View Full Version : Aviation Books

October 20th, 2008, 09:17
NOTAM: I asked the powers that be to eliminate the book sub-forum since it was infrequently visited and posted in. I thought we could have a book sticky thread here in the main section that would work just as well.

So please post your favorite aviation themed books or anything related (magazines, periodicals etc). Reviews are also welcomed.


October 20th, 2008, 09:23
I will kick it off with a little project I have been working on. As a fan of the famed Putnam Aviation books, I have attempted to come up with a comprehensive list of the entire published series. Except for some pre 1950 releases, here is what I have so far. Please feel free to suggest any additions or corrections.

Putnam Aviation Series (Post 1950 Titles)

1000 Destroyed; The Life & Times of the 4th Fighter Group
Aeroflot Soviet Air Transport Since 1923
Aeroplanes of the Royal Flying Corps Military Wing
Aeromarine Origins
Air Defense of Britain 1914-1918
Aircraft of the Royal Air Force Since 1918
Aircraft of the Second World War; The Development of the Warplane 1939-1945
Aircraft of the Spanish Civil War 1936-1939
Airlines of Latin America Since 1919
Airlines of the United States Since 1914
Airlines of Asia Since 1920
Airports of the World
Airspeed Aircraft Since 1931
Annals of British and Commonwealth Air Transport 1919-1960
Armament of British Aircraft 1909-1939
Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft Since 1913
Avro Aircraft Since 1908
Baa Baa Black Sheep
Beech Aircraft and Their Predecessors
Bell Aircraft Since 1935
Biplane to Monoplane; Aircraft Development 1919-1939
Blackburn Aircraft Since 1909
Boeing Aircraft Since 1916
Boulton Paul Aircraft Since 1915
Bristol Aircraft Since 1910
Bristol Fashion; Some Account of the Earlier Days of Bristol Aviation
British Aeroplanes 1914-18
British Aviation; The Adventuring Years 1920-1929
British Aviation; Great War and Armistice 1915-1919
British Aviation; The Pioneer Years
British Aviation; Widening Horizons 1930-1934
British Aviation; Ominous Skies 1935-1939
British Civil Aircraft Since 1919-Three Volumes
British Civil Aircraft Vol 1
British Civil Aircraft Vol 2
British Civil Aircraft Vol 3
British Flight Testing; Martlesham Heath 1920-1939
British Flying Boats & Amphibians 1909-1952
British Naval Aircraft 1912-1958
British Racing & Record Breaking Aircraft
Canadian Aircraft Since 1909
C.F.S. Birthplace of Airpower
Claude Grahame-White
Curtiss Aircraft 1907-1947
De Havilland Aircraft Since 1915
English Electric Aircraft and their Predecessors
European Transport Aircraft Since 1910
Fairey Aircraft Since 1915
Faster-Further-Higher; Leading-edge Technology Since 1945
Fighter Command; A Study of Air Defence 1914-1960
Five Down and Glory; A History of the American Air Ace
Flying Witness; Harry Harper and the Golden Age of Aviation
Fokker; The Creative Years
General Dynamics Aircraft and Their Predecessors
German Aircraft Of the First World War
German Aircraft of the Second World War
Gloster Aircraft Since 1917
Grumman Aircraft Since 1929
Handley Page Aircraft Since 1907
Hawker Aircraft Since 1920
Japanese Aircraft 1910-1941
Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War
Jetliners in Service Since 1952
Junkers Aircraft and Engines 1913-1945
Lockheed Aircraft Since 1913
McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Since 1920 Vol 1
McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Since 1920 Vol 2
Men,Women and 10,000 Kites
MiG Aircraft Since 1937
Miles Aircraft Since 1925
Modern Air Transport Worldwide From 1945 to the Present
Modern War Machine Military Aviation Since 1945
My Zeppelins
Parnall Aircraft Since 1914
Pioneer Aircraft; Early Aviation Before 1914
Polish Aircraft 1893-1939
R.A.F. Biggin Hill
Russian Aircraft Since 1940
Saab Aircraft Since 1937
Santos Dumont; A Study in Obsession
Saunders and Saro Aircraft Since 1917
Schneider Trophy Aircraft 1913-1931
Shorts Aircraft Since 1900
Sopwith Aircraft 1912-1920
Soviet Aircraft and Aviation 1917-1941
Soviet Transport Aircraft Since 1945
Squadron Histories RFC, RNAS and RAF Since 1912
Supermarine Aircraft Since 1914
The Aeroplanes of the Royal Flying Corps Military Wing
The Adventure of Man’s Flight
The Air Defence of Britain 1914-1918
The Air League Aircraft Recognition Manual
The Bird; A Novel
The British Bomber Since 1914
The British Fighter Since 1912
The Captive Luftwaffe
The Flight of Alcock and Brown 4th/15th of June 1919
The German Fighter Since 1915
The German Giants; The R Planes 1914-1918
The Modern Airliner
The Royal Aircraft Factory
The Seven Skies; A Study of B.O.A.C. and its Forerunners Since 1919
Tupolev Aircraft Since 1922
United States Military Aircraft Since 1909
United States Navy Aircraft Since 1911
Vickers Aircraft Since 1908
Westland Aircraft Since 1915
World Speed Record Aircraft; The Fastest Piston-engined Landplanes Since 1903
Yakovlev Aircraft since 1924
Zeppelin Rigid Airships 1893-1940

