Airborne  [9781906559212]

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Date Added: Friday 04. May, 2012
To quote from the info sheet, "Flying stories have held a fascination from time immemorial..." I very much have to agree with that. I love to read stories of flying, especially when that flying is interesting. Some authors have the ability to share the joy, excitement, and sometimes danger of flying aircraft. Neil Williams is one of those.

Here is some background on the author courtesy of Wikipedia: "Williams was born in Canada and educated in Wales, where he first learned to fly in 1951. After completing an engineering apprenticeship he joined the RAF, and was trained as a pilot in Canada, winning the course trophy and gaining his wings. He served in Cyprus as a Canberra photo-reconnaissance pilot, and returned to the United Kingdom in 1961, where he joined an experimental squadron. In 1962 he graduated from the Empire Test Pilots' School, and also started competitive aerobatic flying. He won all the U.K. domestic competitions in 1965 and went on to compete in the World Aerobatic Championships (FAI WAC)."

Neil Williams went on to be arguably one of the best aerobatic pilots that we have ever seen. He flew a wide variety of aircraft, both in service and while doing competition. Sadly, shortly after finishing this book, he died ferrying a CASA 212 in December of 1977.

What he left behind are a series of stories of the magic he felt every time he got into the cockpit of an aircraft. The book starts with his first experience flying a Spitfire. Too young to have flown in WWII, getting to fly a Spitfire in the mid 1950s was not exactly an easy accomplishment as they had been retired from service and few were still flying. Yet he had the chance to ferry one in the UK and shares his excitement over getting the chance to fly this iconic British fighter.

Throughout the book we ride along as he flies aircraft such as the Hunter, Tiger Moth, Zlin, Pitts, Sea Fury, Lancaster and a bevy of other aircraft, including some from before WWI. It makes for a superb read that any aviation enthusiast will enjoy reading and is a book that I can easily recommend for you.

Scott Van Aken – Modelling
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
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