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1. Vulture's Row: Thirty Years in
2. The Flight of the Century: Charles
3. From Bouncing Bombs to Concorde:
4. Architects of Aviation (Biography
5. Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart
6. Who's Who in Aviation History
7. From Torpedoes to Aviation: Washington
8. Harriet Quimby - America's First
9. Sky Full of Dreams: The Aviation
10. The Wright Brothers: A Biography
11. Calculated Risk: The Extraordinary
12. Innovation and Consolidation in
13. FOKKER (Smithsonian History of
14. Fliers: In Their Own Words (General
15. The Blond Knight of Germany: A
16. Glenn Curtiss: Pioneer of Aviation
17. Chronicle of Aviation
18. UNIVERSAL MAN (Smithsonian History
19. Fighter General: The Life of Adolf
20. Lindbergh: A Biography

1. Vulture's Row: Thirty Years in Naval Aviation
by Paul T. Gillcrist
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2000-01-01)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$13.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0764300474
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Told in anecdotal form, Vulture's Row tells a fascinating story about an important period covering nearly one half of the entire history of U.S. naval aviation. ""Vulture's Row"" is an area dubbed by naval flyers, on the island structure of an aircraft carr ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars As the author, I felt aneed to describe carrier aviation
(Author) Flying from sixteen different carriers over a 27 year carrier flying career, I have seen some amazing things, participated in events and with people whom the reader might find hard to believe. These are vignettes intended to bring those experiences to readers in terms they can appreciate. Enjoy!!! ... Read more

2. The Flight of the Century: Charles Lindbergh and the Rise of American Aviation (Pivotal Moments in American History)
by Thomas Kessner
Hardcover: 336 Pages (2010-07-21)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$8.73
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195320190
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
In late May 1927 an inexperienced and unassuming 25-year-old Air Mail pilot from rural Minnesota stunned the world by making the first non-stop transatlantic flight. A spectacular feat of individual daring and collective technological accomplishment, Charles Lindbergh's flight from New York to Paris ushered in America's age of commercial aviation.
In The Flight of the Century, Thomas Kessner takes a fresh look at one of America's greatest moments, explaining how what was essentially a publicity stunt became a turning point in history. He vividly recreates the flight itself and the euphoric reaction to it on both sides of the Atlantic, and argues that Lindbergh's amazing feat occurred just when the world--still struggling with the disillusionment of WWI--desperately needed a hero to restore a sense of optimism and innocence. Kessner also shows how new forms of mass media made Lindbergh into the most famous international celebrity of his time, casting him in the role of a humble yet dashing American hero of rural origins and traditional values. Much has been made of Lindbergh's personal integrity and his refusal to cash in on his fame. But Kessner reveals that Lindbergh was closely allied with, and managed by, a group of powerful businessmen--Harry Guggenheim, Dwight Morrow, and Henry Breckenridge chief among them--who sought to exploit aviation for mass transport and massive profits. Their efforts paid off as commercial air traffic soared from 6,000 passengers in 1926 to 173,000 passengers in 1929. Kessner's book is the first to fully explore Lindbergh's central role in promoting the airline industry--the rise of which has influenced everything from where we live to how we wage war and do business.
The Flight of the Century sheds new light on one of America's fascinatingly enigmatic heroes and most transformative moments.

Praise for Capital City:

"In Capital City, Kessner has achieved for his subject what James McPherson accomplished for the Civil War."
-- Wall Street Journal

"Graceful and lucid."
-- Mike Wallace, co-author of the Pulitzer Prize-winner Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898 ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating in depth work of a bygone era
Thomas Kessners' contribution to this era and to the body of knowledge regarding Lindbergh is immeasurable. This book is a highly enjoyable and interesting read. It is exceedingly well researched and has taught me a great deal about the enigmaticCharles Lindbergh. I highly recommend this book by the very talented author.

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommend! Excellent Read!!

I am a general reader who likes biographies. I am not fascinated by the history of the airline industry or American society in the 20s. But this book brings together so many elements around the story of Lindbergh's flight that after I finished reading it (initial attraction: the author's challenge about what made this sporting stunt so important) I felt that I had learned a lot, albeit painlessly. The author brings you into the process of Lindbergh's character formation from when he was a young child in a broken home to his teenage years as a loner who loved solitude more than anything.By the time he was a young man he was driven by ambition and a strong code of personal honor and responsibility. He is drawn to the excitement of the new airplanes, and in the process he discovers something that gives meaning to his ambitions for success. He goes on to succeed where so many who were better prepared failed. The book is a pleasure to read and after the initial build up to the flight, the story had me hooked. Rightly or wrongly the celebrity machine made him a symbol for the new era, and he was savvy to use the fame to build aviation.

He made a lot of money along the way and he gained great fame, but his importance extended beyond his flight, the airline industry and his personal accomplishments. He advanced US diplomacy and trade in Europe and South America and made Americans comfortable with the idea of flying.

But he was a cretin. He respected totalitarianism more than democracy, Hitler more than Roosevelt. He spoke with emotion about peace and the environment but he thrilled to the idea of bombing the enemy during World War II (so long as it was Asians and not Germans!). He was deeply biased. He treated his family and especially his worshipful wife badly. He fancied himself a philosopher while he dealt with abstract ideas incompetently and he died as a kind of unfulfilled hippie

This short biography respects the casual reader but it is written with authority and grace.