Compiled by K. Moore 10/13/2008

Craig Taylor
October 22nd, 2008, 06:42
I recently read "Rampant Raider" by Stephen R. Gray (Naval Institute Press, 2007). It's a non-fiction personal account of Gray's experience going through Naval Aviation Cadet training, followed by flight school, carrier quals, and finishing with his first cruise to Vietnam as an A-4 pilot with VA 212 in USS Bon Homme Richard in '67. Some may find the coverage of his training too detailed, but I enjoyed every page of the book. You really get a sense for how he felt about the times and what they were doing. If you have a love of jets and carrier aviation, this would be a good book to read.

October 22nd, 2008, 07:07
Re the Putnams, Kevin, I think you have missed out 'British Aircraft 1809-1914' by Peter Lewis. (I have a copy of this).

My personal count is 64, and I think I won't be getting any more ! (not really that interested in airlines, etc).

I also have a few duplicates now (15 in number, including Saro and Grumman, which are getting a bit scarce now) which I will keep for a rainy day, to sell on the Bay.

Judging by the current economic climate, that might not be far off !

October 29th, 2008, 17:02
For those interested in Soviet/Russian aviation, both rotorcraft and fixed-wing, take a look at Yefim Gordon's books. I have 9 of them and they never disappoint. Great in-depth information on the design, production, variants, technical specs, and operational use of the aircraft. If there is a Soviet/Russian aircraft you want to know everything that is not classified about, check out his books.


October 31st, 2008, 23:10
Another Putnam 'Miles' has appeared on EBay - auction ending Friday.

4 bids already - I reckon £150+ for this one.

November 6th, 2008, 09:52
I recently bid on the Miles & Airspeed. Just missed on the Airspeed and the Miles ended up selling for $127.00 US.

November 6th, 2008, 10:30
There y'are - I did a 'remember me' this afternoon and it still asked me to log in again. Maybe I'm just instantly forgettable.......:frown:

Anyway, $127 wouldn't be a bad price for the Miles - at the old exchange rate - now its around $1.55, that is a different kettle of fish. Still cheap for one in good condition.

The Ebay one is now up to £63.50 - that's $100 - and a whole day to go - mmmmmmm..........

November 6th, 2008, 10:44
Several years ago, I found a very tatty copy of the Putnam's Miles book in a charity shop,( for £1 I think) but it was tatty, I left it there:banghead: thinking that another would come along. It was some time later that I discovered how expensive they are. It did have remnants of a dust jacket, but scribbled on and the pages were loose and falling out.
I did find a copy in a secondhand bookshop, but it was marked at £125, it stayed there.

November 7th, 2008, 06:33
"In 1943, five American airmen were flying a treacherous, Himalayan supply route known as “the Hump”. They expected a routine flight from Kunming, in China, back to their base at Jorhat, in India. But a violent storm suddenly erupted and blew the men hundreds of miles off course.
Forced to bail out, just seconds before their plane ran out of fuel, the five men miraculously survived. They thought they had landed in India - or possibly in China - but instead they found they were stranded high in the mountains of central Tibet.

Their ordeal was just beginning."

Recently finished Lost In Tibet by Richard Starks & Miriam Murcutt. I lucked into a hardcover copy at the local discount book store for $12.00 US. Fascinating story. They were among the first Americans ever to enter the "Forbidden City". I highly recommend it.

More info here: http://www.lostintibet.com/


November 7th, 2008, 21:39
The Putnam Miles went for the equivalent of $170.
It probably would have raised more, but there was a warning that it came from the collection of a heavy smoker - I have a couple of books like that and it is really quite nauseating. Have tried every trick (in the book!) to get rid of the smell but boy it does linger.

November 8th, 2008, 05:37
A really good yarn is Imperial 109, by Richard Doyle. Set in the 1930's on an Imperial Airways Short S-30 Empire class flying boat (Caterina), flying from Uganda to New York.
It has the usual list of characters, wealthy nobs, Nazi's, the obligatory jerk etc. Bit of a silly ending, but what the heck.

I read Night Over Water, by Ken Follett some years before I found this book, although '109 came out a long time before Follett's book. Although the stories are different, the similarities are startling. Read them both and see what I mean.

November 9th, 2008, 07:44
Picked up a copy of Mushroom Model's Blackburn Skua and Roc today at Duxford. Like all their books its very good value, I think thats 7 or 8 of theirs I've got now and I'm yet to be disappointed.

