Devotion tells the inspirational story of the U.S. Navy’s most famous aviator duo, Lieutenant Tom Hudner and Ensign Jesse Brown, and the Marines they fought to defend. A white New Englander from the country-club scene, Tom passed up Harvard to fly fighters for his country. An African American sharecropper’s son from Mississippi, Jesse became the navy’s first black carrier pilot, defending a nation that wouldn’t even serve him in a bar.
While much of America remained divided by segregation, Jesse and Tom joined forces as wingmen in Fighter Squadron 32. Adam Makos takes us into the cockpit as these bold young aviators cut their teeth at the world’s most dangerous job—landing on the deck of an aircraft carrier—a line of work that Jesse’s young wife, Daisy, struggles to accept.
Deployed to the Mediterranean, Tom and Jesse meet the Fleet Marines, boys like PFC “Red” Parkinson, a farm kid from the Catskills. In between war games in the sun, the young men revel on the Riviera, partying with millionaires and even befriending the Hollywood starlet Elizabeth Taylor. Then comes the war no one expected, in faraway Korea.
Devotion takes us soaring overhead with Tom and Jesse, and into the foxholes with Red and the Marines as they battle a North Korean invasion. As the fury of the fighting escalates and the Marines are cornered at the Chosin Reservoir, Tom and Jesse fly, guns blazing, to try and save them. When one of the duo is shot down behind enemy lines and pinned in his burning plane, the other faces an unthinkable choice: watch his friend die or attempt history’s most audacious one-man rescue mission.
A tug-at-the-heartstrings tale of bravery and selflessness, Devotion asks: How far would you go to save a friend?
Praise for Devotion
“Riveting . . . a meticulously researched and moving account.”—USA Today
“An inspiring tale . . . portrayed by Makos in sharp, fact-filled prose and with strong reporting.”—Los Angeles Times
“[A] must-read.”—New York Post
“A masterful storyteller . . . [Makos brings] Devotion to life with amazing vividness. . . . [It] reads like a dream. The perfectly paced story cruises along in the fast lane—when you’re finished, you’ll want to start all over again.”—Associated Press
“A delight to read . . . Devotion is a story you will not forget.”—The Washington Times
“My great respect for Tom Hudner knows no bounds. He is a true hero; and in reading this book, you will understand why I feel that way.”—President George H. W. Bush
“This is aerial drama at its best—fast, powerful, and moving.”—Erik Larson, New York Times bestselling author of Dead Wake
“Though it concerns a famously cold battle in the Korean War, make no mistake: Devotion will warm your heart.”—Hampton Sides, New York Times bestselling author of Ghost Soldiers and In the Kingdom of Ice
“At last, the Korean War has its epic, a story that will stay with you long after you close this book.”—Eric Blehm, New York Times bestselling author of Fearless and Legend
April 1945. The end of World War II finally appears to be nearing. The Third Reich is collapsing in Europe, and the Americans are overpowering the once-mighty Japanese Empire in the Pacific. For a group of young pilots trained in the twilight of the war, their greatest worry is that it will end before they have a chance to face the enemy.
They call themselves Tail End Charlies: They fly at the tail end of formations, stand at the tail end of chow lines, and now they are catching the tail end of the war. What they don’t know is that they will be key players in the bloodiest and most difficult of naval battles—not only of World War II but in all of American history.
The Twilight Warriors relives the drama of the world’s last great naval campaign. From the cockpit of a Corsair fighter we gaze down at the Japanese task force racing to destroy the American amphibious force at Okinawa. Through the eyes of the men on the destroyers assigned to picket ship duty, we experience the terror as wave after wave of kamikazes crash into their ships. Standing on the deck of the legendary superbattleship Yamato, we watch Japan’s last hope for victory die in a tableau of gunfire and explosions.
The fate of the Americans at Okinawa, including a twenty-two-year-old former art student, an intrepid fighter pilot whose life abruptly changes when his Corsair goes down off the enemy shore, and a young Texan lieutenant who volunteers for the most dangerous flying job in the fleet—intercepting kamikazes at night over the blackened Pacific—is intertwined with the lives of the “young gods”: the honor-bound kamikaes forces who swarm like killer bees toward the U.S. ships.
