THE SUNDAY TIMES NON FICTION BESTSELLER WHSmith NON-FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR 2018 'The best book you will ever read about Britain's greatest warplane.' Patrick Bishop, bestselling author of Fighter Boys. ‘A rich and heartfelt tribute to this most iconic British machine. By focusing on the men (and women) who flew the Spitfire, John Nichol has brought a fresh and powerful perspective to the story.’ Rowland White, bestselling author of Vulcan 606 'A thrilling and often moving tribute to some of its greatest heroes.' Jon Dennis, Mail on Sunday magazine. 'A stirring portrait of a piece of aviation art in motion flown by the bravest of the brave. Nichol's Spitfire is still a sky-borne prima ballerina that kicks like Bruce Lee.' The Royal Air Force Times. 'A superb and compelling book. Brilliantly written with some incredible and astonishing stories; it is gripping, moving, emotional and sometimes humorous – just perfect' Squadron Leader (Ret) Clive Rowley, former Officer Commanding RAF Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight 'A superb journey through the remarkable tale of that British icon, the Spitfire ... Truly stunning.' Andy Saunders, Editor, Britain at War Magazine. Achtung, Spitfire! The iconic Spitfire found fame during the darkest early days of World War II. But what happened to the redoubtable fighter and its crews beyond the Battle of Britain, and why is it still so loved today? In late spring 1940, Nazi Germany’s domination of Europe had looked unstoppable. With the British Isles in easy reach since the fall of France, Adolf Hitler was convinced that Great Britain would be defeated in the skies over her southern coast, confident his Messerschmitts and Heinkels would outclass anything the Royal Air Force threw at them. What Hitler hadn’t planned for was the agility and resilience of a marvel of British engineering that would quickly pass into legend – the Spitfire. Bestselling author John Nichol’s passionate portrait of this magnificent fighter aircraft, its many innovations and updates, and the people who flew and loved them, carries the reader beyond the dogfights over Kent and Sussex. Spanning the full global reach of the Spitfire’s deployment during WWII, from Malta to North Africa and the Far East, then over the D-Day beaches, it is always accessible, effortlessly entertaining and full of extraordinary spirit. Here are edge-of-the-seat stories and heart-stopping first-hand accounts of battling pilots forced to bail out over occupied territory; of sacrifice and wartime love; of aristocratic female flyers, and of the mechanics who braved the Nazi onslaught to keep the aircraft in battle-ready condition. Nichol takes the reader on a hair-raising, nail-biting and moving wartime history of the iconic Spitfire populated by a cast of redoubtable, heroic characters that make you want to stand up and cheer.
Publisher: Penguin Random House New Zealand Limited
Category: Biography & Autobiography
The gripping biography of one of New Zealand's most distinguished farmers, entreprenuers and aviation heroes. When Sir Tim Wallis's Spitfire crashed at Wanaka airfield in 1996, his accident was reported around the world. This lion-hearted Central Otago man, a legendary figure in the aviation, deer farming and business worlds, was suddenly fighting for his life. Sir Tim Wallis is known as the helicopter pilot and entrepreneur who pioneered New Zealand's deer industry. A multi-millionaire, he is also the man behind the successful Warbirds Over Wanaka air pageant. For decades he's had a passion for collecting, restoring and flying vintage fighter planes. Tim's adventurous life story is told here by writer Neville Peat, who shares his great love of the South: Fiordland, South Westland, Central Otago and the Southern Alps. Hurricane Tim is an absorbing account of the adventures of Tim Wallis that equally extends to faraway places where he applied his business instincts - southern Siberia, tropical Vanuatu and Canada. After Sir Tim's 1996 crash, he was given just a slim chance of survival. But survive he did. With astounding determination he has learned to speak and walk again, albeit slowly. Undoubtedly Tim inspires all who meet him; his story is equally inspiring. What drove this extraordinary character to live at the edge throughout his life? Author Neville Peat draws us into the hurricane that is Sir Tim Wallis.
