Archive for Items Categorized 'Aviation', only excerpts shown, click title for full entry.

Comet! The World’s First Jet Airliner

by Graham M. Simons

The exclamation point isn’t really part of the plane’s name but it might as well have been. Sleek and beautiful, it ushered in a new era but paid a heavy prize for blazing the trail. The book covers everything worth knowing about it.

Eastern Air Lines: A History, 1926–1991

by David Lee Russell

Once upon a time Eastern was the most profitable airline in the postwar era. It became Walt Disney World’s official airline. Then: strikes, fuel crisis, deregulation, management shake-ups—bankruptcy.

SR-71 Blackbird: Lockheed’s Ultimate Spy Plane

by David Doyle

Do a literature search and you’d think the Blackbird must be hot stuff: every year more is being published about it but the thing retired long ago. Just about all those books play nicely with this one because it has something the others don’t.

The Bomber Mafia

by Malcom Gladwell

Planning to watch the movie Oppenheimer? A nuclear bomb!? Why had other military strategies not broken Japan’s ability to fight? Because no matter what the strategists of the Bomber Mafia thought, pinpoint hits from high altitude were not achievable in those days.


by Len Deighton

This is a novel but the level of research and attention to detail Deighton brought to bear could have easily yielded a nonfiction analysis of one fateful day and night in 1943 pinning German air defenses and RAF Bomber Command against each other.

Ronny Bar Profiles: German Fighters of the Great War Vol 1

by Ronny Bar

If you deal with World War I aviation you will have seen Bar’s artwork before. He was a modeler before he became an artist so he knows what level of detail and realism to show. There are only six aircraft makers covered in this book but in dozens of variations.

Flying with the SPOOKS, Memoir of a Navy Linguist in the Vietnam War

by Herbert P. Shippey

“Join the Navy and see the world!” The U.S. Navy is probably not the first armed service that springs to mind when you think Vietnam—in fact, many people joined the Navy specifically to avoid going there. Navy SIGINT has not been covered extensively and much info was classified for 40 years.

Pan Am Ferry Tales: A World War II Aviation Memoir

by W. Gordon Schmitt

Ferrying supplies, personnel, and aircraft to far-flung corners of the globe is expensive and complicated. PAA already had the know-how and the infrastructure when the US decided that Africa and Egypt were of supreme strategic importance to the war effort. Here, a navigator looks back.

The Art of NASA: The Illustrations That Sold the Missions

by Piers Bizony

Picture a time when no one outside the professional community thought much about space—except that it mustn’t fall to the Russians. So, if we really need to go there, how would we do it? And how do we get the taxpaying public excited about the newest frontier? More than two hundred illustrations tell that story.

Virginia Bader, A Collage of Memories of the First Lady of Aviation Art

by Jill Amadio

A pioneering force in aviation art, not as an artist but a dealer / gallerist, especially of prints signed by the artists and where possible, the pilots. Later, she was the first organizer of symposia that connected artists and their public.

The Greatest Escape

by Martin Barratt

RAF Bomber Command’s slogan was “the bomber will always get through.” But not necessarily back. Almost 45% of their aircrews died in WWII. Almost 10,000 were captured, and many kept their stories to themselves. This is one of them.

Hunting the Wind

by Teresa Webber & Jamie Dodson

A brief but meaningful and certainly heartfelt synopsis of the early years of the airline, in peace and war. Several of the contributors actually worked the boats and all of them bleed Pan Am blue.