5-0 out of 5 stars Aspects of the Hero
There are a number of aeronautical or aerospace accomplishments that might be called "the flight of the century."The initial flight of the Wright Brothers in 1903 might be one, but the nation responded with little enthusiasm at the time.Speed ahead only sixty years, and the space flights and the lunar landings might also qualify, but no one has been back to the Moon for decades.Historian Thomas Kessner is surely correct in his assignment of the title to his book _The Flight of the Century: Charles Lindbergh and the Rise of American Aviation_ (Oxford University Press).This is something different among the many books about Lindbergh.The flight itself takes up a small chapter toward the early middle of the book (after all, there are only the reports of Lindbergh himself to refer to).Before that is a brief history of his upbringing, and more importantly his training as an aviator.Most of the book, however, has to do with what happened to Lindbergh afterwards and his direct effect on how Americans and the world viewed flying and started up commercial airlines.After all, Kessner himself says the flight was a stunt, an entry in a competition to win a prize: "He cured no deadly diseases.He ended no wars, uncovered no fresh continent; he made no scientific discoveries.He did not invent jazz or write a great novel or stir the American conscience with his eloquence."Accomplishing the stunt, however, made him the most famous man in the world, and he used his fame to boost commercial and government endeavors in aviation; we fly the way we do today at least partially because of his involvement.The structure of Kessner's book also means that the unseemly aspects of Lindbergh's racial views are mentioned but do not overwhelm that latter part of the book.

Lindbergh didn't take to schooling; when it came time for him to study anything to do with flying, he had no problem buckling down and taking in the information efficiently and quickly, but nothing else much motivated him.He barnstormed and taught student pilots and numbingly carrying sacks of mail from one city to another, when he began planning for the $25,000 prize offered for a nonstop flight from New York to Paris.No one was re-thinking how to make the flight until Lindbergh came along.He wanted a stripped-down plane built to the purpose of the task, with just one motor and one pilot.Comfortable seating, emergency equipment, navigation lights, communications devices, parachute - for Lindbergh, they were all jettisoned as excess weight that would make attaining his goal less likely.He even clipped the margins off his navigational charts to save weight.He took off from New York and had a relatively worry-free flight, landing near Paris, with his main worry being that he didn't have a visa and so might be kicked out of the country.Lindbergh was perfect - he looked naïve and bewildered, and when he was called upon to talk, he kept his speeches short and used every opportunity to praise French aviation and aviators and war heroes.He went on to visit England to the same sort of acclaim, and then back to America as the most famous man in the world.Everyone loved him as a hero, and when he could have cashed in with a proffered lucrative film role, people loved his down-home restraint.Will Rogers said that his innocence ought to be protected as a national resource.Lindbergh wasn't as naïve as he seemed, though; he had an intelligence for aviation that he plied into the airline boom, and with his book sales he did very well indeed.He wanted aviation to change the world and make it a more peaceful place.He had a hand in just how those planes were going to fly.He had shunned a radio for his own plane, but realized that lightweight ones were needed for safety's sake; he knew that the barnstorming flyboys he had grown up with were going to have to turn into conservative and trustworthy pilots if they were going to fly passengers; he studied emergency backup systems; he worked on pressurized cabins for high-altitude flights.

The depression found him out of touch with the common man who had acclaimed him as hero and now saw him as just another tycoon.He clashed bitterly with FDR.He hated the lack of privacy, whose worst manifestation was the kidnapping and death of his son.Aviation which he thought would unite a peaceful world became another tool in warfare.His winning boyish charm changed into a dogmatic racism.He admired Hitler's Germany and his America First movement seemed more and more wrong until it was undone by the start of WWII.Kessner, however, barely gets to mention all these difficulties, and ascribes at least some of them to Lindbergh's belief that the next new technology was going to bring about real progress.His optimism is thus part of his darker side, but Kessner's portrait is mostly of Lindbergh, the admirable hero and planner of an aeronautic future.There is no reason to forget the darker parts, but plenty of reason to celebrate the accomplishments before they took over.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Soaring Read!
Thomas Kessner has done a fantastic job in creating a meticulously researched biography that reads like a novel. Kessner paints a rich portrait of a complex man against the backdrop of a similarly complex time period when air travel was viewed in ways beyond merely being a new method in transportation.On one hand it was a time when Americans, and the world, grabbed on to Lindbergh's accomplishment(s) as a way to channel their yearning for new hope in human achievement.On the other hand it was also the time when the era's business leaders sought to commercialize aviation with the creation of a new and profitable industry.The author does a wonderful job weaving in the various aspects of Lindbergh's personality, beliefs and activities and how they dovetailed with the different voices and forces of that defining period in America's history.

A compelling read for anyone interested in the history behind "today's" America, this wonderful book sheds light on how American modern society was created not just by those whose accomplishments are one-sided, but even by those flawed individuals whose achievements are quite possibly greater than themselves.

