By Squadron Leader Neville Duke DSO DFC**


  • Price: Serious offers invited until 31st March 2019


There are some aviation books that are so rare and highly sought after by collectors
from all over the world that it would be unfair to sell such a book on a ‘first come’ basis.

Therefore, each calendar month, Spitfire Books is offering a rare book for sale
and invites collectors to submit a ‘best offer’ during the month by email or telephone

Signed on the half title page by Hawker Test Pilots, all mentioned in the book

 Neville Duke
Frank Murphy
Bill Bedford
Frank Bullen
Donald Lucey
Hugh Mereweather

Published by Allan Wingate. First edition, first impression 1953.  215 pages and well illustrated with photographs.

Near Fine condition hardback book and dustjacket. Clean, bright and tight. Neat PO name and date (1953) to front end paper. 

NB. The signed photograph of the Hawker Test pilot team shown above is for illustration/reference only, though a copy of this photo is included with the book.

From ace Spitfire pilot with 92 Squadron to world famous record breaking test pilot, this is the classic autobiography of Neville Duke.  He was one of the top scoring RAF fighter pilots of WWII, decorated six times for gallantry; post-war he became a household name as Chief Test Pilot for Hawker and a permanent figure in the gallery of great flyers.

An excellent multi-signed first edition copy of this great book which deserves a place in every aviation library

Neville Duke DSO OBE DFC ** AFC FRAeS (1922-2007)
Duke was a high scoring World War II fighter pilot, flying Spitfires over France and later, North Africa and Italy. He became a test pilot for the Hawker Aircraft Corporation in 1948. He held the world air speed record in 1953 flying a Hunter but had to retire as a test pilot in 1956 following a serious accident. Nevertheless he continued flying to the day he died, aged 85 – and not as a result of an air accident.

Bill Bedford OBE AFC FRAeS (1920-1996)
Bedford was a World War II pilot, flying Hurricanes and Mustangs. He succeeded Duke as Hawker Chief Test Pilot and then became CTP for Hawker Siddeley Aviation at Dunsfold from 1963 to 1967. He worked on the development of the Sea Hawk, the Hunter and the P.1127, Kestrel and the Harrier aircraft, making the first flights of all of the last three aircraft.

Hugh Merewether FRAeS   (1924-2006)
Merewether was appointed Deputy Chief Test Pilot at Dunsfold in 1956. He was the second pilot to fly the P.1127. In 1963, he was awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air for crash landing the P.1127 rather than ejecting and thereby saving the machine to be examined to locate the fault. He became Chief Test Pilot in 1967.

Frank Bullen, WWII Spitfires & Mustangs.  Hawker Production TP 1949 – 1960

Frank Murphy OBE, WWII Hurricanes, Typhoons, Tempests with 486 (NZ) Sqn. Hawker Production TP  1944 – 1955

Donald Lucey,  ex Fleet Air Arm. Hawker Production TP