Maggs Bros Ltd

Air Power. Naval, Military, Commercial.

GRAHAME-WHITE Claude.; HARPER Harry (1917.)

£650.00  [First Edition]

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Portrait frontispiece, with tissue guard, illustrations. First edition. 8vo., cloth. London, Chapman and Hall Ltd.

A fine association copy, inscribed on the front free endpaper 'To. Major General Sir David Henderson. With the Author's compliments. Claude Grahame-White. April 1917.'.

Henderson can truly be called the father of the Royal Air Force. A career soldier, wounded at the Siege of Ladysmith, he learned to fly in 1911, and was quick to realise the potential of the aeroplane for military purposes. In 1914 he was already Director of Military Aeronautics when he took command of the Royal Flying Corps in France, a post he held until 1917, the RAF being formed a year later.  From the RAF Museum website on Sir David Henderson: "the fact is that it was he who among General Officers realised the vital importance of Military Aviation, and took steps to set up a separate corps to develop the new arm.  Whether as a third service or as branches of the senior service, British air power will always owe its first debt of gratitude to him. As an adversary he was to be respected and feared, as a man he was to be respected and admired". 

Grahame-White was a record breaking pioneer of British Aviation, the first Briton to hold a certificate of proficiency as an aviator (albeit a French one), set up the first British Flying School, toured America, gave H.G.Wells his first experience of flight, and won the Gordon Bennett trophy, all before 1914. He also did the first night flight, established Hendon Aerodrome, where he set up his own design and manufacturing company, and made the first mail delivery by air. He quickly foresaw the possibilities of aeroplanes for warfare, and did his best to alert the Government of the potential dangers. He spent most of the Great War superintending the carrying out of Government contracts for building aeroplanes. After the war he had protracted legal battles with the Government over money owing to him, and lost interest in aviation, becoming a successful property developer.

Head of the spine nicked twice, otherwise a fine copy.

Stock Code: 222309