Published as part of the 2018 centenary collection to commemorate 100 years of the raf. Revell 2 spitfire mk i first light large scale planes. Penguin picked it up, and since its appearance such luminaries as max hastings have been full of praise. Book a spitfire flight experience biggin hill fly a spitfire. See more ideas about supermarine spitfire, aircraft and the spitfires.
Penguin presents the audiobook edition of first light by geoffrey wellum, read by andrew brooke. It served as first line fighter throughout wwii in increasingly fast and powerful versions, first with the merlin, later with the griffon engine. July, he was detailed to command a flight of eight spitfires from the aircraft. Squadron leader geoffrey harris augustus wellum dfc 4 august 1921 18 july 2018 was a. The first flight of the spitfire k5054 pprune forums. This board looks at the history of such a great aircraft. A book for all ages and generations, a treasure daily express. First light based on the best selling book by geoffrey wellum as seen on. Book a spitfire flight experience from the iconic biggin hill airport. The supermarine spitfire is a british singleseat fighter aircraft that was used by the royal air force and many other alliedcountries during and after the second world war. Squadron leader geoffrey harris augustus wellum dfc 4 august 1921 18 july 2018 was a british fighter pilot and author, best known for his participation in the battle of britain. Mar 14, 2003 first light was published, not so long ago. Born an only child in walthamstow, essex, wellum was educated at forest school, snaresbrook before serving in the raf. Mar 24, 2003 in first light, geoffrey wellum tells the inspiring, often terrifying true story of his coming of age amid the roaring, tumbling dogfights of the fiercest air war the world had ever seen.
Produced specifically for the 70th anniversary of the battle, first light is the adaptation of wellums acclaimed book under the same title, which first appeared in 2002. Spitfire pilot was written in 1940 in the heat of battle, when the raf stood alone against the might of hitlers third reich. It was written by geoffrey welland who served, as a young man, as an raf fighter pilot in the battle fo britain and in combat through to 1943. We had access to a real spitfire and the budget for maybe 45 minutes flying.
The story of the boy who became a man in the wartorn skies above britain is a. This tells the stories of the folk who were behind the iconic spitfire from its first flight to its last operational days. First light by geoffrey wellum, 9780141042756, available at book. First light bbc drama documentary supermarine spitfire. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. This is a great book about the authors experience as a spitfire pilot during wwii, from fresh faced 19 year old to seasoned pilot, flight commander, fighting in the battle of britain, and in lifting the siege of malta.
Flights include a limited edition print produced by aces high and inflight footage recorded on our state of the art camera system. First light 2002, which was made into a bbc drama in 2010, was. This aircraft shot down a fockewulf fw 190 in 1943 while serving with no. While he was semiretired, of course, he did parttime work as a substitute priest in the episcopal diocese in. The luftwaffe was within about two to three weeks of destroying the raf when hitler decided to start bombing london instead of concentrating on the raf bases. Did the spitfire or the messerschmitt 109 do better in the. Wellums first commanding officer was roger bushell, later immortalised in the great escape. The spitfire was built in many variants, using several wing configurations, and was produced in greater numbers than any other british aircraft. First light is a fabulous account of the day to day life of a spitfire pilot during the battle of britain.
Ex spitfire pilot geoffrey wellum wrote the book with no intention of ever seeing it published. It was at 92 squadron that he first encountered a spitfire, and flew the aircraft for the first time. The first print run of this book was very small but the book quickly became a bestseller and there were at least 14 later impressions of the hardback before it went into paperback. The constant strain of fighting through the summer of 1940 smoking aircraft, the constant ring of the scramble bell, overturned chairs and chess pieces, his roommate slowly cracking under. Spitfire spitfire lf mk ix, mh434 being flown by ray hanna in 2005. From june 1940, thirty of the aircraft were equipped with twin 20mm cannons. During wwii did the british spitfire ever dogfight the.
Mar 8, 2016 it has been 80 years since the famous spitfire took to the british skies. A brilliant firsthand account of the life of a fighter pilot in world war ii the spectator. First light by geoffrey wellum meet your next favorite book. Desperate to get in the air, he makes it through basic training to become the youngest spitfire pilot in the prestigious 92.
