Norman served during World War I on the Western Front through 1917–18 with the Royal Flying Corps and the R.A.F., flying Sopwith 1½ Strutter and Sopwith Camel aircraft, becoming an ace by claiming eleven victories and being credited with nine. He would write about these experiences in his book ‘Into the Blue’.
In 1918, he was decorated with the Military Cross (MC) for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty and also awarded the Air Force Cross (AFC).
Following the Great War, Norman, with Major W.T. Blake and Geoffrey Mallins (photographer), made an unsuccessful attempt in 1922 to fly the London ‘Daily News’ sponsored, ‘Around the world’ flight.
He also took part in the 1923 Lympne light aircraft trials, demonstrating the Parnall Pixie aircraft. During the early 1920s, Norman along with many others, acted as free-lance test pilots, unattached to particular companies. He took five Parnall aircraft on their first flights. He also flew Fairey aircraft from 1921 as a free-lance, joining them full-time early in 1925 as chief test pilot and staying with them until the end of 1930. He then became chief consultant test pilot to Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft.
Norman wrote numerous books on aviation, including four volumes detailing a history of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. Despite being partly written during the war they are remarkably detailed and accurate. His titles include – Best Flying Stories, An Hour of Aviation, Wings of Fate, The Romance of Flight, Great Aircraft, Tales of Two World Wars, Great Airmen from the Wrights to The Rocket Age, Great Aircraft and Great Flights and Air Adventures.
Norman became a Deputy Lieutenant for Cornwall in September 1951. According to his obituary, published in “The Times’ newspaper on Wednesday, August 11, 1976, Norman achieved the singular honour of making the first flight from London to Sweden in one day.