Wings of the Weird and Wonderful  [9781902109169]

Wings of the Weird and Wonderful
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Date Added: Thursday 20. January, 2011
Eric Brown is famous for having flown 487 different types of aircraft, a greater number than any other pilot, and Crecy has recently published two of his finest works in print - Wings of the Luftwaffe (see page 78) and this, the latest from his prolific pen. In fact, like the former, Wings of the Weird & Wonderful is an amalgamation of two separate volumes published in 1983 and 1985, the combined content of which has been expanded to cover 53 different types. The book is a superb compilation of Eric Brown's experiences encapsulated through a narrative style that reminds one of the jottings made by test pilots in adjuncts to their logbook entries. Which all makes for compulsive reading.

'Winkle' (a nickname applied by the Navy) became the first naval officer to serve as chief test pilot of the elite Aerodynamics Flight at RAE, Farnborough, where he assessed aircraft from the USA, Germany and several other countries in addition to those produced in Britain. The immediate aftermath of the Second World War brought a profusion of types to test that is unlikely ever to be repeated and Eric Brown has done well to devote so much time to recording this activity and to making public his thoughts on the handling qualities of so many different types.

When it comes to preferences, Eric is more than circumspect, but one cannot help feeling that his choice of 'the best' is split between two very different types: the Avro Lancaster and the Winter Zaunkonig, that just happen to alphabetically flank the rest. For the reasons why, read the book.

Aviation News February 2011
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
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