Original edition penguin world war ii collection reprint by wellum, geoffrey isbn. Two months before the outbreak of the second world war, 18yearold geoffrey wellum becomes a fighter pilot with the raf. It is a tremendous personal account of one of the fiercest and most idealized air conflictsthe battle of britain. Jan 01, 2002 first light is a fabulous account of the day to day life of a spitfire pilot during the battle of britain. Leading the season is first light, an 80minute dramadocumentary that tells the extraordinary story of geoffrey wellum, one of the battles youngest spitfire pilots. Geoffrey wellums book is a wonderfully evocative find. For his pioneering effort, singh was made an mbe member of the order of the british empire. Popular folklore has it that the first flight of the spitfire was 5 march 1936 but i flew mutt to eastleigh for the particular purpose of making that first flight on 6 march. The spitfire was continously changed to meet all kinds of treats and demands, as low and high altitude fighter, tropicalized, navalized, or equipped as unarmed photoreconaissance aircraft. Geoffrey wellum, dfc, was a very talented pilot with amazing eyesight and reflexes.
First light penguin world war ii collection wellum, geoffrey on. I experienced an exhilaration that i cannot recall ever having felt before. This detailed reproduction is constructed from highquality aluminium and wooden parts. First light tells the story of wellums time as a pilot during the war.
The final cost of the first 310 aircraft, after delays and increased programme costs, came to. The book details his life from his final days at school up to 1943. A flight in a spitfire is the ultimate bucket list experience, so why compromise. He tells of several of his actions against the luftwaffe fighters and bombers. May 27, 2016 ageoffrey wellum was the youngest raf pilot during the battle of britain. Watch as your spitfire mk ia model comes to life, simulating takeoff, flight, night battle, landing and much more.
Told with interest and a passion for people and the planes. In first light, geoffrey wellum tells the inspiring, often terrifying true story of his coming of age amid the roaring, tumbling dogfights of the fiercest air war the world had ever seen. While awful for the civilian population in london and other cities, this gave the raf a. Revell 2 spitfire mk i first light by darren mcguinness first light flying officer geoffrey wellum dfc supermarine spitfire mk ia, 92 squadron, royal air force summer 1940. Nov 30, 2011 spitfire test flight first light maverick67720. He survives and prospers through many sorties and dogfights with me 109s. Spitfire, the most widely produced and strategically important british singleseat fighter of world war ii. See more ideas about aircraft, supermarine spitfire and ww2 aircraft. Reading it, you feel you are in the spitfire with him, at 20,000ft, chased by a german heinkel, with your ammunition gone independent a brilliantly fresh, achingly written memoir. The spitfire will delight every model aircraft enthusiast, from the beginner to the expert alike. It then shifts to his participation in the battle of britain and to his participation in operation pedestal, flying planes to malta off an aircraft carrier. His book, first light was his memoir of his experiences as a fighter pilot in 92 squadron during wwii and is now recognised as one of the most definitive first hand accounts of the battle of britain.
Although fullscale production was supposed to begin immediately, numerous problems could not be overcome for some time, and the first production spitfire, k9787, did not roll off the woolston, southampton assembly line until mid1938. To distinguish between the two variants, the spitfire mk is equipped with lethal. Build a fabulous model of the supermarine spitfire mk vb in 1. The spitfire, renowned for winning victory laurels in the battle of britain 194041 along with the hawker hurricane, served in every theatre of the war and was produced in more variants.
The first production spitfire came off the assembly line in mid1938 and was flown by jeffrey quill on 15 may 1938, almost 24 months after the initial order. This model is my tribute to geoffrey wellum and the few the kit is the revell 2 mk. Some years ago i had the privilege of meeting and talking at length with a former raf pilot of a spitfire who flew in the battle of britain. The british public first saw the spitfire at the raf hendon air display on saturday 27 june 1936. In first light, geoffrey wellum tells the inspiring, often terrifying. Of course, the main adversary would have been the japanese army nakajima ki 43 hayabusa oscar. Issue by issue, build the legendary spitfire mk ia in 1. Due to its large file size, this book may take longer to download. There is a limit to how many times you can be told what a wonderful plane the spitfire was.