5-0 out of 5 stars High Flying and Fabulous
If you want to read a fascinatingbiography dealing with Charles Lindbergh's flight, fame and importance I think you will enjoy this fabulous book. It is lucid, informed and while it has the scholarly apparatus (one would not expect less from Oxford's Press) it carries its learning lightly and with good humor. Lindbergh became a hero without a clue about his own significance and this book gives us a good idea about why, despite a long list of real accomplishments, he remained essentially clueless about the public and how to deal with it for his entire life.

"Flight of the Century" vividly reminds us why all this made a difference. How a modest young barnstormer who insisted that his notion of flying across the ocean in a small single engine plane alone was a better idea than what all the experienced men of the flying fraternity were doing managed to capture the world's imagination with a picture perfect flight from New York to Paris while the others died trying.

It's a wonderful balance of history and human insight.

... Read more

3. From Bouncing Bombs to Concorde: The Authorised Biography of Aviation Pioneer Sir George Edwards OM
by Robert Gardner
Hardcover: 352 Pages (2006-07-01)
list price: US$46.95 -- used & new: US$27.78
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0750943890
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For a quarter of a century from 1950, George Edwards was the dominant figure in British aviation, both civil and military. His name is synonymous with the Vickers Viscount, the world's first turboprop airliner, and the Concorde, for which he led the British team throughout its formative period to customer delivery. During the Second World War, Edwards worked closely with Barnes Wallis and was responsible for making the dam busters' famous bouncing bomb bounce. After the war he was appointed chief designer at Vickers and designed Britain's first V-bomber, the Valiant, which was delivered to the RAF in just four years. Edwards then took the lead in the most ambitious military aircraft programme of the period, TSR2, until it was controversially cancelled in 1965. Against this setback, his successes included the VC10 airliner (still in service today with the RAF) and the legendary Anglo-French Concorde. Edwards's patience and perseverance when dealing with politicians and with his counterparts across the Channel were critical to the success of the Concorde project.
... Read more

4. Architects of Aviation (Biography index reprint series)
by Maurice Holland, Thomas M. Smith
 Hardcover: 214 Pages (1951-06)
list price: US$25.95 -- used & new: US$25.95
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Asin: 0836980654
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5. Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart (Pendulum Illustrated Biography Series : Aviation)
by John Norwood Fago, Naunerle C. Farr, Vicatan
 Paperback: 63 Pages (1979-06)
list price: US$2.95
Isbn: 0883013495
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Product Description
The lives and flying careers of Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart are briefly shown in cartoon format with text. ... Read more

6. Who's Who in Aviation History : 500 Biographies
by William H. Longyard
 Hardcover: Pages (1999-02-01)
list price: US$30.00
Isbn: 0788161083
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Information, exhilaration, and high aviation
Some of the best information out there. I have one for myself and willorder one for a friend. Maybe two. Great for conversation and super for theaviation enthusiast. ... Read more

7. From Torpedoes to Aviation: Washington Irving Chambers & Technological Innovation in the New Navy 1876 to 1913
by Stephen K. Stein
Hardcover: 288 Pages (2007-05-21)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$31.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0817315640
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8. Harriet Quimby - America's First Lady of the Air: A Biography for Intermediate Readers (Aviation History Series)
by Anita P. Davis, Ed Y. Hall
Hardcover: 96 Pages (1998-05)
list price: US$10.95 -- used & new: US$29.68
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Asin: 1885354061
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Years Before Amelia Earhart, America's First Lady of the Air
Harriet Quimby is not only worthy of a good book, which Ed Y. Hall's is, but is worthy of a movie. Her story is touching and almost unbelievable. A beautiful and strikingly smart American girl is born under modest circumstances on a farm in Michigan. She starts her career in San Francisco as a journalist, writing for the city's Dramatic Review about the theater. She goes to New York to write for Leslie's Illustrated Weekly and eventually through pluck becomes the first licensed woman aviator in America. She gains immortal fame being the first woman to fly the English channel in a Bleriot aircraft. And then, all too soon, she dies in a fatal air accident over Boston Harbor in 1912. This book not only outlines her career, but documents her literary career and the mysteries of her birth and true age. Aviation and women's studies fans should find this interesting. ... Read more

9. Sky Full of Dreams: The Aviation Exploits, Creations, and Visions of Bruce K. Hallock (Tailless Aircraft Designer, Builder, and Pilot)
by Austin Bruce Hallock
Paperback: 230 Pages (2010-03-05)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$16.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0982639007
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
SKY FULL OF DREAMS is the story of an extraordinary man who held fast to a dream and lived a remarkable life. It also happens to be a darn good airplane book!

From high-adventure flying to high-concept design, Bruce K. Hallock lived and breathed airplanes. He dreamed them, designed them, built them, and flew them like crazy.

His outstanding and varied career embraced military, commercial, and private aviation. He became a recognized expert on tailless aerodynamics, and the planes he conceived and built offered innovative approaches to some of the design challenges of his time.