The ferocity of the Okinawa fighting stuns the world. Before it ends, the long battle will cost more American lives, ships, and aircraft than any naval engagement in U.S. history. More than simply the account of a historic battle, The Twilight Warriors brings to life the human side of an epic conflict. It is the story of young Americans at war in the air and on the sea—and of their enigmatic, fanatically courageous enemy.
On January 15, 2009, the world witnessed a remarkable emergency landing when Captain "Sully" Sullenberger skillfully glided US Airways Flight 1549 onto the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 passengers and crew. His cool actions not only averted tragedy but made him a hero and an inspiration worldwide. His story is now a major motion picture from director / producer Clint Eastwood and stars Tom Hanks, Laura Linney and Aaron Eckhart.
Sully's story is one of dedication, hope, and preparedness, revealing the important lessons he learned through his life, in his military service, and in his work as an airline pilot. It reminds us all that, even in these days of conflict, tragedy and uncertainty, there are values still worth fighting for—that life's challenges can be met if we're ready for them.
Written by A330 Captain, Bill Palmer, this book opens to understanding the actions of the crew, how they failed to understand and control the problem, and how the airplane works and the part it played. All in easy to understand terms.
Addressed are the many contributing aspects of weather, human factors, and airplane system operation and design that the crew could not recover from. How each contributed is covered in detail along with what has been done, and needs to be done in the future to prevent this from happening again.
Also see the book's companion website: UnderstandingAF447.com
Tom Clancy's previous explorations of America's armed forces, Submarine and Armored Cav, revealed exclusive, never-before-seen information an the people and technology that protect our nation. Now, the acclaimed author of Clear and Present Danger and Debt of Honor takes to the skies with the U. S. Air Force's elite: the Fighter Wing.
With his compelling style and unerring eye for detail, Clancy captures the thrill of takeoff, the drama of the dogfight, and the relentless dangers our fighter pilots face every day of their lives . . . showing readers what it really means to be the best of the best.
Fighter Wing includes:
Detailed analyses of the Air Force's premier fighter planes, including the F-15 Eagle
Exclusive photographs, illustrations, and diagrams
An insider's look at the people behind the planes and weapons
Combat strategies and training techniques used by the U. S. Air Force
Based on dozens of exclusive interviews, never-before-published documents and recordings of key meetings obtained by the authors, Comm Check takes the reader inside the conference rooms and offices where NASA's best and brightest managed the nation's multi-billion-dollar shuttle program -- and where they failed to recognize the signs of an impending disaster. It is the story of a space program pushed to the brink of failure by relentless political pressure, shrinking budgets and flawed decision making. The independent investigation into the disaster uncovered why Columbia broke apart in the sky above Texas. Comm Check brings that story to life with the human drama behind the tragedy.
Michael Cabbage and William Harwood, two of America's most respected space journalists, are veterans of all but a handful of NASA's 113 shuttle missions. Tapping a network of sources and bringing a combined three decades of experience to bear, the authors provide a rare glimpse into NASA's inner circles, chronicling the agency's most devastating failure and the challenges that face NASA as it struggles to return America to space.
One of The Wall Street Journal’s 3 Books Every Geek Should Read This Fall
A fascinating exploration of how humans and machines fail—leading to air disasters from Amelia Earhart to MH370—and how the lessons learned from these accidents have made flying safer.
In The Crash Detectives, veteran aviation journalist and air safety investigator Christine Negroni takes us inside crash investigations from the early days of the jet age to the present, including the search for answers about what happened to the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. As Negroni dissects what happened and why, she explores their common themes and, most important, what has been learned from them to make planes safer. Indeed, as Negroni shows, virtually every aspect of modern pilot training, airline operation, and airplane design has been shaped by lessons learned from disaster. Along the way, she also details some miraculous saves, when quick-thinking pilots averted catastrophe and kept hundreds of people alive.
Tying in aviation science, performance psychology, and extensive interviews with pilots, engineers, human factors specialists, crash survivors, and others involved in accidents all over the world, The Crash Detectives is an alternately terrifying and inspiring book that might just cure your fear of flying, and will definitely make you a more informed passenger.
