- Jarrod Cotter
There are a number of other chapters and appendices. One chapter covers the early flight testing of the prototype, another the author’s actual experience of flying in a dual control Spitfire. But the standout of these chapters covers John Gillespie Magee’s magnificent poem ‘High Flight’ about the joys of flying the Spitfire.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
The appendices cover some more Spitfire related documentation, a description of the planning and execution of a typical display fight and – a real bonus – one on the female ferry pilots who delivered Spitfires to the front-line units.
The book is readable enough – and definitely of interest of aviation aficionados – but I can’t help but think that the author and publisher have missed a trick. Move the appendix about female ferry pilots into the main chapters, add a chapter about the challenges of maintaining these now ageing aircraft in flying condition, add an example combat report into each chapter about a specific mark and I suspect it would have been more attractive to the general reader.