Captain Sir Geoffrey de Havilland was one of the world s true pioneers of powered flight, a man as important to British aviation as the Wright brothers were to America. From humble beginnings, he went on to develop some of the finest aircraft to see action during the First World War, before going on to create the illustrious company that bore his name. All of this began in his youth when, without experience, plans or instructions, he embarked on the ambitious task of not only building his very first flying machine, but also constructing the engine to power it. This book explores the influences and milestones of his early years before going on to examine his company, De Havilland Enterprises, in detail. Amongst the momentous machines that he had a hand in creating were the Gipsy Moth and Tiger Moth – two iconic aircraft types destined to set a variety of aviation records whilst being piloted by de Havilland himself. Another highlight of the company’s history saw the esteemed aviatrix Amy Johnson fly solo from England to Australia in a Gipsy Moth in 1930\. The high-performance designs and monocoque wooden construction methods passed through the supremely elegant DH.9 1 Albatross into the Mosquito. The company then followed up these successes with the high-performing Hornet fighter, which pioneered the use of metal-wood and metal-metal bonding techniques, eventually resulting in the world s first jet airliner, the fabulous Comet. Every one of De Havilland s products are listed and recorded in detail here, as are all the designs that never left the drawing board and the products of De Havilland’s companies in Australia and Canada. Fully illustrated throughout, this volume is sure to be highly prized amongst serious collectors.
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