New York: Rand McNally & Co., 1932. Hard Cover. Octavo. Very Good / No Dust Jacket. Item #08276
Inscribed by Wiley Post, thus: "To Billy Parker / Whose flying I admired / long before I dreamed of / flying myself / With very best wishes / Wiley Post / 12-8-32." Wiley Hardeman Post (1898-1935) was the first pilot to fly solo around the world. He worked as a test pilot in high altitude flying, developed one of the first pressue suits and discovered the jet stream. Wiley Post and American humorist, Will Rogers were both killed on August 15, 1935, when Post's aircraft crashed on takeoff from a lagoon near Point Barrow, Alaska. Will D. (Billy) Parker (1899-1981) became known as "the Boy Aviator" and carried private pilot's license number 44. As a high school student in Ft. Collins, CO, he built a glider, which flew to an altitude of 300 feet. Then he built a pusher (similar to the Wright Brothers plane), with a motorcycle engine, but it couldn't fly well above several thousand feet, because of altitudes in Colorado (thinner air and insufficient horsepower). His mother helped him to purchase a 50 horsepower French Gnome engine - thus Billy Parker became a professional pilot. As a college student in Ft. Collins, he performed at state and county fairs, as a stunt pilot. He barnstormed in the 1920's, worked as a test pilot, and from 1926 to 1966, he managed the aviation division of Phillips Petroleum. He was President of the Early Birds, an exclusive group who flew before December 17, 1916 and included such members as Wiley Post, Willard, Fokker and Morriss. Parker and Joe Bartles set up an aircraft factory at Dewey, Oklahoma and built airplanes under the name "Dewey Aircraft Company." Parker held the 44th pilot's license issued in America. He invented the variable-pitch propeller and he built a half-dozen planes himself. In World War I, Parker ran an aviation school to train pilots for the military. He continued to fly the two pushers he built in 1912 and 1914 at events, well into the 1960's. Light tape residue in the gutter of frontis.