From Biplanes To Fast Jets

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From Biplanes To Fast Jets

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Author: Ken Aedy

Type: Hardback

ISBN: 9781916797093

Date: 13th June, 2024


  1. Categories

  2. Biography: General
  3. Memoirs


A fascinating and richly full-colour illustrated memoir, from a Royal Air Force pilot detailing his personal experiences during a golden age of British military aviation from the Second World War to the 1970s. Ken Aedy joined the Royal Air Force in 1942, aged eighteen, having had his medical in the Long Room at Lord's Cricket Ground. He was taught to fly in Oklahoma in 1942 and 1943, returning to the UK on the converted Queen Mary troop ship. He first went solo on a Tiger Moth, a biplane, and subsequently transferred to heavy bombers, learning on Wellingtons before becoming operational in Lancasters during the Second World War. He also dropped food supplies to the Dutch in Operation Manna and flew returning former PoWs back home to the UK. He was only twenty years old when the war ended in May 1945.  Ken elected to remain in the Royal Air Force after the war. He was posted to Egypt at the time of Israel's independence in 1948 and subsequently to Singapore in 1950. He also participated in the Berlin airlift and in the first ever Battle of Britain fly-past over Buckingham Palace. In the 1950s, he transitioned onto jets including the Meteor, the Hunter and his favourite, the Javelin. He served in Germany and several stations in the UK, prior to being posted to Cyprus in the mid- to late 1960s, during the emerging Middle East crisis.  Ken had a career that traversed a huge transformation in technology from biplanes to fast jets, but his family knew little about it. In the late 1990s, Ken's daughter-in-law encouraged him to jot down some notes on his life for his three grandchildren. When he died three years later, they discovered more than seventy closely typed pages of notes and details of his experiences. From Biplanes to Fast Jets: A pilot's life in the Royal Air Force 1942-1973 is not the story of a hero, but rather the story of an ordinary man's experiences throughout an extraordinary century of geo-political turmoil and rapid technological advances. A heartwarming, amusing and at times harrowing tale, the book is faithful to Ken's experiences, featuring stunning photographs, paintings, diagrams and drawings of the planes he flew and key events he witnessed. The publication is a mark of respect for Ken, on what would have been his 100th birthday, but also for a whole generation to whom we owe so much.

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