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The Pilot's Book on Advanced Flying (1942) | Norman Macmillan M.C.

The Pilot's Book on Advanced Flying (1942)

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Captain Norman Macmillan M.C., A.F.C.


‘In the mad moments of a fight, when the only thing that matters is to get the nose of one's aircraft pointing where deflection will send the bullets home into the twisting aeroplane in front, talk of values of rudder and elevator and aileron co-ordination no longer holds its worth. There is no critical instructor in the rear seat. You are alone, and what you can do with  the nose of your aircraft may spell the difference between disaster and success. What you do is more important than how you do it'.

A rare original WW2 advanced flying manual, published in 1942. Written by W1 RFC fighter ace Norman Macmillan, this is a guide to flying techniques and aerial combat flying for RAF and Allied air forces fighter pilots. With chapters on flying fighters, multi engined aeroplanes, flying on one engine, safety factors, forces in flight, effect of manoeuvres, taking off, the stall, landings and undercarriages. There are excellent photographs and illustrations of aircraft cockpits (Spitfire, Miles Master, Stirling, Hampden), instruments, gun sights, and Spitfire take off drills.


Norman Macmillan (1892-1976): was born in Glasgow and was educated at Allan Glen's School and the Royal Technical College. On the outbreak of WW1 Macmillan enlisted as a private in the 9th (Glasgow Highland) Battalion of the Highland Light Infantry and served in Belgium and France, spending 16½ months in the trenches. He then transferred to the Royal Flying Corps, being commissioned as a temporary second lieutenant on 26 September 1916, and was appointed a flying officer on 27 February 1917. Posted to No. 45 Squadron RFC flying the Sopwith 1½ Strutter and Sopwith Camel aircraft, he became an ace, being credited with nine aerial victories between 5 June and 20 October 1917. He was also appointed a flight commander with the temporary rank of Captain on 1 September 1917. Macmillan was removed from front line service after a flying accident on 6 January 1918, and returned to England, where he served as a flying instructor. He received the Military Cross "for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty" in February 1918, and also the Air Force Cross. Macmillan relinquished his RAF commission on 10 June 1919, though this was later cancelled. He was re-employed by the RAF and granted a temporary commission as a flight lieutenant on 15 April 1921. He served as a flying instructor to the Spanish Navy and Army Air Forces, seeing action in the Spanish front lines during the Rif War in Morocco. During the early 1920s, Macmillan worked as a free-lance test pilot, unattached to any particular company. Macmillan eventually joined Fairey full-time in early 1925 as chief test pilot and stayed with them until the end of 1930. He then became chief consultant test pilot to Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft. In 1925 he was the first to land (an emergency landing) at Heathrow, which then was a row of cottages in land used for market gardening. In addition to flying Macmillan wrote numerous magazine articles, as well as books on aviation, including a series detailing the history of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. He served in the Royal Air Force during WW2 as a war correspondent, rising to the rank of acting wing commander.


In very good condition. The card cover is in good condition, with minor signs of use. The original dust jacket is in very good condition, with some minor wear. The binding is good and secure. The text, plates, and illustrations are in very good condition.

Published: 1942
Illustrated dust jacket, blue card cover
Illustrated with diagrams and photographs
Dimensions: 155mm x 180mm
Pages: 72