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Biggles Learns to Fly [Kindle Edition]

W E Johns
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Book Description

Adventures with amazing flying machines!


It's the First World War and Biggles is just 17. The planes are primitive; combat tactics are non-existent; the only form of communication for pilots and their gunners is by hand signals. They are reliant on the skill of their fellow crew, their wit and, above all else, bravery.

In hostile enemy skies, where instinct and fast reactions are everything, Biggles must learn to be a real fighter pilot, or die…but does he have what it takes?

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Product Description


"Satisfying and inspiring reading" (Daily Telegraph)

Book Description

Reissued with a stunning new cover, this is the perfect introduction to this bestselling classic adventure series for new readers.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1320 KB
  • Print Length: 315 pages
  • Publisher: RHCP Digital (4 Sept. 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0031RS6OQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #96,211 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Biggles' Beginning 28 Dec. 2010
By Tom
Format:Kindle Edition
Throughout this outstanding tale of bravery, courage, bravado, human moral and (occasional) comedy, Biggles' early days in the RFC is astonishingly detailed and accurate. It is clear that the author 'knew his stuff', a fact backed up by his considerable first-hand experience of a war with 55 Squadron. The story is remarkably written, with enough action to keep you interested, but not enough to make it appear as fiction. The events in this book make it seem as though you are reading an historically accurate, non-fiction, account of life in the aviation sense of the front lines. Whilst entirely unreal, this book lends itself a credibility as to being a real pilot's account.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Legendary Biggles 19 Feb. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Although not the first book in the Biggles series this one does give us the beginning of Biggles’ flying adventures. To be honest like a lot of men my age and older I read these books whilst at school, and have never come back to them since. I was glad though that I did read this again after all these years, as it reminded me how good a lot of them were.

It is September 1916 when this story opens, and James ‘Biggles’ Bigglesworth finds himself at flying school. Really only seventeen years old Biggles has managed to lie about his age and get in to the Forces. We follow Biggles here as he learns to fly and then is sent to the Front. Although not for children that are too young as this does have a lot of death in it, this book works on more than one level. Biggles is a very human character; he makes mistakes, and also learns from them whilst also at the same time pondering the war, and using his brain.

Full of action, adventure and derring-do this is a book that is easy to lose yourself in, and makes some perfect escapism. Biggles starts off rather gung-ho at the beginning of this book, but you can see how his character changes as he becomes more cautious and thoughtful about what he is doing, thus making less rash actions. Although this is a novel it is more a series of interconnecting stories making this rather episodic, which does work well within the frame of this.

There is something of the romantic about bi-planes bringing back thoughts of nostalgia, rather like steam engines, and I am sure older men will want to read this again as they remember their boyhood and this is ideal for slightly older children and may even instil an interest in them of the First World War. Full of detail and bringing back the days of flying by the seat of your pants; this is a book that should appeal to a broad age range.

I kindly received a review copy of this from the publisher via NetGalley.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Jiff
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
All life is here (but maybe not as we know it) , back in the First World War as Biggles earns his wings. W E Johns tales give a graphic insight into early air combat,conditions of service and attitudes and a language that perfectly evokes the times. Death is always sitting on Biggles shoulder as he carries out his duties with determination and courage. The author paints vivid pictures of the landscape and the vast sky above it as well as the flying missions, their objectives and the sound, smells and fury of the air combat that takes place.
I thought this may all be too distant, unreal and maybe just a bit gruelling for my 7 and 9 year olds... but not a bit of it. They were intrigued, enthralled and keen to learn more about this important time in our history. Chocks away!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Biggles learns to fly 27 Jun. 2014
By Clare O'Beara TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
James Bigglesworth aged seventeen joined the army in 1916 and got posted to the as-yet unnamed Royal Flying Corps. He was a Second Lieutenant and after nine hours of solo flying he was sent to the Front in France. The biplanes were extremely new to war and had been used first for observation, then machine guns and bomb racks were fitted. Triplanes (known as tripehounds) were also in use on the German side. The planes such as Sopwith Pups were made of spruce wood and piano wire, and did not have the luxury of fuel gauges or parachutes.

This book was not the first written of the series but Capt. Johns is undoubtedly recalling his own youth and days in the fighter squadrons. He wrote it in 1935 and must have been amazed by how fast the aviation world had taken off and become sophisticated.

Reading the book we get reminded that the trenches stretched from the French or Belgian coast to the borders of Switzerland. Artillery were often shelling a position they could not see so planes were sent up to spot for them and the basic but effective signalling in use is described. We also see that cavalry was still in use and the unpleasantness of trench warfare is experienced a few times during crash landings, when the young officer is happy to escape back to his own lines.

The people and stress of those early days of aerial combat are extremely well realised, so that a young reader will be thrilled and a mature reader left gasping at the bravery involved. I had read many of the series but not this book, and was delighted to get a chance to read it as reissued for the centenary of the Great War. I'd hoped that Johns might have mentioned something of Biggles' family or home but this is not the case.

To my mind the WW1 books are the best written of the series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars No problems on Kindle 30 Mar. 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This review concerns the Kindle version. I found no problems with formatting for this book. There was a slight issue with double line spacing but I feel that it did not cause any big problem.
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