I quote from jqs book, spitfire a test pilots story as follows. The beautiful spitfire in colour war history online. One plane was brown and green, the other brown and grey. The supermarine spitfire is a british singleseat fighter aircraft that was used by the royal air force and other allied countries before, during, and after world war ii. Jan 25, 2020 there is nothing unlikely about such a combat. Amazing detailed description of flying a spitfire during the first two years of the battle of britain, 1940 1942. Desperate to get in the air, he makes it through basic training to become the youngest spitfire pilot in the prestigious 92 squadron. Often credited with winning the battle of britain more of which is due the hawker hurricane, its clean lines and rounded wings. First light the centenary collection and over 8 million other books are. Returning to england, wellum became a test pilot on typhoons at gloster aircraft. First light tv movie 2010 first light tv movie 2010. Jul 05, 2011 memoirs of bill mcrae spitfire pilot in wwii.
Anyone wishing to know what it was like to fly a spitfire in the battle of britain will find. T he spitfire may be the most famous fighter, beautiful in appearance, graceful in handling, and deadly in combat. Excellent book about geoffrey wellum joining the royal air force, struggling to become a qualified pilot, and finally being successful by joining a spitfire squadron in time for the battle of britain. If playback doesnt begin shortly, try restarting your device. This gave the spitfire mk i a top speed of 362mph at 18,5000ft, making this model faster than existing british fighter planes such as the hurricane. Wellum puts you up there in the cockpit with his masterful command of. This is a great book about the authors experience as a spitfire pilot during wwii, from. It claimed the highest number of fighter aircraft victories of the war. Sep 14, 2010 the book is his memoir of what it was like to be an 18yearold spitfire pilot thrust into the gutwrenching, eardeafening, life and death struggle of the most violent aerial combat ever. By chance i happen to be reading geoffrey wellums book first light and found. On his first op wellum gets a german bomber but only just makes it home with the remains of his spitfire after getting jumped when fixating on his target. Many variants of the spitfire were built, using several wing configurations, and it was produced in greater numbers than any other british aircraft. It is the story of an idealistic schoolboy who couldnt believe his luck when the raf agreed to take him on as a pupil pilot at the minimum age of seventeen and a half in 1939.
Like most ww2 memoirs, the book is written for consumption by teenagers as well. A great shame that many of the spitfire pilots interviewed as part of this book are no longer with us, but this book certainly does its fair part in keeping a good balance of the historical and human story elements, so that you wont find yourself missing details of the planes many variants, nor frustrated by a dry recounting of. It is the story of an idealistic schoolboy who couldn t believe his luck when the raf agreed to take him on as a pupil pilot at the minimum age of seventeen. It was like one of those wonderful dreams, a peter pan sort of dream. Here is a great book about the supermarine spitfire spitfire. Wellum puts you up there in the cockpit with his masterful command of language and fantastic descriptive prowess. The legend lives on by john dibbs author, tony holmes author here is a great book about the p51 mustang p51 mustang. First light is a true modern classic, totally compelling reading and ranks alongside hillarys the last enemy as a testament to the few. In first light, geoffrey wellum tells the inspiring, often terrifying true story of his coming.
Five things to know about the spitfire, the legend of dunkirk. I must confess that i found the first half of the book repetative in recounting the individual stories each of those very brave people told. So, seven decades before india started talking about make in india, this first engineer officer of iaf converted a whole squadron of 12 lysander planes into bombers. Seventyfive years of americas most famous warbird hardcover october 19, 2015 by cory graff. After the war he remained in the raf until 1961, and later ran a haulage business.1529 1496 1078 1079 1151 1075 95 827 1401 1175 1344 496 1294 1517 1232 498 1360 1282 527 1570 534 964 868 240 475 727 527 517 666 342 439 797 670 44 1324 800 1306 340 1073 989 403 330 631 1150 962 79 394