“Christine Negroni combines her investigative reporting skills with an understanding of the complexities of air accident investigations to bring to life some of history’s most intriguing and heartbreaking cases.” —Bob Woodruff, ABC News
At the center of the maelstrom is the book’s courtly, laconic protagonist, American aviation executive William Langhorne Bond. In search of adventure, he arrives in Nationalist China in 1931, charged with turning around the turbulent nation’s flagging airline business, the China National Aviation Corporation (CNAC). The mission will take him to the wild and lawless frontiers of commercial aviation: into cockpits with daredevil pilots flying—sometimes literally—on a wing and a prayer; into the dangerous maze of Chinese politics, where scheming warlords and volatile military officers jockey for advantage; and into the boardrooms, backrooms, and corridors of power inhabited by such outsized figures as Generalissimo and Madame Chiang Kai-shek; President Franklin Delano Roosevelt; foreign minister T. V. Soong; Generals Arnold, Stilwell, and Marshall; and legendary Pan American Airways founder Juan Trippe.
With the outbreak of full-scale war in 1941, Bond and CNAC are transformed from uneasy spectators to active participants in the struggle against Axis imperialism. Drawing on meticulous research, primary sources, and extensive personal interviews with participants, Gregory Crouch offers harrowing accounts of brutal bombing runs and heroic evacuations, as the fight to keep one airline flying becomes part of the larger struggle for China’s survival. He plunges us into a world of perilous night flights, emergency water landings, and the constant threat of predatory Japanese warplanes. When Japanese forces capture Burma and blockade China’s only overland supply route, Bond and his pilots must battle shortages of airplanes, personnel, and spare parts to airlift supplies over an untried five-hundred-mile-long aerial gauntlet high above the Himalayas—the infamous “Hump”—pioneering one of the most celebrated endeavors in aviation history.
A hero’s-eye view of history in the grand tradition of Lynne Olson’s Citizens of London, China’s Wings takes readers on a mesmerizing journey to a time and place that reshaped the modern world.
On March 8, 2014, Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared with barely a trace, carrying 239 people on board—seemingly vanishing into the dark night. The airplane’s whereabouts and fate would quickly become one of the biggest aviation mysteries of our time...
Richard Quest, CNN’s Aviation Correspondent, was one of the leading journalists covering the story. In a coincidence, Quest had interviewed one of the two pilots a few weeks before the disappearance. It is here that he begins his gripping account of those tense weeks in March, presenting a fascinating chronicle of an international search effort, which despite years of searching and tens of millions of dollars spent has failed to find the plane.
Quest dissects what happened in the hours following the plane’s disappearance and chronicles the days and weeks of searching, which led to nothing but increasing despair. He takes apart the varying responses from authorities and the discrepancies in reports, the wide range of theories, the startling fact that the plane actually turned around and flew in the opposite direction, and what solutions the aviation industry must now implement to ensure it never happens again.
What emerges is a riveting chronicle of a tragedy that continues to baffle everyone from aviation experts to satellite engineers to politicians—and which to this day worries the traveling public that it could happen again.
The World's Greatest Civil Aircraft includes many types, from cargo transports and freighters, through flying boats, passenger airliners, business jets and supersonic carriers. Featured aircraft include: the Ford Trimotor ‘Tin Goose’, one of the great workhorses of early aviation history; the first post-war intercontinental airliners, such as the Douglas DC-4 Skymaster, De Havilland Comet and Boeing 377 Stratocruiser; the Vickers VC10, one of the greats of the 1960s golden age of commercial airliners, when jet-powered air commerce was new and airliners pampered passengers; the massive Super Guppy heavy transport, one of the widest aircraft in aviation history; the supersonic Tupolev Tu-144 ‘Charger’ and Concorde, Cold War competitors in aviation excellence; the Embraer ERJ, part of a new range of narrow-bodied airliners; and the most popular passenger aircraft of the present, including the Boeing 747 and Airbus A320.
Each entry includes a brief description of the model’s development and history, a profile view, key features and specifications. Packed with more than 200 artworks and photographs, The World’s Greatest Civil Aircraft is a colourful guide for the aviation enthusiast.
On an icy night in October 1984, a commuter plane carrying nine passengers crashed in the remote wilderness of northern Alberta, killing six people. Four survived: the rookie pilot, a prominent politician, a cop, and the criminal he was escorting to face charges. Despite the poor weather, Erik Vogel, the 24-year-old pilot, was under intense pressure to fly. Larry Shaben, the author's father and Canada's first Muslim Cabinet Minister, was commuting home after a busy week at the Alberta Legislature. Constable Scott Deschamps was escorting Paul Archambault, a drifter wanted on an outstanding warrant. Against regulations, Archambault's handcuffs were removed-a decision that would profoundly impact the men's survival.