This engaging and informative book, written by his eldest son who knew him well, provides unique insights into a complex individual and the airplanes he built and flew. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars A fascinating look at aviation throughout the twentieth century
It takes a certain type of individual to make their life in the skies. "Sky Full of Dreams: The Aviation Exploits, Creations, and Visions of Bruce K. Hallock" tells the story of Bruce K. Hallock through the eyes of his son, Austin. A man who took to the skies for his livelihood and imparted many of the stories of his profession and travels to his son, who in turn shares these stories with a new audience. "Sky Full of Dreams" is a fascinating look at aviation throughout the twentieth century.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sky Full of Dreams
I enjoyed this book very much as a flying wing enthusiast and as a pilot.Bruce had some of the most interesting adventures that probably couldn't be achieved in the modern era.These stories brought to life what it was like to be part of the birth of aviation in America and how Bruce approached the design and development of his various aircraft.It was a shame the flying wing on the cover never reached its potential but it did point out the difficulties in being at the leading edge of design.It is well written and very easy reading as it flows from story to story.I recommend it to pilots who love aviation history.

5-0 out of 5 stars enthralling story of an amazing career
I am not a friend or relative of Bruce K. Hallock. I write as a longtime pilot of light planes and the author of a memoir of my own (In Love With Flying). This biography of Bruce Hallock is enthralling---very well written, well edited, and well produced. Once I got into it, I could hardly lay it down. Hallock was an amazing person whose personality and achievements come through loud and clear in this meticulous work by his eldest son. If you are interested in all facets of powered flight from World War II to the end of the twentieth century, you will find this to be a fascinating and rewarding book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dreams still to be realized
I appreciated the biography of Bruce K. Hallock, as I was a friend who had orally heard of his dreams. It was good to read his son, Austin's, summary of his father's dreams. Bruce didn't see many of the dreams fulfilled, but he paved the way for others to continue and hopefully realize them.

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommend.Just fun reading.
Bruce K. Hallock was local to Austin, and I remember seeing his 'flying wing' he was working on at one time, little did I know the history behind it. I bought it to learn a little more about the plane he had designed. Well, it is a darn good book! Thankfully the writer was a technical writer and seems to have the details down, but what a hoot. Highly Recommended!

... Read more

10. The Wright Brothers: A Biography
by Fred C. Kelly
Paperback: 368 Pages (1989-07-01)
list price: US$10.95 -- used & new: US$4.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0486260569
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Engaging story, long considered the definitive Wright biography. Well-documented account, free of extraneous technical detail, describes boyhood interests, gliding at Kitty Hawk, their first powered flights, and Wilbur's efforts to revolutionize European aviation. 16 photographs.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

3-0 out of 5 stars The "Official" Biography
Kelly wrote the "official" story, as "authorized" and sanitized by Orville Wright, of the brothers' Wright. As a devotee of the Wrights, it is unfortunate that Kelly filled his book with deficiencies and erroneous claims made on Orville's behalf. A careful reading of the entire Wright papers and material still unpublished, reveals that Wilbur was the "brains" behind the discovery of flight; it was Orville who added his mechanical expertise in the building of the flyer. It is so unfortunate that so much that continues to be written about the Wrights is merely a reshuffling of old facts and surmises, with the result of a perpetuation of errors and distortions.

It was John R. McMahon who told the real story based on his revision of an original manuscript by Earl Findley. Orville had turned to Findley to write the biography; but it was too near the truth; too personal; and he nixed it.

But the truth came out, when McMahon wrote a series of articles on the Wright Brothers in "Popular Science," January 1929. When he came to write his book, still based on the Finley manuscript, Orville protested and was able to get several passages, on threat of court action, changed in the book. For example, Orville didn't want the years Wilbur spent at home as an invalid, revealed. Orville also has himself elevated above Wilbur, as the creative driving force in the airplane's invention.

If you want to investigate the real story, take the Kelly book with a grain of salt, and read instead, John Evangelist Walsh' "One Day at Kitty Hawk," published by Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1975. Even better, wouldn't it be good to have the unpublished Finley manuscript published, instead of suppressed.

But don't look for the Walsh book at the Wright Brothers Memorial National Park Service Visitor's Center.In a recent interview with a National Park Service Ranger there, he told me the Park Service regularly reviews all books before being put on sale in their facility, and the Walsh book was not one they would put out for sale. After I explained to him my credentials, he freely admitted that the information in the Kelly book was Orville's attempt to "re-write" history. But he stated that the Park Service didn't want to ruffle feathers of Wright family members, by putting out the more correct John Walsh biography, which he admitted, was more accurate.

I had always wondered why Orville, the more out-going of the two, would, in later life, say very little...he refused to give speeches, interviews, and said next to nothing at celebrations in honor of the Brothers.

Kelly, to say the least, gives less paragraph space to Wilbur's achievements, and more events of consequence, in numbers of paragraphs, to Orville. There are so many myths perpetuated by the Kelly book, too numerous to enumerate here in this review. I have heard Park Rangers at the Wright Brothers Memorial in Kitty Hawk, still repeating them as fact. Suffice to say, if the reader will look at the Walsh book, one will find the myths revealed in a conclusive way.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Wright Stuff
Fred Kelly has written the definitive biography of the Wright Brothers, with special emphasis on the 10 years after the first flight. During this time, the brothers worked diligently to explain the benefits of aviation to an unbelieving public and uninterested leaders of military and commercial concerns.

Kelly starts at the beginning, with tales of the brothers as young children and schoolboys, ultimately moving into the world of commerce as circus impressarios, printers, and bicycle builders and repairmen.