(Duxford pictures to come later)

November 16th, 2008, 17:43
<o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" name="country-region"></o:smarttagtype><o:smarttagtype namespaceuri="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" name="place"></o:smarttagtype><!--><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> "Of all the fighters, two could really excite a flyer. One was the P-51, Mustang, lovely to look at, honest, efficient, hard-working and dependable. In those days she was thought of as a wife, and I know men who married her, back then, and are still in love with her. The other was the P-39, Airacobra. It was slim, with a gently curved tail section, a smoothly faired in air intake, and a perfectly rounded nose con with its ugly, protruding cannon. But the Airacobra was lazy and slovenly and given to fits of vicious temper. It was a sexy machine, and rotten. Nanette was like that, and I was a little queer for her." (Edwards Park, [I]Nanette p. 14.)
<o:p> </o:p>
Edwards Park flew Nanette over <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">New Guinea</st1:place></st1:country-region> during the war. He was not a particularly distinguished fighter pilot. But he's a terrific writer. (He was an accomplished professional journalist and a writer for the Smithsonian.) For us, he wrote two wonderful books about his wartime experience.
<o:p> </o:p>
The first, Nanette (1977), is a poetic love story about his relationship with his own bird—and his own youth. The second, Angeles Twenty (1997), is more of a standard narrative that reflects on the real character of the wartime experience. Each tells the same story from different artistic sensibilities. And each is wonderful in its own way.

Ralf Roggeveen
November 16th, 2008, 21:36
New to me & looks good; thanks for the tip Mike M! Great writer, indifferent pilot - the American Saint-Exupery perhaps?

Personally I love the Airacobra & made Hero of the Soviet Union in one in Il-2 Forgotten Battles, though it never flew so well in Pacific War. Admittedly the 'Hero' was over Stalingrad where you can get turkey shoots of unescorted Ju-52s lumbering in courtesy of Fat Hermann. The RAF never liked it & handed their few on to the Russians who did indeed use them - plus a lot more which came via Vladivostok & were renamed Kobra - very, very effectively at low altitudes. The mid-engine configuration takes a bit of getting used to, but its centreline cannon is great fun once you work out how to line it up properly. Doesn't really compare with the Mustang, but a beauty in its own right & surely one of the best fighters of the 1930s?

November 16th, 2008, 23:31
Re James' Mushroom books - it seems they are hard to get hold of once the initial print run is sold out.
I have been looking for the Lysander - there seem to have been two versions of this published by Mushroom in 2003 and 2006 - but no luck !

November 17th, 2008, 02:26
Keep looking because its very good. There isn't a lot out there on Lysanders and for the price (which could be more now if they're hard to find) it covers it fairly well.

November 24th, 2008, 06:52
Any Biggles men out there ??

When I was a kid (and you know how long ago that was!) I had a Biggles WWI short story omnibus, in large format, with superb colour plates.
All I remember is one story where he escapes from a German port in a Brandenburg floatplane.

Any of you oldies remember this ? I would love to track down a copy of this book.

November 24th, 2008, 16:50
Here you go Lefty: http://www.bhaduris.net/biggles/

I used to read the Dutch translations in grade school, but in high school I rapidly switched over to the original English ones. They really helped me to learn the English language and they were FUN to read.:d

November 25th, 2008, 02:08
Read a lot of Biggles in my time too. There were about half a dozen in my primary school library, all WWI stories and they got me hooked.

November 25th, 2008, 13:32
I used to read the Dutch translations in grade school, but in high school I rapidly switched over to the original English ones. They really helped me to learn the English language and they were FUN to read.:d

I did the opposite when I finally got out of Dutch language school and over in Belgium. Comic books in Dutch taught me a lot on how the language is actually used. (more into Asterix and Lucky Luke at the time though)

November 25th, 2008, 13:37
Back on topic with the books. I find the reproduction Air Ministry Pilot's Notes booklets interesting reads on how the aircraft was actually operated. I've only got the one for Spitfire XIV & XIX, but need to get more for other RAF and FAA aircraft that I like to fly in FS as well. The AH Spit XIX can be flown pretty close to the book.

Also available for some American aircraft that Britain used as well as the Focke Wulf Fw 190 and Messerschmitt Bf 109 (I'm assuming these were for captured aircraft).

November 25th, 2008, 13:46
No new aviation books here, but I did preorder a book about the first hundred years of Dutch aviation. Hope it will arrive before christmas!

I'm also looking at good books about the 'Nachtjagd'; there's these two books in English by Theo Boiten (http://www.aviationmegastore.com/?shopid=LM48b5e27dd66e064da93f20716c&action=prodinfo&parent_id=0&art=78648 and http://www.aviationmegastore.com/?shopid=LM48b5e27dd66e064da93f20716c&action=prodinfo&parent_id=0&art=78649 ) which will set me back about €86/$112/72GBP, or alternatively there's this book in Dutch (Hussars of the night; http://www.aviationmegastore.com/?shopid=LM48b5e27dd66e064da93f20716c&action=prodinfo&parent_id=0&art=73701) which is part 1 of a two or three part series. This one is only slightly more expensive if there will be two books and a lot more if there will be three.

