Boston: Small, Maynard & Co., 1921. First Edition. Hard Cover. Item #6483
SIGNED AND INSCRIBED BY WILL D. (BILLY) PARKER. Legendary pioneer aviator Will D. (Billy) Parker's copy, with his bookplate and ownership inscription of front blank: "Capt. Billy Parker/H.M.R.F.C./Dewey Okla/1921" in pencil. Parker had just served Her Majesties Royal Flying Corps - the inscription shows his pride. His bookplate reads, "Billy Parker/A Pilot Since 1912/ Test Pilot/Aeronautical Engineer." 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 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. Octavo, 285 pp. Bound in original green cloth, with title and a pair of wings in orange, on front panel. Illustrated with photographs and some scale drawings. Cover edge wear; hinges are tight; internally clean.