Flight Path:- The Autobiography of Sir Peter Masefield
|PUBLISHED (THIS EDITION):||April 2002|
|INSIDE:||124 photographs, 2 line drawings|
In a lifetime of fascination and involvement with aviation, the career of Sir Peter Masefield has included an amazing diversity of tasks. He has brought his practical skills and professional business acumen to aircraft manufacturing, aviation publishing, wartime goverment, and both airline and airport management.
His working life began at Fairey Aviation as a junior draughtsman. To supplement his meagre weekly income he also began writing articles for The Aeroplane magazine.Sir Peter's career next changed to that of a Wartime Correspondent. He flew operationally with the US 8th Bomber Command based in Britain and was soon invited to America for a comprehensive tour of their aircraft industry.
He sent his despatches to The Sunday Times and made many broadcasts to American audiences. His appointment as Personal Adviser on Civil Aviation to the Lord Privy Seal and Secretary of the War Cabinet Committee on Post-war Civil Air Transport meant he played a key part in the decision making that would affect British aircraft design and airline structure in the 1940s and 50s.In 1949 Peter became Deputy Chief Executive of British European Airways, then struggling with problems of uneconomical aircraft, overmanning and low passenger numbers. The years between 1955 and 1960 saw Sir Peter at the head of the Bristol Aeroplane Company which was then engaged upon the introduction of their famous Britannia airliner.With the absorption of Bristol into the British Aircraft Corporation Sir Peter's career moved into the field of light aircraft and the creation of Beagle-Auster Aircraft. The latter years of his diverse career occupied Sir Peter with the operation of Britain's principal airports, when he became chairman of the British Airports Authrity (BAA). His story is full of interesting detail concerning aircraft and the politicians and personalities of aviation.
. . . a memorable autobiography of a single life that would have filled the spans of five or six other mortals. A great read. - Flypast. . . a great contribution to aviation literature. - DESPATCHES