November 25th, 2008, 16:22
Ferry, I have Nachtjagd by Theo Boiten. It is outstanding and I can recommend it. I bought it a long time ago, when it was more reasonably priced.:d

There is another book that is rather interesting, especially for Dutch people with past ties to Nederlands Oost Indie. It is "The Dutch Naval Air Force against Japan" (The Defense of the Netherlands East Indies, 1941-1942) by Tom Womack. It is by far the most comprehensive English language account of the Allied Naval air war in the Netherlands East Indies. The publisher is McFarland and ISBN 0-7864-2365-X. I obtained it a couple of years ago in Canada and it was I believe $39.50.

November 26th, 2008, 02:52
Thanks for the info; I found Womack's book too, but right now I'm more interested in the Nachtjagd. Former Fliegerhorst Deelen (And the 'Diogenes' command center) is less than 10 miles from here which make it slightly less 'ver van mijn bed'. ;)
What's weird is that about 7,500 aircraft, both German and allied, were shot down over Holland but yet there is almost nothing to be found about it in museums etc. There are one or two museums which have a small expo about recovered aircraft but that's it.

BTW another book on my short list is the autobiography of Wolfgang Falck: http://www.aviationmegastore.com/?shopid=LM48b5e27dd66e064da93f20716c&action=prodinfo&parent_id=0&art=44915


November 29th, 2008, 11:58
I finally nabbed a copy of "European Transport Aircraft Since 1910". Won it on Ebay for $54.51 US. :applause: An early Christmas present.

December 1st, 2008, 15:56
Ferry, after WW II in The Netherlands there was no big drive to start museums relating to the war, in spite of the facts that the Dutch are probably the best collectors in the world, such as sigaren bandjes, etc. and have the most museums per capita. You will find the best museums relating to WW II in countries that were not occupied during that period. In Holland, the aircraft wreckage is considered more with a reference, a memorial to the crew members, at least that was the case in the '40s, '50s, and early '60s when I lived there.

December 1st, 2008, 22:13
I finally nabbed a copy of "European Transport Aircraft Since 1910".

It's been a great help to me with some of your mysteries, and you paid a fair price - it's becoming very hard to get, as I'm sure you know.

I nabbed a spare copy of J.M.Bruce's Putnam 'British Aeroplanes 1914-18' for £36 on the Bay. Last copy I saw in my specialist bookshop was selling for a staggering £175.

Now have a little nest-egg of Putnams for eventual resale - a much better investment than most everything else these days. We old pensioners have to survive somehow !

Incidentally,the Bruce is one of the few books I have bought over the years that have the cigarette smoke problem. I have found that the tumble-dry sheets are quite effective in combating this (we call them Bounce here - don't know what they are in the States).

December 26th, 2008, 03:25
Well Santa brought no aviation books - except the ones I bought myself !

A 4-volume set of Heinz Nowarra's 'Deutsche Luftrüstung 1933-1945 now sits on my shelves. All I have to do now is learn some more German !

Also picked up on the Bay 'RAF and RCAF Nose Art' for about half its cover price. Interesting stuff.

January 6th, 2009, 02:16
Bit late in posting but haven't had interet on my computer for most of the holiday.

I got four books for christmas.

Westland Wessex Warpaint series.

Putnam Hawker Aircraft Both of these are very good as you would expect.

Control in the Sky L.F.E. Coombs An excellent book, has especially helped with my uni project on cockpits too.

Scorpions Sting:The story of 84 sqn Don Neate (Air Britain) This ones a really interesting read, I got it because our whirlwind was with them out in cyprus but the other bits I've dipped into are very good too. They have actually never been based on the uk mainland.

April 3rd, 2009, 09:38
Added Picture History of Aviation on Long Island 1908-1938 by Dade and Strnad to the library. Found it for $7 at the local discount reseller. Filled with dozens of rare photos of American and foreign aircraft. (Savoia-Marchetti SM-55 docked in NY harbor for example). This one is right in my wheelhouse with my near obsessive interest in 1930's transports & airliners of late. Covers a lot of the comings and goings at Floyd Bennett Field.


Can't say too much else because there will be some mystery planes pulled from it down the road. ;)

April 22nd, 2009, 11:08
Gulp ! Just bid for a bound Aircraft Profiles 205-222 on the Bay, and it went for a mind-boggling £51 ($74), over three times what I thought it was worth.

Someone really wanted that book.............

May 11th, 2009, 15:17
This arrived in the mail today; The Last Flight of Bomber 31. Can't wait to get started on it. Always been interested in the far corners of WWII and the Aleutians were about as far as you could go. Covers the long-range Ventura & Harpoon missions over Japan in some of the worst conditions possible in any theater.


A NOVA special on PBS first brought this story to my attention.


July 2nd, 2009, 04:25
Finally bought myself the 'Nachtjagd war diaries' volume 1&2 written by Theo Boiten, and published by Red Kite. Had to drive all the way to Schiphol and back, but I managed to get the last complete set available!

