Portrait of H. L. Brook being congratulated by Flight. Lt. "Tommy'' Rose on his arrival at Lympne, Kent, in his Miles Falcon, after his solo record from Australia to England.

BROOKE, H. L.

From Krul Antiquarian Books (Hoofddorp, Netherlands)

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Paris, NYT, The New York Times, 1935. Original photograph, silver print, 21,6 x 16,7 cm. How H. L. Brook, in a " Gipsy "- engined Miles "Falcon" broke the Solo Record : His Story in an Interview with " Flight ": LAST Sunday afternoon, at 3.55 p.m., the original Miles " Falcon " landed at Lympne, having flown in 7 days * 19 hr. 50 min. from Darwin, North Australia, with Mr. H. L. Brook, of Harrogate, at the controls. The pilot thus beat the unofficial " s o l o " record of Mr. C. J. Melrose by 13 hr. 10 min., and the officially recognised performance of Mr. J. A. Mollison by 1 day 2 hr. 25 min. The shortest time for the Australia-England trip is still, of course, the 6 days 16 hr. 10 min. of Cathcart Jones and Waller in a " Comet ." After leaving Darwin at 5.30 a.m. on Sunday, March 24 (Australian time), Mr. Brook's time-table was as follows: Sunday night, arrived Rambang ; Monday, Penang; Tuesday, Rangoon; Wednesday, Calcutta; Thursday, Karachi; Friday, Athens; Saturday, Rome; Sunday, Marseilles (9.25 a.m.) ; Lympne (3.55 p.m.). the Timor crossing, he told a member of the staff of Flight, was " r o t t e n , " with rain, low clouds and heavy head winds. On the trip from Penang he landed on the delta near Calcutta. Over the Sundarbans low clouds and darkness caused him to take this measure rather than to fly on, possibly missing Calcutta, and, as he put it, perhaps making a crash landing through shortage of petrol. Perhaps the worst section of the trip was that between Athens and Rome, particularly the portion over the channel of Corfu, where a gale was encountered. At Brindisi Mr. Brook was advised not to proceed, but he pushed on and crossed the Apennines in a snowstorm. And what of the man himself? He is a thirty-eight-yearold Yorkshireman, who, despite the newspaper stories, has never been an accountant in his life. When he was younger he indulged in motor racing and later built a few sailplanes and gliders. Then he joined the York County Aviation Club and went solo after four hours' instruction. He next bought Mr. J. A. Mollison's "Puss Moth" Heart's Content, and set out for Australia to survey the route to Melbourne, for he had decided to enter the MacRobertson Handicap. But ice formation forced the " Puss Moth " down on a mountain side in the Cevennes. Neither Brook nor the "Major" (which, it should be remembered, had already been flown over the South Atlantic) was rendered hors de combat, however. The engine was salvaged and Brook brought it back to England, where it was installed in the first of the Miles " Falcons" which then was fitted with extra tanks for the race. During the event it carried a lady passenger and a large helping of appalling luck (no connection is suggested between the two facts!). Suffice it to say that the Australian trip, a large portion of which was made in easy stages, took about twenty-six days During his stay "down under," Brook worked until the " F a l c o n " and its engine were in tip-top condition before starting his almost unheralded flight. Of travelling in the "Falcon " he says that, compared with flying in an ordinary aeroplane with open cockpits, it was " like travelling in a saloon car instead of on a motor cycle The veteran "Gipsy Major" was run throughout the fligi't at 2,100 r.p.m. Among other items of equipment which had a share in the successful performance were Castrol oil, B.T.H. magneto'-, Claudel-Hobson carburetters, K.L.G. plugs, Smith's instruments, Sestrel compass, and Reid and Sigrist Turn and Ban'^ indicator. The tyres and brakes were Palmer and Bendix respectively, and the cushions Moseleys. KEYWORDS:Miles/photo. Bookseller Inventory # 40126

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Title: Portrait of H. L. Brook being congratulated ...

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