By the late 1890's they had selected aviation as a hobby, and started their annual pilgrimages to Kitty Hawk for several months each year to perform experiments. Only after 4 or 5 years of gliding and kite flying, was manned flight considered. By working long hours in the bicycle shop and minimizing all expenses, they were able to pursue this unusual hobby for several weeks each fall.

The obstacles were legendary, but the brothers persevered, usually by arguing (in a friendly way) between themselves, then reading every book on the subject in the Dayton public library, and then, developing new theories and experimental methods. In this way, they broke new ground in fluid dynamics, control and stability, motor construction, and propeller design. For example, they discovered that published tables of data on wind dynamics were wrong, so they built a wind tunnel to generate better data. The brothers had a unique ability to solve problems by applying a sound scientific approach and by going about it in an honest midwestern approach.

Those of us who were at the centennial did not hear the story of how little publicity the 1903 flight received. The press and public were either unbelieving, or unable to distinguish between flying dirigibles and heavier than air self propelled planes. Only after several public demonstrations with flights exceeding one hour did the popular press come to understand the importance of this development.

Kelly's book is unique in its access to Orville Wright, as they were old friends and Kelly consulted extensively with him, writing this book in the 1940's. After Wilbur died, Orville focused on building the various Wright companies around the world, fighting patent infringement suits (including Curtis), and endless battles with the Smithsonian Institute.

The Smithsonian story is told here in great detail, as Orville still sought for the historical record to reflect his view, now universally accepted. The Langely plane (Langely was the director of the Smithsonian) never flew; in fact, it crashed several times in the Potomac in 1902-03, and had obvious design flaws.

Amazingly, Glen Curtis was allowed to attempt experiments years later with the Langely plane, while he had litigation pending over the Wright patents. Curtis made major modifications to the plane, and got it to briefly fly, thus attempting to weaken the Wright patent claims. For years, the Smithsonian stubbornly insisted that the Langely plane was historically significant, and snubbed the Wright brothers, who retaliated by displaying their planes in other museums.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent telling of the history of man's first flight.
Fred Kelly did a wonderful job in bringing the story of the Wright Brothers to the public in this birgraphy.He starts us off by showing us the environment that the brothers grew up in and how the two had a curious and experimential nature about them.We are then shown the methods they had used in their experimentations for developing their flying machine.We can even feel the edge of competition as Samual Langly makes his attempt at manned powered flight only a day before the brothers and is met with failure.

It has been 100 years since that magical day on the North Carolina Outter Banks, and Kelly manages to bring the experience back to us to relive.This is also an excellent book for children to read.I highly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Only 100 Years Ago
Considering that Fred Kelly's biography was first published in 1943, the text has a surprisingly contemporary style and its underlying research is up to today's high biographical standards. There is little hint in the reading that the book is so dated. What will never get old is the fantastic story of the Wright Brothers.

Kelly begins with a brief history of the brothers' childhood, with parents who nurtured creativity and the quest for knowledge. They were the kind of kids who were fascinated with how things worked. Their interest in flight began when their father bought them a small rubber-band-powered toy kite. That interest slowly grew to a sideline obsession as they matured and began earning a living with their Dayton bicycle shop. They gathered and studied everything they could on the science of flight, including the works of Langley, Chanute, and Lilienthal. This led to the construction of gliders capable of holding a human passenger, with which they began methodical testing to understand aerodynamics and the nature of pressure on wing surfaces. To accomplish this in more efficient manner they invented the world's first wind tunnel, and patented wing warping and ailerons.

Eventually satisfied with their glider, the Wrights graduated to attempts at powered flight. When their motor didn't seem up to the task, they scratch-built their own. The culmination--after years of tinkering and learning--was the successful and historic flights at Kitty Hawk in 1903. The Wrights had ushered in a reasoned, scientific approach to the quest for man-flight. They had accomplished the impossible in virtual isolation, without financing or institutional support. They embody the can-do American ideal of independence and ingenuity.

What is almost equally fascinating about their story is what Kelly chronicles after the 1903 flights. The patriotic Wrights immediately foresaw the military potential for the flying machine and wanted America to benefit from their invention. But in 1903 man-flight was considered impossible. It took four years to convince the War Department that they weren't crackpots. It was nearly five years before the general public caught on to their accomplishment. And after others, such as Glenn Curtiss, began building their own planes--and infringing the Wright patent--it seemed to consume the rest of Orville' and Wilbur's lives to prevent history from being rewritten. They became embroiled in nasty feuds with Curtiss and the Smithsonian Institute over credit for their inventions and the right to claim first to fly.

While Kelly does an excellent job at presenting the case in favor of the Wrights, who undoubtedly deserve the admiration and gratitude of mankind--he was a personal friend of the Wrights and I'd like to read other viewpoints on the legal aspects of their later battles. Kelly may have been too close to render an objective and balanced picture of them. The brilliant brothers did seem to be a couple of characters. Oddly, there is no mention in the book of involvement with women. Were they a couple of male spinsters? --Christopher Bonn Jonnes, author of BIG ICE and WAKE UP DEAD.