I could have ordered the books online and had them delivered to my house, the last time I did that the idiot that was supposed to do that dropped an expensive book in the hallway in the apartment building where I lived because I was't at home at the time. Fortunately it was still there when I came home late that night but if I get half the chance I rather drive the 120+ miles and pick them up myself!

Great books btw, very detailed information on the nightfighters' operations. :applause:

July 3rd, 2009, 02:11
For those of you who wondered why so many problems dogged Bomber Command and its equipment during WW2 I would thoroughly recommend 'The Relentless Offensive: War and Bomber Command' by Roy Irons.

This book details doctrine, research and armament development, and the foresight or lack thereof by individuals and various committees involved in making the Command a fighting force.

July 5th, 2009, 13:49
Picked up a couple of books at Waddington.

Rotorcraft of the Third Reich (not the mushroom one, the big thick one). Its one I've wanted for a while and it had about a third off. Haven't had time to read properly but looks excellent, as you'd expect it covers the main types in much more depth than the mushroom one (which is excellent as a quick reference) as well as covering a much wider range of types.

The other is the old Air Britain Hoverfly File. So far seems up to their usual standards which are pretty high.

Also got the new book from the author of Vulcan 607 but I'll post something about that if I ever get time to read it!

July 14th, 2009, 13:09
Picked up an interesting book today in a second hand bookshop (only cost £6.50 too)

Its called an introduction to Aeronautical Engineering- volume one: mechanics of flight.

The interesting thing is that its from 1936 (original edition was 32). Makes interesting reading how they explained things as opposed to modern textbooks. Obviously its largely similar, theres one or two things which are not technically correct like why the air accelerates over an aerofoil but on the whole its all very familiar right down to the diagrams. The confusing bit is numbers they use, I'm used to drawing in feet and inches and quoting knots and feet but have always converted to SI for calculating things, this is all in lb/ft3 etc.

July 15th, 2009, 14:52
I've just been working thru the list from Canav Books.
Mostly Larry Milberry stuff but there are a couple of others that I recommend - My Life in the North: Jack Lamb; Bush to Boardroom, Duncan McLaren - PWA

ALL of Don McVicar's books - From ferry command to making an airline, to racing Mossies postwar

and I've been looking for a set of three 'juvenile fiction' books from the 40's:The Steve Knight Flying Stories Series consisted of three volume series, set during World War II, and published by Grosset & Dunlap in 1941 and 1942. Author Ted Copp
They show on a couple of booksellers pages but then the page is dead or I've had no reply

July 16th, 2009, 08:50
Rob, you would have been proud of me. I just missed on Putnam's Canadian Aircraft Since 1909 over on Ebay last week. Tough one to track down.

In the meantime I have been slowly filling out my Juptner collection. Picked up U.S. Civil Aircraft Vol 2 for cheap.


I like the later volumes better as the early ones tend to have a lot of Wacos and Travel Airs that all look the same.

October 26th, 2009, 11:05
Blast ! Filling out your Juptners, eh ? Another source of mysteries closed off for me.........

Anyone know anything about these books ?


October 26th, 2009, 11:30
Not familiar with that one. Looks interesting though.

December 25th, 2009, 00:29
Santa was good to me (after a few hints :jump:)

January 4th, 2010, 09:37
Late present from Santa: Vultee Aircraft 1932-1947 by J. Thompson. (Same author of Italian Civil and Military Aircraft 1930-1945).


February 24th, 2010, 16:33
Ok, If it's about aircraft carriers, does it count as "aviation" history?

Just finished an outstanding book: Black Shoe Carrier Admiral, Frank Jack Fletcher at Coral Sea, Midway, and Guadalcanal, by John B. Lundstrom. Anyone who has read history on WW-II in the Pacific knows the reputation this Admiral has received from history, and it isn't good. His most grievous sin being that he “abandoned” the Marines at Guadalcanal, three days after the invasion force landed. It's been clear from Lundstrom's other books that he thinks Fletcher has received an unfair “bad rap” from history, and in this book, written in 2006, he takes this on in great detail. An excellent book.

A good review here:
http://www.strategypage.com/bookreviews/308.asp (http://www.strategypage.com/bookreviews/308.asp)


February 24th, 2010, 16:53
Ok, If it's about aircraft carriers, does it count as "aviation" history?

Heck yes!

March 14th, 2010, 09:58
Reading an interesting book called Operation Plum, by Adrian Martin and Larry Stephenson. “Plum” was the name of the operation to reinforce the Philippines with air power prior to the start of the Pacific War. Larry Stephenson's uncle was Glen Stephenson, a pilot in the 27TH Bomb Group. Larry wanted to research details about his uncle's death in April 1942, and in so doing, ended up writing a book about the ill-fated 27TH BG, with his uncle Glen a sort of almost central character in the story.

Glen Stephenson (co-pilot) and the crew of B-25C (41-12455) were killed on April 21, 1942 while trying to find the airfield at Charters Towers in northeastern Australia after the long flight from Port Moresby, 740 miles away. They crashed into Mt. Bartle Frere, the highest mountain in Queensland. It was night, the weather was bad, and there were no navigation aids of any kind. Even the runway at Charters Towers was only lit by “flame pots”. They were flying low, trying to find Charters Towers by sight, feeling their way through this mountainous region of Australia. I flew around there in FSX to see...

