Duncan Menzies flew with the RAF, the Aeroplane and Armament Evaluation Establishment, and Fairey Aviation in a twenty-five-year flying career, seeing the world of flying change from open cockpits and few rules to the jet age, with its complexities and crowded skies. A modest, family man, Menzies set a speed record in Africa in the 1930s, survived an engine failure in a snowstorm and the terrifying breakup of a Fairey Fulmar in a terminal velocity dive.
This biography charts Menzies' career from Scottish sheep farm through flying the frontier in Egypt and Sudan, encounters with adventurers Tom Campbell Black and Denys Finch Hatton, and the future King Edward VIII, to his crucial role as a test pilot, developing the aircraft that would help win the Second World War.
Matthew Willis is a writer and historian of aviation and naval matters. He grew up near the Orwell estuary where the former presence of the naval base at Harwich and the Marine Aircraft Evaluation Establishment at Felixstowe sparked an lifelong interest in naval aviation. His first book on the Blackburn Skua and Roc WW2 naval dive bomber/fighter came out in 2007, a co-written book on the Junkers Ju87 'Stuka' the following year, and a book on the Sopwith Pup in 2015. A book on the Fairey Flycatcher, and one on the Fairey Barracuda are due to be published in 2016. He has written numerous feature and news articles for aviation publications including Aeroplane, Flypast and The Aviation Historian, and on naval history for the Naval Records Society and Quarterdeck.