Spitfire People
Spitfire People
Spitfire People
Spitfire People
Spitfire People
Spitfire People
Spitfire People
Spitfire People
Spitfire People
Spitfire People

Spitfire People

The men and women who made the Spitfire the aviation icon

Regular price$33.00
Author Paul Beaver
Foreword by Captain Eric Brown CBE DSC AFC
ISBN: 9781910505052

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This book presents a fresh angle on the Spitfire by examining the contribution to its development and achievements by over 50 people, some famous, others not. Without the courage and tenacity of some leading political and military figures and the hard work of lesser-known mortals, there would have been no Spitfire, no Battle of Britain and no ultimate victory in 1945. Many people in positions of power played their part in the ultimate success of the Spitfire, and more than a few staked their reputations on a radical concept that brought together the best in British design, technology and ingenuity. The author identifies those people and tells many significant individual stories, exposing some myths and adding to knowledge of this iconic aeroplane through research from previously unpublished papers.

Key content

• Great minds include Sir Winston Churchill (voice in the wilderness and wartime leader), Reginald Mitchell (Supermarine chief designer, 1924–36), Joe Smith (Supermarine chief designer, 1936–47) and Alf Faddy (Supermarine design engineer, 1930–55).

• Politicians include Neville Chamberlain (Prime Minster, 1937–40), Sir Henry Tizard (government scientific advisor, 1934–40) and Sir Kingsley Wood (Secretary of State for Air, 1938–40).

• Pioneers include Joseph ‘Mutt’ Summers (first Spitfire pilot, 1936), Sir Stanley Hooker (Merlin engine developer, 1938–45) and Jeffrey Quill (Supermarine chief test pilot, 1938 onwards).

• Producers include Lord Beaverbrook (Minister for Aircraft Production, 1941–42) and Alex Henshaw (chief test pilot, Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory).

• Commanders include Air Marshal Sir Wilfrid Freeman (senior champion of the Spitfire in the Air Ministry), Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding (Fighter Command, 1936–40) and Air Vice-Marshal Sir Keith Park (Senior Air Staff Officer to Dowding, 1938–40).

• Pilots include Douglas Bader (Spitfire wing leader and inspirational disabled pilot), Eric Stanley Lock (highest-scoring Battle of Britain Spitfire ace), Bob Stanford Tuck (first Spitfire ace) and Tony Martindale (test pilot and speed record holder).

• Women include Pauline Gower (Air Transport Auxiliary head), Margaret Fairweather (first female Spitfire pilot) and Beatrice Shilling (aeronautical engineer).

Format: 233x169mm
Page extent: 256pp
Illustration: 120 black and white photographs

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Paul Beaver
Paul Beaver is an aviation historian, broadcaster and writer who specialises in the 1930s and 1940s. He is very much a hands-on historian with his own vintage aeroplane company, Monty’s Messenger Ltd, which owns and operates a Miles Messenger marked as Field Marshal Montgomery’s aeroplane at the time of D-Day. Other aeroplane types in his log book include the Spitfire and Mustang.

Paul’s original research into aircraft carriers and the development in their technological advances led to the publication of the book The British Aircraft Carrier. Research included interviews with over 100 Fleet Air Arm veterans and led to a subsequent book and this, in turn, brought an invitation to join Jane’s Information Group as Managing Editor of Yearbooks.

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