5-0 out of 5 stars Two Bycycle Mechanics show us how to fly
A great little book. A must read for every airplane nut!! Wilbur and Orvill Wright show that common sense, Perseverance, and an unshaking belief in the scientific method overcame all obstacles to prove that man could flywhile others with more funding and education failed completely. A trueAmerican Success Story ... Read more

11. Calculated Risk: The Extraordinary Life of Jimmy Doolittle-Aviation Pioneer and World War II Hero
by Jonna Doolittle Hoppes
Hardcover: 360 Pages (2005-03-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$12.12
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Asin: 1891661442
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Famous for leading the Tokyo Raid, America's first strike against Japan in World War II, Jimmy Doolittle lived a remarkable life as an American pilot. This firsthand account by his granddaughter reveals an extraordinary individual—a scientist with a doctorate in aeronautical engineering from MIT, an aviation pioneer who was the first to fly across the United States in less than 24 hours and the first to fly "blind" (using only his plane's instruments), a barnstormer well known for aerobatics, a popular racing pilot who won every major air race at least once, recipient of both the Congressional Medal of Honor and Presidential Medal of Freedom, a four-star general, and commander of the 8th, 12th, and 15th Air Forces. This memoir provides insights into the public and private world of Jimmy Doolittle and his family and sheds light on the drives and motivation's of one of America's most influential and ambitious aviators. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Calculated Risk
I purchassed this book as a request for a friend.The condition of the book was excellent.I read the book because Jimmy Doolittle is the Grandfather of my friend Jody.I enjoyed learning about Jody's Grandfather.I recomend this book for anyone interesed in Aviation.

3-0 out of 5 stars Needed : A Good Editor
This isn't a fun review to write.The author is clearly a loving granddaughter and her grandparents were special people.But the book doesn't hang together well.Story lines are initiated and never completed or seem to begin in the middle.Many times I flipped back to see if pages has stuck together because I found myself in the midst of a story that didn't seem to fit.It's too bad.The author has stories worth sharing, but her manuscript seems to have received nary a editor's mark.

I liken learning to decorating a Christmas tree.Having lots of pretty ornaments is great, but one must start with a sturdy tree.Similarly, learning is about having a strong tree, or framework, and then adding ornaments, or facts, relationships, anecdotes, etc. to the framework. This book is a box of interesting ornaments but with a tree that needs work.If a reader already knows the narrative of Jimmy Doolittle's life, then this book might be completely enjoyable and worthwhile.But to a reader coming to Doolittle for the first time, this book would be confusing and unsatisfactory.A reader should start elsewhere and only return here if additional insights are desired.

5-0 out of 5 stars Doolittle, a true hero
This is just another excellent example of why this country has stayed a free democracy for 232 years.

5-0 out of 5 stars Must Read
I can sum this up in a very short space.This is a well written book that not only gives an insight into General Jimmy Doolittle's contributions to our nation and the world, but also into his family and his wife's contributions on the home front during WWII.As far as I am concerned, no history class should be taught without this book as required reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars Calculated Risk:
This book was purchased for my son who is interested in WWII planes and fliers, and since I was a civilian during WWII and lived through that era, this book was definitely to be read (especially after watching Life and Times on our local KCET station and the granddaughter was interviewed regarding this book).Both of us enjoyed reading the life of this remarkable man and it was a must for his growing library. ... Read more

12. Innovation and Consolidation in Aviation: Selected Contributions to the Australian Aviation Psychology Symposium 2000
by Graham Edkins, Peter Pfister, Australian Aviation Psychology Symposium
Hardcover: 360 Pages (2004-02)
list price: US$160.00 -- used & new: US$159.74
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0754619990
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Product Description
This is the formal refereed proceedings of the fifth Australian Aviation Psychology Symposium. The symposium had a diverse range of contributions and development workshops, bringing together practitioners from aviation psychology and human factors, flight operations management, safety managers, pilots, cabin crew, air traffic controllers, engineering and maintenance personnel, air safety investigators, staff from manufacturers and regulatory bodies and applied aviation industry researchers and academics. The volume expands the contribution of aviation psychology and human factors to the aviation industry within the Asia Pacific region, developing the safety, efficiency and viability of the industry. It is a forward-looking work, providing strategies for psychology and human factors to increase the safe and effective functioning of aviation organizations and systems, pertinent to both civil and military operations. ... Read more

13. FOKKER (Smithsonian History of Aviation and Spaceflight Series)
 Hardcover: 250 Pages (1997-03-17)
list price: US$37.95 -- used & new: US$13.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1560987359
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14. Fliers: In Their Own Words (General Aviation Reading series)
by Katie Goode
Paperback: 220 Pages (2001-09-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$3.48
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Asin: 1560271957
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The diverse accomplishments and careers of 14 pilots are explored in this inspiring collection of interviews. Top fliers including aerobatic champion Patty Wagstaff, Alaska bush pilot Bill de Creeft, airline pilot Captain Jim Moore, and stealth fighter pilot Captain Jeff Robertson share their stories about their time in the sky, their love of flying, their memories, and the things that inspired them to become the leaders in aviation they are today. From skywriters and airshow clowns to specialized helicopter pilots and military heroes, these pilots' stories afford a fascinating look at the gravity-defying field of aviation. ... Read more

15. The Blond Knight of Germany: A biography of Erich Hartmann
by Raymond Toliver, Trevor Constable
Paperback: 332 Pages (1986-01-01)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$15.45
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Asin: 0830681892
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (43)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Niche Book
This book is excellent for the history or aviation buff looking for information about things that have not been widely written about--at least not in the west.Great information on strategy and aerial warfare tactics on the eastern front during WWII.Also, a great read about a man who would not give up his values at any price.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stories of courage and integrity of the German Ace
This book abounds with stories of courage and integrity on the German top ace of World War II.

