Darrell, born into a British military family and author of sagas like And in the Morning (1987, etc.), sets off again into the wild blue yonder with this plump novel about an aeronautically inclined family--the Kirklands of Kirkland Marine Aviation. It's 1929 when they wind up in their first of many tailspins. Old Sir Hector, the widowed founder of the firm, introduces his son, Donald, and teen-age daughter, Leone, to their new adopted brother, Kit Anson. Just why the elder Kirkland takes in the son of his late top designer no one can say, but Leone takes an immediate, puppish shine to the boy--hoping that for once someone Will start paying attention to her instead of to the infernal planes. But Kit becomes a pilot, winning fame and lots of female adoration by setting records in Kirkland crafts. Then he learns that Sir Hector stole designs from his father and attributed them to lackluster Donald. After a confrontation, Kit ends up in prison, framed for theft. Meanwhile, Hector and Donald both die, leaving Leone at the Kirkland helm, along with gifted designer Warren Grant, whom she eventually weds. But when she learns how scandalously the Kirklands treated Kit, she'll spend years trying to make amends and falling in love with the dashing aviator as well. Kit dies a hero during WW II, however, and Leone's marriage remains intact. Darrell's male characters are strong, as in her aviation detail. It's Leone who rubs--she's a pesky tag-along if ever there was one, a design fault that leaves a gaping hole in this novel's fusilage.