Pure Luck - the authorised biography of Sir Thomas Sopwith


Tommy Sopwith’s 101-year life spanned aviation history. A contemporary of the Wright Brothers, the Harrier ‘jump jet’ was produced whilst he was still at the helm of the industrial empire he had created.

Whilst a pioneer aviator and aircraft engineer, it was his ability to find the right people to work with, including Harry Hawker during World War 1 and Sydney Camm thereafter, as his main designers, which led to his huge success. The Sopwith Camel and Pup revolutionised aerial combat in WW1, and the Hurricane and Roy Chadwick designed Lancaster were dominant aircraft of WW2. In particular Sopwith’s decision to tool up for quantity production of the Hurricane, before it was ordered by the Air Ministry, was instrumental in winning the Battle of Britain.

From all accounts a thoroughly nice man, as well as an industrial giant, this biography is an informative and enjoyable read. 288 pages, well illustrated with B&W photos. Paperback.