As the men fight through the night to stay alive, the dividing lines of power, wealth, and status are erased, and each man is forced to confront the precious and limited nature of his existence.
Brad Oâ€™Connor flew the Nighthawk during the NATO bombing campaign over Kosovo in 1999. His first-person experience puts the reader in the cockpit of this revolutionary combat aircraft. From his F-117 assignment through training, deployment, mission planning, and combat flights, Oâ€™Connor relates the day-to-day life of a pilot in the worldâ€™s first stealth fighter.
Canadian Air Force Colonel Russell Williams commanded the largest Canadian Forces base in the country. He had personally piloted prime ministers, dignitaries, and members of the British royal family, and was one of the most respected and trusted soldiers in the military.
He was also a rapist and a murderer.
This is the disturbing true account of how one of Canada's highest- ranking military officers became one of Canada's most notorious criminals, including his ultimate capture, trial and conviction for a twisted spree of sexual deviancy and two brutal rapes and murders.
Malaysia Airlines flight 370 departed from Kuala Lumpur airport shortly after midnight, full of passengers flying to Beijing. Half an hour later, the greatest mystery in aviation history had begun.
Though most of us will board an aircraft at some point in our lives, we know little about how they work and the procedures surrounding their operation. It is that mystery that makes the loss of MH370 so terrifying. Follow along step-by-step as Wrigley recreates the flight and its disappearance. Review the many varied theories as to how it could have happened — up to and including alien abduction. The Mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 also introduces a variety of related crashes and incidents, allowing readers to draw their own conclusions.
Speed. In 1947, it represented the difference between victory and annihilation.
After Hiroshima, the ability to deliver a nuclear device to its target faster than one’s enemy became the singular obsession of American war planners. And so, in the earliest days of the Cold War, a highly classified program was conducted on a desolate air base in California’s Mojave Desert. Its aim: to push the envelope of flight to new frontiers. There gathered an extraordinary band of pilots, including Second World War aces Chuck Yeager and George Welch, who risked their lives flying experimental aircraft to reach Mach 1, the so-called sound barrier, which pilots called “the demon.”
Shrouding the program in secrecy, the US military reluctantly revealed that the “barrier” had been broken two months later, after the story was leaked to the press. The full truth has never been fully revealed—until now.
Chasing the Demon, from decorated fighter pilot and acclaimed aviation historian Dan Hampton, tells, for the first time, the extraordinary true story of mankind’s quest for Mach 1. Here, of course, is twenty-four-year-old Captain Chuck Yeager, who made history flying the futuristic Bell X-1 faster than the speed of sound on October 14, 1947. Officially Yeager was the first to achieve supersonic flight, but drawing on new interviews with survivors of the program, including Yeager’s former commander, as well as declassified files, Hampton presents evidence that a fellow American—George Welch, a daring fighter pilot who shot down a remarkable sixteen enemy aircraft during the Pacific War—met the demon first, though he was not favored to wear the laurels, as he was now a civilian test pilot and was not flying the Bell X-1.
Chasing the Demon sets the race between Yeager and Welch in the context of aviation history, so that the reader can learn and appreciate their accomplishments as never before.
Joe Jackson's Atlantic Fever is about this race, a milestone in American history whose story has never been fully told. Delving into the lives of the big-name competitors—the polar explorer Richard Byrd, the French war hero René Fonck, the millionaire Charles Levine, and the race's eventual winner, the enigmatic Charles Lindbergh—as well as those whose names have been forgotten by history (such as Bernt Balchen, Stanton Wooster, and Clarence Chamberlin), Jackson brings a completely fresh and original perspective to the race to conquer the Atlantic.
Atlantic Fever opens for us one of those magical windows onto a moment when the nexus of technology, innovation, character, and spirit led so many contenders from different parts of the world to be on the cusp of the exact same achievement at the exact same time.
On the rainy morning of May 20, 1927, a little-known American pilot named Charles A. Lindbergh climbed into his single-engine monoplane, Spirit of St. Louis, and prepared to take off from a small airfield on Long Island, New York. Despite his inexperience—the twenty-five-year-old Lindbergh had never before flown over open water—he was determined to win the $25,000 Orteig Prize promised since 1919 to the first pilot to fly nonstop between New York and Paris, a terrifying adventure that had already claimed six men’s lives. Ahead of him lay a 3,600-mile solo journey across the vast north Atlantic and into the unknown; his survival rested on his skill, courage, and an unassuming little aircraft with no front window.