Here are a couple of examples.First, when Eric won the "diamonds", the top award for the German military during World War II, for shooting down 301 Russian planes in August, 1944, he received the award from Hitler shortly after the failed July 20, 1944 attempt to kill Hitler.Eric was told that he needed to leave his side arm prior to visiting Hitler to receive the award.Eric said that if they didn't trust him, then he would not receive the award.He was allowed to keep his side arm.

Second, there are many stories of the physchological attacks that the Soviet NKVD made on Eric to force to renounce what he did during the war.This led to trumped up charges that Eric was a war criminal (which were dropped by Russia in 1997).He went on hunger strikes, smashed a chair over one NKVD agent's head, and continually resisted their demands in the process spending months in solitary confinement in small cells.He was unwilling to say or agree to what was not the truth in spite of the bribes and threats.

There are also many stories about his combat experiences on the Eastern Front, where Germany was more and more outnumbered, he continually shot down more and more Russian planes.

For anyone interested in the World War II in the air, this book is highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars What a valiant unpretentious warrior he was.
This is the story of an amazingly modest aerial war hero and the unbelievable things he did in combat to survive the war only to end up in a Russian prisoner of war camp for ten years. Allied pilots flew 25 missions, but their German counterparts continued to fly missions until they were killed or the war ended whichever came first. Erich Hartmann's 352 verified kills will never be surpassed. Being a pilot and student of aerial combat, I wish I had a chance to meet this great warrior.

5-0 out of 5 stars The ace of aces
This is the story of the great Erich Hartmann, the ace of aces who put up mind-boggling numbers as the highest scoring fighter pilot ofall time:352 confirmed kills, flying more than twelve hundred combat missions and engaging the enemy on more than eight hundred occasions.His unit for most of the war was the renowned JG-52, which boasted more than ten thousand kills.

After his unit surrendered to U.S. troops, the Americans turned them over to the Red Army, with predictable results.Hartmann then spent ten years in Soviet prison camps.

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting but lacking...
It's obvious that the authors of this interesting book truly admire Erich Hartmann for his supreme pilot and combat skills. The life of such a warrior is by itself an interesting story and the book provides a lot in this perspective. But a biography should -in order to be called complete- give some insight of the hero within its surroundings. To be more precise: Although the authors mention their extensive research, we never learn what Hartmann felt and thought about the Nazi regime, during and after the war. His status as a Nazi hero is never analyzed; instead the authors keep mentioning how each combat won brought him closer to another Nazi metal, how he met Hitler for the award ceremony, and so on. The book is totally apolitical and after some pages the whole historical perspective is lost, and you simply enthusiastically countdown -along the authors- the next batch of air combats and kills.
Suddenly the last third of the book becomes a story of Hartmann's captivity in Soviet Union after the war, the misery of the camps and the constant mistreatment. But again this is without perspective, without any reference at all of what the Nazi troops did to Russian people. Hartmann is portrayed again as a "solo warrior", a pilot still fighting, even if he is grounded. His achievements in the Nazi war machinery are equalized with his brave stance towards his captors, and he is innocent of everything since he is "politically naïve" and "just a warrior doing his duty". Maybe so, but the book never proves this whole theorem that comes to idolize its hero.
In short, this book is an interesting read about the life of one of the most skilled fighter pilots in history. But loses to place its hero within the reality of war, of ideologies, of contemporary history. In one of the most vivid scenes of the book, Hartmann watches the mass rape of German women by Russians. It's a tragic scene, but makes you wonder. Hartmann in his 3 years of service in the Eastern front, has never seen or heard similar crimes being contacted by german troops?

... Read more

16. Glenn Curtiss: Pioneer of Aviation
by Alden Hatch
Paperback: 290 Pages (2007-11-01)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$0.70
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1599211459
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17. Chronicle of Aviation
by Bill Gunston, Peter Bently, M. J. Armitage, Mark S. Pyle, Edouard Chemel
 Hardcover: 984 Pages (1992-10)
list price: US$49.95 -- used & new: US$39.00
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Asin: 1872031307
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (5)

3-0 out of 5 stars Mark Pyle
I found this book by doing a search for Mark Pyle as an author in a vain attempt at finding a tape called "Death of An American Dream," which I know he is quoted on, but I'm not positive he authored.But, this book looks interesting. Anything by the last Clipper Captain is a good read to me.

"Pan Am has place of it's own.You call it the world, we call it home."Gone but not forgotten....

4-0 out of 5 stars I am the editor-in-chief for American article development
I originally was going to submit this review as the author...which in fairness I am as much as any of those listed but withdrew the verbage before the final mouse click for avoidance of legal ramifications.

