by John Isaacs. 240pp. 10″ x 7″ (Air Research Publications Ltd, 34 Elm Road, New Malden, Surrey K73 3HD. £16.50).
Small-aeroplane enthusiasts have been able to enjoy a number of books written by owners. The latest example is a new autobiography by John Isaacs, C eng, MRAeS. His schoolboy love of aeroplane magazines and models, and his first flight in a Simmonds three-seater in 1931, led to employment at Supermarine (Spitfire construction is described step-by-step) and membership of the Hampshire Aero Club. The building of the first two post-war Currie-Wot biplanes followed.
Space prevents me from naming all the aeroplanes referred to, but most of the small aeroplanes and well-known personalities of the period feature somewhere in this splendid book. It is fascinating stuff, every page enjoyable for the enthusiast.
Cars and motorcycles are not overlooked: the CSI Norton once ridden by the author and the £2 Buick used for sailplane-launching at Winchester are illustrated, as is Lieutenant Bellamy’s T57 (or T101?) Bugatti. The photographs, all 160 of them, are little more than “snaps” but they are entirely in keeping with the spirit of the book. There are also 18 line-drawings and the author’s own sketches form the chapter-headings. The index alone can be criticised. A great book! WB