This is the gripping story of what was at the time the longest bombing run undertaken: a thirty year old aircraft, months away from retirement, and a target halfway round the world. What makes it all the more impressive is that this is non-fiction.
During the Falklands War, Argentina invaded and occupied the Falklands Islands, including taking control of the airport. For any land attack to be successful, the airstrip had to be taken out. The RAF designed Operation Black Buck, a mission to fly an Avro Vulcan heavy bomber from Ascension Island all the way to the Falklands, bomb the runway, then return. No aircraft of the time could carry enough fuel so waves of Victor tankers would be launched to form an air to air refuelling chain - refuelling each other and the Vulcan.
Rowland White has researched this carefully, detailing the work and planning that went into the creation and performance of the first Black Buck mission, including talking to people who were there. It doesn't just cover the aircraft, and has point of view from people on the island during the occupation, the politics that went on behind the scenes and more, giving a good overview of the wider context the mission was taking place in. Despite the detail the book never flags, and despite knowing the ending you still want to read on.
The book only covers the first Black Buck mission, not the follow-ups, but there is enough here to keep the most avid reader occupied for hours. A fascinating read and not to be missed by lovers of aircraft, adventure, or thrillers.