Wings on My Sleeve: The World's Greatest Test Pilot tells his story

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Orion, Sep 18, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 304 pages
27 Reviews

The autobiography of one of the greatest pilots in history.

Eric Brown was on a University of Edinburgh exchange course in Germany in 1939, and the first he knew of the war was when the Gestapo came to arrest him. They released him, not realising he was a pilot in the RAF volunteer reserve: and the rest is history. Eric Brown joined the Fleet Air Arm and went on to be the greatest test pilot in history, flying more different aircraft types than anyone else. He is the only man alive who has flown every major (and most minor) combat aircraft of the Second World War as well as all the early jets. Speaking perfect German, he went to Germany in 1945 to test the Nazi jets, interviewing (among others) Hermann Goering and Hanna Reitsch.

He flew the suicidally dangerous Me 163 rocket plane, and tested the first British jets. He would have been the first man to break the sound barrier, except that the British government cancelled the programme and gave the technology to America. His naval career continues to this day, as he advises on the new aircraft carrier design for the Royal Navy. A living legend among aviation enthusiasts, his amazing life story deserves to be told in full - from crashing in front of Winston Churchill to unmasking a Neo-Nazi ring in the 1950s to his terrifying flights in primitive jets and rockets.

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Review: Wings on My Sleeve

User Review  - Andrew McClarnon - Goodreads

What an amazing career, too much for one book really. The inclusion of lots of photographs helped bring it all to life, but there was a bit too much repetition of some statements that could have been ... Read full review

Review: Wings on My Sleeve

User Review  - Goodreads

What strikes me is Eric Brown's modesty, he's done it all and remains unpretentious and understating of his many often astounding achievements. Would you fly an ME 163 just for the hell of it? Well would you punk? Read full review

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About the author (2008)

Eric Brown lives in Haworth. He lived in Australia until he was fourteen and has travelled extensively in the Far East. He writes full time and is a regular contributor to Interzone.
Eric Brown is in the Guiness Book of Records for having flown more different aircraft than any other man. His record is unlikely to be broken, ever. Now 88, Captain Brown MBE, OBE, CBE, DSC, AFC, KCVSA became a test pilot during the Second World War and played a key role in the design of an entire generation of aircraft. No other man alive today can claim to have interviewed the top Nazis, flown their jet aircraft or tested so many experimental machines. Today he remains a consultant for the Royal Navy's latest aircraft carrier design.

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