Only 500 people showed up to see him off. Thirty-three and a half hours later, a crowd of more than 100,000 mobbed Spirit as the audacious young American touched down in Paris, having acheived the seemingly impossible. Overnight, as he navigated by the stars through storms across the featureless ocean, news of his attempt had circled the globe, making him an international celebrity by the time he reached Europe. He returned to the United States a national hero, feted with ticker-tape parades that drew millions, bestowed every possible award from the Medal of Honor to Time’s "Man of the Year" (the first to be so named), commemorated on a U.S. postage stamp within months, and celebrated as the embodiment of the twentieth century and America’s place in it.
Acclaimed aviation historian Dan Hampton’s The Flight is a long-overdue, flyer’s-eye narrative of Lindbergh’s legendary journey. A decorated fighter pilot who flew more than 150 combat missions in an F-16 and made numerous transatlantic crossings, Hampton draws on his unique perspective to bring alive the danger, uncertainty, and heroic accomplishment of Lindbergh’s crossing. Hampton’s deeply researched telling also incorporates a trove of primary sources, including Lindbergh’s own personal diary and writings, as well as family letters and untapped aviation archives that fill out this legendary story as never before.
For the last sixty years Air Force One has seen every president and first lady through each administration's triumphs and tragedies, and has flown over a million miles around the globe.
On the 65th anniversary of the most famous plane in the world, and featuring new and unseen photography of the presidential aircraft, aviation expert and author Nicholas A. Veronico brings Robert F. Dorr's classic story of the mighty aircraft up to date, detailing how the plane has adapted to the digital age, and what to look forward to as Boeing updates the aircraft once more for 2024.
Get ready to fly!
Amid these captivating letters, Jean L. Backus skillfully weaves accounts of Earhart and her family's joys and squabbles from an aristocratic mother who was the first woman to scale Pike's Peak to husband George Putnam who made her a media sensation, secured financing for her flights, and led her to reject any "medieval code of faithfulness."
Written under all conditions - in school, on trains, at the White House - the engrossing messages show devotion, wisdom, and a hilarious talent for playing with the English language, as well as a rare ability to stand apart from her own legend. Letters from Amelia is an apt testimony to the totality of an extraordinary person.
Millions watched the aftermath on television, while others witnessed the event actually happening from the windows of nearby skyscrapers. But only 155 people know firsthand what really happened on U.S. Airways Flight 1549 on January 15, 2009. Now, for the first time, the survivors detail their astounding, terrifying, and inspiring experiences on that freezing winter day in New York City. Written by two esteemed journalists, Miracle on the Hudson is the entire tale from takeoff to bird strike to touchdown to rescue, seen through the eyes and felt in the souls of those on board the fateful flight.
Revealing many new and compelling details, Miracle on the Hudson dramatically evokes the explosion and "smell of burning flesh" as both engines were destroyed by geese, the violent landing on the river that felt like a "huge car wreck," the gridlock in the aisles as the plane filled swiftly with freezing water, and the thrill of the passengers' rescue from the wings and from rafts—all of it recalled by the "cross section of America" on board.
Jay McDonald, a thirty-nine-year-old software developer, had survived brain-tumor surgery just two years earlier and now faced the unimaginable.
Tracey Wolsko, a nervous flier, suddenly became other people's rock: "Just pray. It's going to be all right." Jim Whitaker, a construction executive, reassured a nervous mother of two young children on board, only later admitting, "I was pathologically lying the whole time." As the plane started sinking, Lucille Palmer, eighty-five, told her daughter to save herself: "Just leave me!"
Featuring much more than what the media reported—moments of chaos in addition to stoicism and common sense, and the fortuitous mistakes and quick instincts that saved lives that otherwise would have been lost—Miracle on the Hudson is the chronicle of one of the most phenomenal feel-good stories of recent years, one that could have been a nightmare and instead became a stirring narrative of heroism and hope for our times.
Why Planes Crash: Casenotes 2001 is the first of the series. Wrigley has put together eleven of the most interesting incidents that the world saw in the year 2001. These include detailed a analysis of the disastrous runway incursion at Linate, the passenger interference leading to the Avjet Aspen Crash and why an Airbus A300 disintegrated over Queens.