In1991, Chronicle of Aviation was originally published in France. It waspiloted by a wonderful Air France Concorde pilot by the name of EdouardChemel and published under Chronicle Publications...the owner a verycolorful Belgian by the name of Jacques Legrand. The book was latertranslated into english by Derek Mercer and new articles and content toattract the attention of english speaking audiences. Ivan Rendall,"Reaching for the Skies," was the original editor-in-chief forEngland but withdrew at the last moment and Bill Gunston was hisreplacement. Gunston's name in England is well known, and was thought toincrease sales after Rendall pulled out of the project.

I was brought inas editor-in-chief for American content in December of '91 and was acontributing author of well over 70 articles and many, many pictures aswell.

The book never did well in the USA but was quite successfuloverseas. American's and history... well, we are a throw away society, arewe not?

Since Chemel and I are notably absent from your author header, Irespectfully submit that we both contributed more blood sweat and tearsthan any of those individuals you have listed.

With respect,

Mark S.Pyle Captain "The Last Clipper" December 4th,1991

editor-in-chief "Chronicle of Aviation"

5-0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive encyclopedia of all things aviation!
I'm a pilot and was looking for the biggest and most comprehensive historyof aviation. I found it in this book!
This is the essential aviationbook and reference/research tool! Place it on your coffee table -- it willnever get put back down!Hardcover, high quality images and articles. Eachpage looks like a newspaper. It is a tad biased toward Europe, but USaircraft, ever the powerhouse of aviation in the world, is overwhelminglythe majority of articles. There is some editorial embellishing, but not tothe point that the bulk of the historical fact is presented.
Thisbook is HUGE! Over 950+ pages! Color and black and white photos, artwork.The book is broken down into chronological history of aircraft from1500-1992. At the beginning of each year, a huge cover image from somesignificant happening (or other cool image) appears with the stats forhighest altitude, engine HP, speed record, etc. for aviation at that point.
Just when you think its over, there is a 200+ page section on how alltypes of aircraft engines work, including famous engines, types of fuel,turbo and super charging, turbines, rotary, etc. Then, after that, there ismajor world airline information including artwork of each aircraft tail andits corporate logo, plus vital stats about each. Neat!
Buy this book,you won't be dissapointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars It was the best book about the history of flight.
It was the best book about history of the chronical of aviation.It gave all of the info. about airplanes.

3-0 out of 5 stars Bitterly biased towards U.K. aircraft.
Beautiful pictures of aviation history and aircraft from all over the world accompanied by very biased editorial comments that do not belong in the book. American aircraft manufacturers are portrayed as the dark forces of evil ... Read more

18. UNIVERSAL MAN (Smithsonian History of Aviation and Spaceflight Series)
 Hardcover: 202 Pages (1992-07-17)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$3.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1560981652
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19. Fighter General: The Life of Adolf Galland: The Official Biography
by Foreword by General James H. Doolittle, USAF (Ret.), Trevor J. Constable, Col. Raymond F. Toliver USAF (Ret.)
Hardcover: 216 Pages (1998-12-01)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$34.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0764306782
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Adolf Galland began World War II in Poland, as a lieutenant and squadron commander, flying obsolescent biplanes. He ended the war as a Lieutenant Generaland was again a squadron commanderthis time flying Me 262 jet fighters. In all of aviation histo ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Review of Adolf Galland's biography "Fighter General"
I thought it was an excellent book for the reader who wants a more indepth study of Adolf Galland than can be found in the many books about the Luftwaffe.The authors do an excellent job of covering Galland's legendarylife through the conclusion of WWII including printing many interesting andnever before published photograghs of people, places, and planes thatimpacted this Luftwaffe legend.The many personal antecdotes from Gallandand his fighter pilot associates and friends make for entertaining reading. The only down-side to the book is the relatively scant (compared to thewar years) coverage of his life after WWII inspite of the fact that helived until 1996.Overall, I enjoyed the book very much and wouldrecommend it to anyone.

5-0 out of 5 stars A pleasant and informative read.
As someone who knew the late Adolf Galland and the authors, this book is amost honest representation of his life in both war and peace. Theimportance of his strife, both in the air and on the ground with Hitler andGoering, as well as his post war success are inspiring. A book that shouldbe read by all who enjoy reading about the human experience.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent book
A very fascinating and interesting book. From the time he grew up in Westerholt, Germany and entered the Luftwaffe, and his activities after the war, was very descriptive and very easy to read. It did not become bogged down with non essential details that tend to make biographies difficult to read. I would recommend this book to anyone ... Read more

20. Lindbergh: A Biography
by Leonard Mosley
Hardcover: 496 Pages (2000-03-20)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$8.14
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0486409643
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
With his historic 1927 flight across the Atlantic in The Spirit of St. Louis, Charles Lindbergh overnight became one of America’s most celebrated heroes. In this highly readable biography, best-selling author Leonard Mosley offers an fascinating account of Lindbergh’s childhood, days as a barnstormer and mail pilot, the flight to Paris and its aftermath, the Hauptmann trial, his later life, and much more. Source Notes. Index. 40 halftone illus.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Indeed,God is my Co-Pilot....
This bio has merit,to be supplemented by many of their auto-biographical writings. Anne was painfully shy--flew across USA promoting safe Air Travel..she gained lst woman's glider pilot license,(1930) Died in Vt, at 94, Feb 7,2001. Just 1 week before valentines Day. Love,Peace..of aviation history...to big sky country,gone. ... Read more

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