by W/Cdr “Sandy” Powell. 212 pp, 81/2 in by 51/2 in. (Allan Wingate, Ltd, 12 Beauchamp Place, London, SW3. 15s)
This is a book on the popular subject of the test pilot, written to entertain and instruct a wide range of readers from schoolboys to fellow test pilots. It is not pure autobiography, yet it contains many fascinating reminiscences of experiences shared by the author, who is Sales Manager of the Aircraft Division of Lockheed in this country, and other pilots.
“Test Flight” explains the exacting task of modern test-flying and compares it with such flying in the past. The test-pilot’s equipment, plan of flight, rates of remuneration and so on are covered and there are many good pictures of aeroplanes old and new, and a graph showing the rise in the absolute air-speed record from 1910 to the present day.
Brief histories of prominent aircraft manufacturers are included and this comprehensive book seems excellent value at 15s, although in a few places proof-reading could have been done a trifle more thoroughly. Incidentally, “Sandy” Powell is a keen motoring enthusiast, as the picture of him with a very fine vintage 41/2-litre Bentley which features on the back of the dust jacket confirms. WB.