From bad weather to the engineering faults in the aircraft, the author critically looks into each factor that could have led to the crash. Her investigations and deep insight puts the reader into the position of a witness to the disaster and yet it is comprehensive enough for readers with no aviation knowledge to understand.
“For those aviation enthusiasts that wish to delve beyond the sensationalist headlines on aviation accidents Sylvia Wrigley’s “Why Planes Crash” will satisfy their needs. Informative, critical and insightful.”
~HAL STOEN, STOENWORKS AVIATION
“The author has done a remarkable job in not only researching the evidence of the accidents she covers and in putting across the problems of an investigation, but she has managed to do this in a way that will interest and appeal to a wide range of readers.”
~JOHN FARLEY OBE, AUTHOR OF VIEW FROM THE HOVER
Somewhere deep beneath the wild seas of the southern Indian Ocean, perhaps in the eerie underwater canyons of Broken Ridge along the Seventh Arc satellite band, lies the answer to the world's greatest aviation mystery.
Why, on the night of 8 March 2014, did Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 suddenly U-turn, zig-zag up the Straits of Malacca, then vanish with 239 souls on board?
Was it an elaborate murder-suicide by a rogue pilot? A terrible accident such as onboard fire, rapid decompression or systems failure? A terrorist hijacking gone wrong? Or something else entirely?
Award-winning journalist Ean Higgins has led the world media's coverage of this incredible saga and draws on years of interviews with aviation experts, victims' families, air crash investigators and professional hunters across land, sea and sky to dissect the riddle of MH370's fate.
PRAISE FOR THE HUNT FOR MH370
"The Hunt for MH370 is a riveting page-turner written with the drama and intrigue of a thriller. Piece by tantalising piece, Ean Higgins unpuzzles this most baffling of mysteries, asking dangerous questions and revealing shocking truths." Dick Smith
"The disappearance of MH370 remains the greatest and most pressing mystery in aviation history that demands answers for both the families of the stricken passengers and the travelling public. No journalist has been more relentless in the pursuit of the truth of MH370 than Ean Higgins. The Hunt for MH370 is an engrossing book in which Higgins has meticulously pieced together the puzzle of the doomed flight from its vanishing to the flawed investigation and the largest maritime search ever that leads the reader to a chilling conclusion that is almost impossible to comprehend." Paul Whittaker, Chief Executive Sky News and former editor-in-chief, The Australian
This extensive collection of compelling real-life accounts of air disasters and near-disasters provides a sobering, alternative history of the just over 105 years that passengers have been travelling by air, from the very earliest fatality to recent calamities.
But there are incredible stories of heroism against the odds, too, such as that of Captain Chesley Sullenberger who successfully landed his aircraft with both engines gone on the Hudson River in New York, saving the lives of everyone aboard, and of the American Airlines crew who prevented terrorist Richard Reid from exploding a bomb hidden in his shoe three months after 9/11.
The book also details the often ingenious, always painstaking work done by air-accident investigators, while a glossary helps to clarify the occasional, inevitable bits of jargon.
The airplane turned the sky into a new domain of human activity, a fast-developing frontier. The first to brave that frontier were adventurous young men. Then came the rich and the hurried. Then just about everybody else. Until now, no one has told the story of aviation as one of frontier expansion. David Courtwright does so in Sky as Frontier. He has written an ambitious history of American aviation ranging from the patent fight between the Wright brothers and Glenn Curtiss through the tragedy of 9/11 and the Iraq War. Along the way, Courtwright stops to consider dogfighting, barnstorming, the first air mail pilots, the development of airlines, air power during World War II, flight’s impact on the environment, the troubled space frontier, and how the male-dominated aviation enterprise was domesticated and democratized.
Aviation’s frontier stage lasted a scant three decades, then vanished as flying became a settled experience. Sky as Frontier recreates that pioneer world and shows how commercial and military imperatives destroyed it by routinizing flight. At bottom, it is the story of a fateful tradeoff. Rationalization killed the adventure in flying but made possible rapid aerial expansion. With it came commercial growth and glob8al military reach. In no other country did social life, business, and military operations become so intertwined with aerospace advances, or have such large consequences for national power and prestige.
