The Life of Jack Richardson
- 'Autogiro Pioneer' is a vivid account of the varied life and adventures of Jack Richardson (1899-1987). The book is based on his memoirs, which have been edited by his son. In the 1930s he worked for Juan de la Cierva, the inventor of the Autogiro (the forerunner of the helicopter), and was the first person to obtain a commercial pilot's licence as an Autogiro pilot. This work involved (among other activities) several hazardous flights across Europe in all kinds of weather. In 1944 he learnt how to fly the new Sikorsky helicopters in the United States, and became the first fully-trained helicopter pilot in the British Army. In his later career with the Army and with Westland Aircraft he helped to develop the military and commercial uses of the helicopter, played a major role in the construction of the Heliport at Battersea, and was Chairman of The Helicopter Association. As a young man he had been a cavalry officer in the Ninth Lancers, and for seven years a successful orange farmer In South Africa. He was a keen racing skier and amateur painter. The book is illustrated with 100 pictures in black and white and in colour.
- Preface; Introduction; 1 Family and Early Years; 2 Prep Schools; 3 Harrow and Gabby's Crammer; 4 Sandhurst (1917-8); 5 Ireland (1918); 6 Germany (1918-9); 7 Ireland (1920-1) 56 8 South Africa (1922-5) 60 9 South Africa (1925-9) 70 10 England: How I Got Involved with Cierva (1929-34); 11 Flying for Cierva (1934-6); 12 Cierva's Death and His Character 99 13 Flying in 1936-9 101 14 Skiing 105 15 War in France (May-June 1940); 16 Air Liaison Officer (1940-3); 17 America: Learning to Fly the Helicopter (1943-4); 18 England (1944-54); 19 Westland, the Helicopter Association, and the Heliport (1954-62); 20 Retrospect: The Pattern of My Life; Appendix I: The Richardson Family; Appendix II: The Bishop Family; Appendix III: The Memoirs of Vyvien Hart-Davis (Personal Reminiscences: Gold Coast, Fiji, Cyprus); Appendix IV: The Ormonds' House in Ciboure During the German Occupation; Appendix V: `K'-it is; Endnotes; Bibliography.
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