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SPREADING MY WINGS: One of Britain's Top Women Pilots Tells Her Remarkable Story from Pre-war Flying to Breaking the Sound Barrier [Paperback]

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Item description for SPREADING MY WINGS: One of Britain's Top Women Pilots Tells Her Remarkable Story from Pre-war Flying to Breaking the Sound Barrier by Diana Barnato Walker...

The daughter of millionaire racing driver, Woolf Barnato, and granddaughter of Barney Barnato who cofounded the De Beers mining company, by 1936 Diana had had enough of her affluent, chaperoned existence and sought excitement in flying, soloing at Brooklands after only six hours' training. She has followed her own instincts ever since.

Joining the Air Transport Auxiliary in 1941 to help ferry aircraft to squadrons and bases throughout the country, she flew scores of different aircraft - fighters, bombers, and trainers - in all kinds of conditions and without radio it has to be remembered.

She lost many friends, a fiance' and a husband before 1945 but continued to fly. In 1962 she was awarded the Jean Lennox Bird Trophy for notable achievement in aviation and then - her greatest moment - in 1963 flew a Lightning through the sound barrier becoming 'the fastest woman in the world'. She was awarded the MBE in 1965.

Her remarkable memoirs, lauded when first published in hardback, are now available in paperback. Brimming with adventure, anecdotes and famous names, the book makes compelling reading. It is the story of a very special woman who, now in her eighties, continues to live life to the full from her home in Surrey.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   224
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 6.25" Height: 9.5"
Weight:   0.8 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Publisher   Grub Street
ISBN  1904010318  
ISBN13  9781904010319  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
2Books > Subjects > History > Europe > England > General
3Books > Subjects > History > Military > Aviation
4Books > Subjects > History > Military > General
5Books > Subjects > History > Military > World War II > General
6Books > Subjects > History > Military > World War II > Personal Narratives

Reviews - What do customers think about SPREADING MY WINGS: One of Britain's Top Women Pilots Tells Her Remarkable Story from Pre-war Flying to Breaking the Sound Barrier?

You can now fly the skies!  May 13, 2008
Diana Barnato Walker MBE was one of the first female pioneers to break the sound barrier in airflight. Her autobiography reveals her Jewish ancestry including a trip to the Golders Green Jewish Cemetery where the Barnato family plot are interred. She just passed away and I learned about it. She was quite an amazing pioneer but she doesn't get the same press as Amelia Earhart. Regardless, she writes about her marriages, her son, and her life in England during World War II. She was married to a military man. She writes about Life before and after in London, England. She was awarded the military M.B.E. (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in 1965 for her services to flight. I think the book is a great reflection of her life.
Delightful book  Mar 14, 2008
My criterion for a good book is one that makes you wish it could never end. Without question, Spreading My Wings falls into that rare category. Diana Barnato-Walker wrote her memoir in a delightful style that keeps you turning pages far into the night. It focuses on her adventures as a young woman during the WWII years while in service as a an aircraft pilot in Britain's Air Transport Auxiliary. She flew every aircraft type imaginable, including 260 different Spitfire fighters. Twenty years later, she set the women's world speed record at nearly twice the speed of sound while at the controls of a British Lightning jet fighter. One account I especially enjoyed went like this. Recently married, Diana's fighter-pilot husband, Derek, obtained permission for them to fly side-by-side in Spitfires to Brussels, Belgium. The city had been captured only a few days before and their landing field was less than 15 miles from the fighting front. The story made the London newspapers, which described the flight as their 'honeymoon.' You just can't get more romantic than that! I'm confident you will enjoy this book as much as I did.
Really good once you get past the earlier years  Nov 19, 2004
I really enjoyed this book once I got past Diana's earlier years. Which unfortuately make her sound pompous and arrogant, snobby and pretentious and actually rather bratty and in places nasty.

This is unfortunate because if you can get past this bit and onto where she started flying. It is great. It is almost like it is written by a different person. And the accounts of her life learning to fly and in the ATA are fascinating. Real first hand experiences as an ATA pilot flying all the different aircraft. And what is was like for the women ferry pilots.

I recommend this book if you can get past the first part of it.

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