In Jet Age, journalist Sam Howe Verhovek explores the advent of the first generation of jet airliners and the people who designed, built, and flew them. The path to jet travel was triumphal and amazingly rapid-less than fifty years after the Wright Brothers' first flight at Kitty Hawk, Great Britain led the world with the first commercial jet plane service. Yet the pioneering British Comet was cursed with a tragic, mysterious flaw, and an upstart Seattle company put a new competitor in the sky: the Boeing 707 Jet Stratoliner. Jet Age vividly recreates the race between two nations, two global airlines, and two rival teams of brilliant engineers for bragging rights to the first jet service across the Atlantic Ocean in 1958.
At the center of this story are great minds and courageous souls, including Sir Geoffrey de Havilland, who spearheaded the development of the Comet, even as two of his sons lost their lives flying earlier models of his aircraft; Sir Arnold Hall, the brilliant British aerodynamicist tasked with uncovering the Comet's fatal flaw; Bill Allen, Boeing's deceptively mild-mannered president; and Alvin "Tex" Johnston, Boeing's swashbuckling but supremely skilled test pilot. The extraordinary airplanes themselves emerge as characters in the drama. As the Comet and the Boeing 707 go head-to-head, flying twice as fast and high as the propeller planes that preceded them, the book captures the electrifying spirit of an era: the Jet Age.
In the spirit of Stephen Ambrose's Nothing Like It in the World, Verhovek's Jet Age offers a gorgeous rendering of an exciting age and fascinating technology that permanently changed our conception of distance and time, of a triumph of engineering and design, and of a company that took a huge gamble and won.
Written in the tradition of Saint-Exupéry and Lindbergh, Scott Crossfield’s inspiring autobiography is a testament to the adventure and achievement of the flight pioneers who dare to live beyond the clouds. Why is “death the handmaiden of the pilot” and how does it feel to face her fifteen miles above the ground? What can a pilot do when fear and panic overtake him? What is it like to be the first man to fly at twice the speed of sound? These are some of the questions Crossfield answers as he explains why he was prepared to devote so much of his time, his dreams, and his aspirations to an experimental plane called the X-15.
Always Another Dawn tells of the birth of this plane; the daring of the men who painstakingly designed and built her, counting every extra pound a danger and creating innovations unprecedented in flight history. Here is the courage of the men who flew her, their every take-off a hazardous journey into the unknown.
This book is the thrilling story of man’s first faltering steps into space, of the great experiment and the great pilot who “set man on his path toward the stars.”
Buck's experiences go back to a time when flying was something glamorous. He flew with and learned from some true pioneers of aviation -- the courageous pilots who created the airmail service during flying's infancy. At the behest of his employer Howard Hughes, Buck spent three months flying with Tyrone Power on a trip to South America, Africa, and Europe. He flew the New York-Paris-Cairo route in the days when flight plans called for lengthy stopovers, and enjoyed all that those romantic places had to offer. He took part in a flight that circled the globe sideways (from pole to pole). He advised TWA's president on the shift to jet planes; a world expert on weather and flight, Buck used a B-17G to chase thunderstorms worldwide as part of a TWA-Air Force research project during World War II, for which he was awarded the Air Medal (as a civilian) by President Truman.
In North Star over My Shoulder, Bob Buck tells of a life spent up and over the clouds, and of the wonderful places and marvelous people who have been a part of that life. He captures the feel, taste, and smell of flying's greatest era -- how the people lived, what they did and felt, and what it was really like to be a part of the world as it grew smaller and smaller. He relates stories from his innumerable visits to Paris, the city he loves more than any other -- echoing Gertrude Stein's view that "America is my country, and Paris is my home town" -- and from his trips to the Middle East, including flights to Israel before and after it became a state. A terrific storyteller and a fascinating man, Bob Buck has turned his well-lived life into a delightful memoir for anyone who remembers when there really was something special in the air.
This beautifully illustrated book provides details of every power that took part in Military aircraft activity during the First World War. The war was a global conflict with 57 nations involved but with aviation being in its infancy only eight nations had a major air arm to their fighting Services. The Allies: Britain, America, Italy, Belgium, France, and Russia and then the Central Powers comprising Germany and Austria - Hungary.
