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 become 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 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.
He is a living legend among aviation enthusiasts.
Eric Brown is in the GUINNESS BOOK OF RECORDS for having flown more aircraft types (487) than any other pilot in history. His record is unlikely ever to be broken. Captain Brown CBE, DSC, AFC, KCVSA, RN, became a test pilot during the Second World War and commanded the RAE Aerodynamics Flight at Farnborough. He played a key role in the design of an entire generation of aircraft. No other man could have claimed to have interrogated several senior Nazis, flown their jet aircraft or tested so many experimental machines. The Royal Navy's most decorated pilot, Captain Eric Brown died in 2016 at the age of 97.