This is an interesting story. Poignant and sad for Glen Stephenson and his crew, for probably nobody besides his family had ever heard of him. He had just gotten married before the war started. And now he was dead fighting for his country, like so many other “kids.”

By the time of Stephenson's death, the 27TH BG had been “absorbed” into the 3RD Attack Group. The B-25Cs they were flying were “acquired” from the Dutch... There is some disagreement, to this day, as to exactly how these Dutch B-25s ended up in the 3RD BG. The US side has a tale worthy of Merc-Air, when personnel from the 3RD BG, including the legendary Paul “Pappy” Gunn, flew down to Archerfield in Brisbane and basically made off with the planes. :d The Dutch side says they were properly transferred to the U.S...

Anyhow, a good book.

March 22nd, 2010, 16:09
On sale for $5.00 at the local discount bookstore-


Lots of old black and white photos. My favorite! Not just about the planes but the tiny out of the way places they stopped at and the local history.

May 28th, 2010, 08:57
Just received this - Dimitar Nedialkov is a Colonel and Professor - still an active pilot with Mig-17, Mig-21 and Su-22 experience.

He has produced a great book, and kindly signed a copy for me....

July 19th, 2010, 17:50
Two books came in the mail from Amazon.com today:

July 21st, 2010, 19:49
Ok, these Nick Grant books are not what I expected, but they are a fun read. First of all, they were written very recently (2008, 2009). Written by Jamie Dodson, they are “historical fiction” taking place in 1935. Nick Grant is a 16 year old kid who get into all sorts of trouble and adventure with Pan American Airways. The first one, Flying Boats and Spies, is about the setting up of the PAA bases on Midway and Wake, the interest in this shown by the Japanese, and, well, the misadventures of our young hero, and a Sikorski S-42. The next one, China Clipper, starts out where the last one ended. Don't know what it's about yet, but there's a picture of a Martin 130 on the cover, so how bad can it be?

The other book I ordered just got in today. Escape of the Pacific Clipper. This is the story of one of the Boeing 314s that was stranded in New Zealand when the Pacific War started, it's long adventurous flight home. This one I'm bringing with me on the airplane Friday!

August 30th, 2010, 05:17
This just arrived


Late birthday present from the Boss (she's a good girl really)

It's a complete update of William Green's classic, to be published in 3 volumes, with great new photos, colour 3-views, cutaways, etc etc. Not, however, cheap.

Here's the website

August 30th, 2010, 09:20
Very good. I know there has been some grumbling in the past from "Luftwaffe Experts" over some of the misinformation.

Would be nice to have the updated volumes.

September 8th, 2010, 03:11
Two slightly early birthday presents: Rob JM Mulder's book about the E.L.T.A. (Eerste Luchtvaart Tentoonstelling Amsterdam (First Aviation Exhibition Amsterdam) 1919) which scored five roundels in the April 2010 issue of Aeroplane, and the Fokker D.XXI issue of the 'Dutch profiles' series.


18070 18071

September 21st, 2010, 19:58
Pappy Gunn, by Nathaniel Gunn

http://www.amazon.com/PAPPY-GUNN-Nathaniel-Gunn/dp/141843776X (http://www.amazon.com/PAPPY-GUNN-Nathaniel-Gunn/dp/141843776X)

To those who have read history of the Pacific War, Paul (“Pappy”) Gunn is a legendary name. He is probably most famous for his idea to turn B-25s and A-20s from glass nosed and ineffective level bombers to “hard nosed” gun ships, bristling with forward firing .50 cal Brownings. I've never heard of a book specifically about him, so when I saw this one I jumped on it. The fact that it was written by his son somehow confirmed for me, before even reading it, that it would be good. But that was an assumption, and you know how those go...

The problem with this book is that it's written in such a hokey style that it's almost difficult to take seriously. And Nathaniel Gunn says some pretty wacky stuff, attributed to “Pappy”. Things like he invented skip bombing because he suddenly remembered one day that “naval guns 'automatically cut off' when they're elevation angle is less than 18 degrees, so if you come in low they can only hit you with light machine guns. 18 degrees? What? He has Pappy explaining this to the USAAC crews over and over again. “Just stay below their 18 degree line of fire and they can't touch you!” The other inspiration for skip bombing was that he noticed, during dive bombing practice, that “if you were off by just a couple of feet, the bomb would skip across the water like a flat stone across a pond.” What??!!

And then there is the matter of the Dutch B-25s in Australia that ended up with the 3RD Attack Group in the summer of 1942. There are several versions of this story out there ranging from “there was an official agreement between the US and the Dutch governments, and the planes were transferred to the USAAC”, to “The men of the 3RD Attack Group ripped 'em off.” According to this book, Pappy noticed them, hatched the plan to steal them, lead the mission to steal them, and when the Dutch commander protested, pointed his two .45s at him, called he and all his countrymen cowards, and threatened to shoot him right there on the spot if he tried to stop him. I like the stories about Pappy Gunn, but if this one is true, it doesn't make him look so good. However, I'm not sure I'm buying that version of the story in the first place, given other accounts I have read of this apparently controversial event.