The book covers the formation, establishment and wartime exploits of all the major air powers during the war, as well as providing thumbnail sketches of all the major aces for each country, giving full coverage to: The Allies: The Royal Flying Corps, The French Military Air Service, The United States Air Service, Aeronautica de Region Esercito (Italy), The Belgian Air Arm, The Russian Imperial Air Services. The Central Powers: The Imperial German Air Service, and the Austro-Hungarian flying service However, smaller powers (at the time) like Australia, Canada and Japan as well as Portugal, Serbia, Romania and South Africa are all featured is this fascinating book.
The story of Pan Am is as much the story of president Juan T. Trippe as it is an account of airplanes, pilots, flight attendants, and
glamorous destinations. As the company moved throughout the world building airfields from jungles, crossing oceans, and forcing
the development of new airplanes, it was Trippes airline and his vision. A global pioneer, Pan Am was the first airline to use radio
communications, to employ cabin attendants and serve meals aloft, and to complete an around-the-world flight. The companys
achievements were legendary, but its failures, tragedies, and disasters were also part of a complex corporate life.
From transforming the ways of war to offering godlike views of inaccessible spots, revolutionizing rescues worldwide, and providing some of our most-watched TV moments—including the cloud of newscopters that trailed O. J. Simpson’s Bronco—the helicopter is far more capable than early inventors expected. Now James Chiles profiles the many helicoptrians who contributed to the development of this amazing machine, and pays tribute to the selfless heroism of pilots and crews. A virtual flying lesson and scientific adventure tale, The God Machine is more than the history of an invention; it is a journey into the minds of imaginative thinkers and a fascinating look at the ways they changed our world.
“A superb piece of writing. Literate and literary, rebellious and beatnik...Echoes from Poe and Melville to Steinbeck and Mailer. A work of fascination on every level: Hayden’s love of the sea, his Hollywood success, his marriages and divorces, his vision of wartime heroism, and blacklist cowardice...Brutal, savage and true.” — New York Post.
The feud between this nation’s great air pioneers, the Wright brothers and Glenn Curtiss, was a collision of unyielding and profoundly American personalities. On one side, a pair of tenacious siblings who together had solved the centuries-old riddle of powered, heavier-than-air flight. On the other, an audacious motorcycle racer whose innovative aircraft became synonymous in the public mind with death-defying stunts. For more than a decade, they battled each other in court, at air shows, and in the newspapers. The outcome of this contest of wills would shape the course of aviation history—and take a fearsome toll on the men involved.
Birdmen sets the engrossing story of the Wrights’ war with Curtiss against the thrilling backdrop of the early years of manned flight, and is rich with period detail and larger-than-life personalities: Thomas Scott Baldwin, or “Cap’t Tom” as he styled himself, who invented the parachute and almost convinced the world that balloons were the future of aviation; John Moisant, the dapper daredevil who took to the skies after three failed attempts to overthrow the government of El Salvador, then quickly emerged as a celebrity flyer; and Harriet Quimby, the statuesque silent-film beauty who became the first woman to fly across the English Channel. And then there is Lincoln Beachey, perhaps the greatest aviator who ever lived, who dazzled crowds with an array of trademark twists and dives—and best embodied the romance with death that fueled so many of aviation’s earliest heroes.
A dramatic story of unimaginable bravery in the air and brutal competition on the ground, Birdmen is at once a thrill ride through flight’s wild early years and a surprising look at the personal clash that fueled America’s race to the skies.
Praise for Birdmen
“A meticulously researched account of the first few hectic, tangled years of aviation and the curious characters who pursued it . . . a worthy companion to Richard Holmes’s marvelous history of ballooning, Falling Upwards.”—Time
“The daredevil scientists and engineers who forged the field of aeronautics spring vividly to life in Lawrence Goldstone’s history.”—Nature
“The history of the development of an integral part of the modern world and a fascinating portrayal of how a group of men and women achieved a dream that had captivated humanity for centuries.”—The Christian Science Monitor
“Captivating and wonderfully presented . . . a fine book about these rival pioneers.”—The Wall Street Journal
“[A] vivid story of invention, vendettas, derring-do, media hype and patent fights [with] modern resonance.”—Financial Times
“A powerful story that contrasts soaring hopes with the anchors of ego and courtroom.”—Kirkus Reviews
“A riveting narrative about the pioneering era of aeronautics in America and beyond . . . Goldstone raises questions of enduring importance regarding innovation and the indefinite exertion of control over ideas that go public.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)