going to be opened but an expensive mess if actually used often.

A small print run at the quality of Paul's original book would be prohibitively expensive. Publishing on here is a good compromise (though it doesn't compensate Paul for the work he is putting in!).

Chris Lowe
03-03-2014, 11:07
This small publisher is quite good & publish history books and novels http://www.graficas-books.co.uk/

03-03-2014, 13:29
Fair comment jorge - I agree I've wondered about quality issues but I guess it varies from producer to producer.

I think the *concept* of self-publishing/print-on-demand works for small volume specialist interest books but of course, the end result has to be worth the effort.

03-03-2014, 20:52
Why not just do self-publishing/print on demand? Services like Lulu (www.lulu.com) let you do that.

I see Noel Ryan has published a book on there - Elsham Wolds Airfields

perhaps he could comment on his experience

( Thats a lot of plurals.... ( and I know wolds is correct, not as per the current signage))


Paul Francis
03-03-2014, 21:08
Dave it was Haynes that published the original book, well via the PS imprint

03-03-2014, 21:29
I realise that you know about this better than most here Paul, but have you approached them again?
Publishers seem to be falling over themselves for aviation content at the moment.

Paul Francis
03-03-2014, 22:10
No I must admit I had forgotten about them, especially as they had sold of the Action Station series - they might not be happy about me dumping everything on AiX?

03-03-2014, 22:32
Re Haynes I can only look up at my copy on the shelf in which all the pages came loose after a few weeks, plus the paper being so thin that diagrams show through the page.

And on car forums their manuals are frequently referred to as 'The Haynes Book of Lies'. That's been my experience - remove the three screws (there are four). Simply flip out (after removing the hidden screw) etc.

Peter Kirk
03-03-2014, 23:08
I remember binding pages into pads/books in my first job. Once the pages had been vibrated into a neat stack you clamped the spine, pasted it and if it was to last you added a scrim before gluing the covers. One I did in 1974 was still intact in the late 90s. If I can do it surely an online POD can do it without making a hash of it :)

Dave Smith
03-03-2014, 23:33
Paul, I'd forgotten that PSL published your book. I've just dug it out to refresh my memory!

03-05-2014, 20:40

26-05-2014, 12:35
http://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/e11021.m43.l3160/7?euid=948ec3b821c4488185329e833516ff7a&loc=http%3A%2F%2Fcgi.ebay.co.uk%2Fws%2FeBayISAPI.d ll%3FViewItem%26item%3D301190648844%26ssPageName%3 DADME%3AB%3ASS%3AGB%3A3160&exe=10018&ext=100037&sojTags=exe=exe,ext=ext

Paul Francis
08-02-2015, 20:17
I am thinking about publishing the book again, two options either to reproduce the original with updates and corrections or to go with something new. Thoughts please.

Peter Kirk
08-02-2015, 20:28
I always use it as a reference book and it suited that requirement quite well. I assume others use it for the same purpose. On that basis I would say improve on the original as there must be a lot to add or change. It would also be a good time to add more photos as there must be a hundreds that AiX members would be willing to donate. This could help with the many variations on a theme by showing different examples of the same building type.

From a purely selfish point of view: 1) More camera Obscuras and 2) any example of an airfield quadrant shelter, although not the ones based in the Watch Office :)

Richard Flagg
09-02-2015, 00:02
I am thinking about publishing the book again, two options either to reproduce the original with updates and corrections or to go with something new. Thoughts please.

Update the original. A definite yes from me.

09-02-2015, 01:02
Original update definitely, but it also depends on what you mean by something new. Is that a complete re-write or something more focused. Personally I would love to see an early days of flight up to the end of WWI focused book.

How about both.....?