What I really like about the book is all the source material, in the form of letters between Gunn and various generals and such, and between various generals and North American tech reps, and between generals and other generals about Gunn. These source documents show what was being said at the time, and shortly after the war, about Gunn and his inventions, particularly the “gun ship” conversions. On the down side, many of these source documents are poorly reproduced and difficult to read. When I was only a quarter way through the book I didn't think I would make it to the end. But now, at two thirds through, I think it's worth reading to the end.

October 25th, 2010, 13:42
A book I can recommend to all of you if you haven't come across it before - an absolute classic of its kind...


Frater tries to replicate the old Imperial Airways route from London to Brisbane as closely as possible using scheduled flights - his BA ticket had 53 sectors on it !- and the results are fascinating, and often hilarious. Details of his trip are interlaced with reminiscences of crew and passengers from the '30's, flying HP42's and Atalantas.

A great read.

Haven't enjoyed a book so much for a long time

November 15th, 2010, 14:00
Currently reading the book Lefty posted above. A nice one so far. (Thanks Mike!)

Also, finally picked up a copy of Gann's Flying Circus from ebay for $6. Hardcover too. Required reading from the Flight 19 library.


Snagged a overview:

"Ernest K. Gann began his love affair with flight in 1953, barnstorming in various wood & fabric bi-planes. Later, as an airline pilot, he flew to many parts of the world in a wide variety of the aircraft, from lumbering trimotored Fords to the latest jets. He shared the world's skies with many of the gallant airemen he writes about here.

Gann traces the development in American of the commercial use of airplanes through the early days of airmail, air cargo, and the first passenger airlines. He takes the reader aboard such planes as the United Air Lines Boeing 40-B-4 delivering newspapers to the ranger station in Oregon; the 'Flying Brooklyn Bridge,' the 1936 Condor for which pilots developed an almost maudlin affection; the 'Tin Goose,' Ford's incomparable trimotored 4A-T; the incredible DC-3, which has cruised every sky known to mankind, and many others...

Internationally, there are stories of Aeropostales' flights across the Andes and in Saint-Exupery country; Sabena in the Congo; Imperial Airway's deluxe flights in Scipios when Britain ruled the skies; BOAC's Lockheed, known as 'Bashful Gertie,' which shuttled bravely from Scotland to Sweden for essential ball bearings during WWI; and other aeronautic history.

Little known anecdotes about legendary fliers abound -Juan trippe & Glenn L. Martin; Charles Lindbergh; Prof. Hugo Junker; whose firm built4,832 'Iron Annies' in Germany; and Count von Zeppelin.

The final chapter finds the author back in a DC-3 after 19 years, this time piloting the Savaii from San Francisco to Apia in Western Samoa, with a crew of three.

A dossier of the planes, in the order of their appearance in the narrative, appears at the end of the volume, with vital statistics on span, power, passenger load, gross weight, range, cruising and landing speeds."

November 21st, 2010, 16:24
The Flight of the Mew Gull, by Alex Henshaw.

This book was a fantastic read. At first I must admit to being a little bored. Not sure why, perhaps because the early chapters dealt with Henshaw's start in flying, which is a familiar story the world over. Anyhow, it got better quickly, in expected and unexpected ways. I knew it would be an adventure story about the record breaking speed run from England to Cape Town, and in this the book does not disappoint. In fact it went way beyond my expectations of exciting reading, from the scouting run that Henshaw and his father made in his Vega Gull, covering the entire course, the year before, to the actual flight by Henshaw in the tiny single seat Mew Gull. The accounts of flying across Africa in the 1930s is just great stuff.

Two unexpected aspects of this book really had me interested. One was the insight into the British style handicapped air racing circuit of the 1930s. Henshaw flew many of these races, in a couple of different planes during these years. EasyEd should be interested to find that Henshaw became bored and disillusioned with the whole air racing scene once he figured out that the real challenge, and the key to winning these races, was to hoodwink the handicappers, just enough to ensure that they placed you in a take off time slot that ensured you would win.

The other unexpected and the most interesting aspect to this book was the peek inside the engineering of fast planes in the 1930s. Hensahw spends a lot of time talking about the choices of engines, modification of engines, propeller designed, and variable pitch prop technology. He also spends a bit of words on air racing technique, particularly the best way to get around pylons. Lots of pilots in these races were doing Immelman style turns at the pylons, mostly, evidently, because it looked cool from the ground, and was great fun for the pilot. But, it not the most efficient method if you wanted to maintain speed across the race course...

So anyway, it's a good book. Read it!

November 21st, 2010, 23:15
I seem to remember air racing on television (the old, grey, grainy variety) back in the fifties - commentated by the immortal Raymond Baxter, naturally.....

