Philip Birtles spent most of his career in the aerospace industry, mainly at what started out as de Havilland at Hatfield. Following a five year engineering apprenticeship, much of his work was in public relations and marketing. For over 40 years he has been actively involved with the de Havilland Aircraft Museum at Salisbury Hall, latterly working on restoration of Mosquitos. He has written over 40 books on aerospace subjects and has a comprehensive collection of contemporary photographs of aircraft, and also his own illustrations from 1954. He has also had articles and photos published in global aviation media.