Review

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Bill Boddy

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Another very enjoyable flying book has reached us, namely “Flying for Fun”, a 96 page soft-cover one by the late Major Jack Parham, originally intended for family consumption, about his experiences as the owner pre-war of a used £95 Aeronca, G-ABHE, bought at Heston. In this light aeroplane Parham flew for 113 hours before its flat-twin engine disintegrated in the air, after which he converted it into a successful glider. It cost a mere £28 15/- to fly for the first 100 hours, or £33 10/- with third party insurance!

The book exactly captures the spirit of pre-war private flying, as the abilities and idiosyncrasies of the Aeronca are described, a hangar is made for it, and landings in impossibly small fields accomplished. Parham had his first flight, in a DH9, in 1919, as part of an Army assignment in Astrakan, and he learned to fly at Hanworth in 1933, for £35, on Cierva Autogiros, claiming to be the sixth pilot in the World to get his A-licence without previous fixed-wing experience. When he bought the 24 hp Aeronca C2 he had a total of 17 hours on Autogiros and 3 hr 5 min, at High Post, on DH Moths. Apart from the flying, the author’s vintage Austin 12 / 4 tourer is illustrated and he used a motorcycle that was obviously a two-stroke Francis-Barnett. This book, about low-power aviation over Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorset, is the greatest fun. It costs £2.50, or £2.90 post free frorn J. G. Parham, Batta Farm, Bruton, also Page Somerset BAI0 0QN. — W.B. ( also page 933)

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