Heroes and Landmarks of British Aviation tells the dramatic story from the sweat and grease of the workshop, to the boardrooms and nationalisations that ultimately fashioned its destiny.
The heroes are Britain’s most innovative aviation pioneers and their aircraft, the men and women who wanted to be the first into the air, and to fly the fastest, the highest and the furthest. This broad and highly accessible book ranges from the first man to fly from England to France to the development of the Spitfire; and from the disastrous R101 airship to the development of the jet engine and ultimately the world’s first supersonic airliner.
Each chapter looks at a different aviation pioneer and the flying machines that they designed, their engineering landmarks, their triumphs and their disasters too. The book explores the great air races, the political short-sightedness that cut short the development of leading aircraft designs and many of the dramatic air raids and sea battles from the First World War to the Falklands and the Middle East.
Many prominent names are profiled, including Ernest Willows, the Short brothers, Geoffrey de Havilland, Vincent Richmond, George White, Tommy Sopwith, Harry Hawker, RJ Mitchell, Herbert Smith, Charles Rolls, Henry Royce, Reginald Pierson, Alliott Verdon-Roe, Frederick Handley Page, Robert Watson-Watt, Robert Blackburn and Frank Whittle.
Behind the personal stories are the histories of the aircraft companies that these pioneers created, from those that went bankrupt to those that stood the test of time and passed into British aviation legend. The book covers the mergers and acquisitions that led to the creation of two major aircraft manufacturers, Hawker Siddeley Group and the British Aircraft Corporation, and how barely two decades later, they were nationalised to form British Aerospace.
HEROES AND LANDMARKS OF BRITISH AVIATION From Airship to the Jet Age
The complete and heroic story of British aviation from its pioneering days to the 21st century. Profiles the famous individuals and the companies they created that made the story of British flight one of the world’s proudest.