Flight Of The Mew Gull

Alex Henshaw
Alex Henshaw had the luck to grow up in the '20s and '30s during the golden age of flying. The Blue Riband of flying in the British Isles between the two World Wars was the King's Cup: Henshaw set his heart on it, developing a technique of racing which extracted the very maximum from his aircraft: first the Comper Swift and then the DH Leopard Moth. Parallel with his search for speed was an obsession with making accurate landfalls, and he developed this blind-flying taken deliberately in a flying partnership with his father on many carefully planned long-distance survey flights. His exciting apprenticeship in these two skills was crowned by the acquisition of the Percival Mew Gull G-AEXF in 1937. His amazing solo flight to Cape Town and back in February 1939 established several solo records that still stand today, almost 60 years later. This feat of navigation and airmanship must surely be one of man's greatest flights - 12,754 miles over desert, sea and jungle in a single-engined light aircraft.
Flight Of The Mew Gull by Alex Henshaw

About the author

Awarded Siddeley Trophy 1933. Parachuted from blazing aircraft 1935. Crashed into Irish Sea 1935 King's Cup race. Won 1938 King's Cup race at fastest speed ever recorded. Broke all records to Cape Town and back 1939 which remain unbroken today. Awarded Brittania Trophy 1940. Chief Test Pilot Castle Bromwich factory 1940. Awarded MBE 1944. Queen's Award for Bravery 1953. HRH Duke of Edinburgh awarded Gold Medallion for contribution made to youth of this country 1997.

Press Reviews

"New and updated edition of Henshaw's classic account of pre-WWII flying and racing, culminating in his record-breaking flight to Cape Town and back in 1939. Excellent opportunity for those who haven't got an original to acquire a classic."

- reviewer - Flight International

"Alex Henshaw's flying escapades with the Percival Mew Gull G-AEXF during the immediate pre-war years are the very stuff of legend, drama, astonishing good luck and high adventure. . . If you believe your meticulously planned day trip to Le Touquet to be high advanture (and there is no reason to believe in context it is not), then just read The Flight of the Mew Gull. Yes, it was sixty years ago, but the story still sets the pulse racing - and Henshaw's little wooden aeroplane survives in an airworthy condition at Old Warden, where close inspection will cause jaws to drop and heads to shake at the sheer audacity of it all."

- reviewer- Pilot