A Message to Readers From Henry Matthews
I started HPM (Henry Paul Matthews) Publications in late 1994 with the
objective of preserving in book form the detailed history of experimental
aircraft (or X-planes) and test pilots. So far I have published more than 25 books.
All but one are the FIRST and so far ONLY books about their respective
subjects. They fill a gap in the aviation history library and will remain
useful historical reference works for generations to come.
I print only small runs, sometimes as few as 150 copies. This makes for an above-average cost per copy and leaves no possibility of profit. Anyway profit is not my objective.
Most publishers and authors focus on titles that have big sales potential, ignoring the obscure one-of-a-kind X-planes with poor market potential and limited readership. Sadly, this leaves many fascinating projects and individuals in the dark, their history fading with time.
This is where I step in! Examples: The Northrop MX-324 (of 1944) is the first US rocket aircraft, and mine is the first and only monograph about it, with details of each flight and information about the pilots. Same for the DH.108 (1946), the first British supersonic aircraft; the Bell X-2 (1952), first Mach 3 aircraft, and the P.1127 (1960) which paved the way for the Harrier, but never got more than a chapter in all the many good books about the Harrier. With my books, the detailed history of the flight testing and development of these aircraft, along with flight log and pilot information, are preserved.
I have come a long way since publishing X-Planes Book-1: The Secret Story of the Soviet Space Shuttle. A lot remains to be done and I realize that I am too late to save many X-plane histories, but I do my best. It is a service to future generations, and I hope that you will be with me. To the many enlightened individuals who believe in me and who helped and still help with their time and archives, I say a very big thank you. And that includes my friend Dan Johnson who created and hosts this web site for me.
|Henry Matthews in the cockpit of the Harrier
demonstrator during a visit to Brooklands
Museum in England, September 1998.
Beirut-born Henry Matthews became keenly interested in space flight and experimental aviation in summer 1969, in the wake of Apollo-11. His 370-page Encyclopedia of Rocket Aircraft and Space Shuttles won the Kuwaiti Government's prize for best Arabic scientific book in 1993, and will be published in English in the foreseeable future.
Matthews is a fellow of the British Interplanetary Society, a member of Air Britain (Historians Ltd.) and the American Aviation Historical Association. His books have been reviewed in aviation and space magazines in the US and the Uk. He is a 1980 graduate of the Lebanese American University, with a BA in Fine Arts and Graphic Design