In 1918, the Royal Air Force became the first major independent air force in the world. Formed to serve a strategic need in the most intensive war that Britain had then fought, the RAF continued in the inter-war era to play a key role in the political and diplomatic world, and in defending the Empire. During the Second World War, the RAF was pivotal in defending Britain from invasion in the Battle of Britain, and then in leading the assault on the Axis powers, most notably through the contentious bomber offensive against Germany. In the post-war world, the RAF adapted and developed into a force to meet the needs of the United Kingdom during the Cold War, the retreat from Empire, and most recently in the move to coalition warfare against low intensity threats, all against a backdrop of diminishing resources and shifting priorities. This is the story of the RAF over the first century of its existence: how it has confronted the many challenges and threats it has faced — from the Luftwaffe in 1940, through the spectre of nuclear holocaust in the Cold War, to the fight against terrorism in the 21st century — and how it has contributed to the defence of the United Kingdom throughout that period.
Mustang Designer tells the story of American wartime fighter development, including engines and armaments, as part of a nationwide program of aircraft builders and fliers, focusing on Edgar Schmued, the designer of the Mustang. The P-51 Mustang is widely regarded as the best propeller-driven fighter that ever flew. What many might not realize is that the plane's developer was a German migrant. This book tells of how Schmued created a weapon that would ultimately prove lethal to the aspirations of those who had seized control over his native land.
On Sunday, 18 August 1940, the Luftwaffe launched three major air assaults against targets in southern England. In the course of these and numerous smaller actions, 100 German and 136 British aircraft were destroyed or damaged in the air or on the ground. On no other day during the battle of Britain would either side suffer a greater number of aircraft put out of action. This book describes the events of that 24-hour period. - Introduction.
A Suburban Dad and an Ex Con Show What Discipleship Looks Like Ted is an educated thirty-something father of two who's been going to church his whole life. Dallas is a twenty-one-year-old former cocaine addict with a prison record who has recently become a Christian. When they agree to meet regularly for "discipleship," they know that chatting once a week in a coffee shop just won't cut it. Instead, they decide to get to know each other while restoring an old Triumph Spitfire. Filled with surprises and humor, Dallas and the Spitfire tells a gripping story of two lives changed, and along the way gives readers a new model for men's ministry.
E-Book Edition of SPITFIRE WINGMAN FROM TENNESSEE, which is the autobiography of a self-taught aviator who flew virtually every military aircraft (except jets) during the years 1939 to 1960. Col. Jim Haun, 1911-2001, with unusual honesty and wit, allows a "back door glimpse" into the USAF at the highest levels of command, including the Presidential Air Fleet in Washington, D.C. He flew fighters in WWII, transports in India, the Berlin Airlift, Japan and the Far East - eventually becoming Chief Pilot of the Military Air Transport Service. After retirement he built a stunt biplance in his garage and wowed audiences with "death-defying" performances. Col. Haun concurrently taught hundreds to fly, many later becoming airline captains and one, even became an instructor in the supersonic Blackbird.
This is the story of the pursuit of a dream. Spitfire PK350 is the only late-mark Spitfire, an F Mk 22, to have ever been restored to full flying status. She had no restrictions on her airframe and with four fully serviceable 20mm cannons, she was as good as the day she came off the production line in July 1945 near Birmingham, England. She first flew as a restored aircraft on 29 March 1980 at the hands of one John McVicar “Jack” Malloch. By then a legend in his adopted country, Rhodesia, Malloch had in 1977 been entrusted by the hierarchy of the Rhodesian Air Force to restore SR64, as she was then known. In two and half years, Jack Malloch and his trusted engineers, with critical help from the Rhodesian and South African air forces, completely restored SR64 to flying condition. The fact that she was fitted with a propeller made by a German company added a sweet irony to a project that had to contend with sanctions imposed by Britain, the original country of manufacture, and highlighted the enterprising spirit of the team. This was possible because Malloch, with the backing of the Rhodesian government, had built up a successful charter airfreight company that assumed different guises, depending on where it was operating, to bypass sanctions. Malloch's network thus facilitated his quest to restore and once again fly a Spitfire such as he had flown in the RAF during the Second World War. Some fascinating insights are revealed in this account. From the test pilot who first flew her as PK350 on 25 July 1945, the reader is taken on a journey through the aircraft's complete life, with the project's lead engineer and most of the surviving pilots who flew her gracing the story with their memories. For two years PK350 delighted those fortunate enough to see her fly, mostly around Salisbury (Harare) airport. Then, on what was planned to be its last flight, Malloch's Spitfire never returned to base.