Ralf Roggeveen
December 1st, 2010, 01:03
What's everyone planning on getting for Chrsitmas book prezzies?

I've ordered Empire of the Clouds from Mississippi, Nile, Amazon or whatever it's called (nearly half price there). This book has been heavily reviewed in the UK and is about how the British lost their 1950s aviation edge to the USA. So there will be a lot about Comets, but apparently he also blames long liquid lunches at De Havilland (which I find rather unlikely, but will defer judgment till I've read it). The guy who wrote it, James Hamilton-Paterson, seems to know what he's talking about, not just a journalist with a pair of scissors & a pot of glue.

Also joined Air Britain which is well worth it for all the benefits of membership, including excellent discounts on excellent books. (No doubt lefty has been a member for decades.) Getting Red Sea Caravan the Aden Airways Story, right up my street and should give plenty of inspiration for some Middle East adventures in fs9!

Anyway, will post some reviews when I've read 'em. What are you lot going for or hoping that Santa will bring?

December 1st, 2010, 01:56
Well I've ordered 'Empire of the Clouds' too - not much surprise there !

But I am not a member of Air Britain - thought about it........

Nice to hear from you again, Ralf - Sherwood under snow just now, eh ???

Fife certainly is......

Ralf Roggeveen
December 1st, 2010, 11:48
Yes, we are deep in it. :snowman: It's more like, er, Scotland :scotland: than Sherwood! Luckily I don't have to drive far for a while, but even short distances are hazardous.

I posted Alexander Frater a fan letter when Beyond the Blue Horizon came out and he sent a very kind reply. He was Chief Travel Correspondent of the Observer, but now retired and doesn't publish much any more unfortunately.

You may have seen that Empire of the Clouds got 5 roundels (= *****) in the Jan '11 Aeroplane, good news for us! I recommend Air Britain: got the Aden Airways book for about £30 and it's more like £70 in places on the Interweb Thingy.

December 1st, 2010, 12:12
Then you must have this one to put the icing on the cake......

Ralf Roggeveen
December 2nd, 2010, 01:25
Nice - don't have it yet.

Graham Coster's Corsairville is another good one with a lot about the Imperial flying boats. He also travelled around the world in the 1990s, going on every flying boat still operating (not many :frown:, but he did it!). Bet you've got that...

December 2nd, 2010, 02:29
Yup !

December 9th, 2010, 02:04
Finally got around to a job I have promised to do for some time now. Bought a laser barcode scanner on the Bay, some software from Collectorz, and set about cataloguing my aviation books.

For insurance purposes, or should the collection have to be disposed of (i.e. when Lefty is gazing at you all from his stool in the Great Lounge Bar in the Skies), this is invaluable. It also indicates how much I've spent over the last few years (not to be divulged to the Boss). Thankfully a good proportion should actually be appreciating in value, although the market ain't great just now for obvious reasons.

Basically it worked very well, although the early stuff has to be manual input. ISBN numbers are a bit of a minefield, with seeming duplicates, multiple identities, etc etc but you get there in the end.

Anyone else tried this ????

December 28th, 2010, 10:23
How has your barcode scanner task come along Mike? Sounds interesting.

Santa brought several books for Christmas. (A few I can't divulge just yet as they will yield some good mystery planes). ;)

The one I dove into right away is Dornier Do 335 Pfeil, The Luftwaffe's Fastest Piston-Engine Fighter by Smith and Creek. It claims to be the definitive source of the 335 and so far I would tend to agree. Dozens of photos I have not seen before.


The 335 is one of my favorite aircraft designs so it makes sense to have a volume dedicated to it.

February 5th, 2011, 11:58
An excellent read here. As the title suggests, a history of the flying boats. Good stuff. Jablonski also wrote a book on the B-17 which is also good.

February 8th, 2011, 09:16
All the recent FSX Etendard activity has made me curious about the vol 1 and 2 of these books:

<TABLE class=result border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%"><TBODY><TR><TD class=itemNumbr vAlign=top>1. </TD><TD class=image width=140>http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/P/2914017529.01._SL130_SCLZZZZZZZ__.jpg (http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=3879413786&searchurl=kn%3DSAGA%2BETENDARD%26sts%3Dt)

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Gall, Jean-Marie
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Does anyone have these? Is vol 2 an update to vol 1, or is each a standalone? at over $100 each to bring them into Canada, I'll have to start saving ... lots ... :)


February 8th, 2011, 09:52
A must have : Fate Is The Hunter, by Ernest K. Gann......


February 8th, 2011, 10:01
Re the Etendard books, DeltaLima, those prices seem to be the going rate - they are almost 60 Euros on Amazon France, where I have bought a few other volumes.

Pretty serious books, I reckon, over 300 pages each, so, I'm afraid.............

February 8th, 2011, 17:06
Re the Etendard books, DeltaLima, those prices seem to be the going rate - they are almost 60 Euros on Amazon France, where I have bought a few other volumes.

Pretty serious books, I reckon, over 300 pages each, so, I'm afraid.............

thanks lefty,

I was curious if vol 2 was an update of vol 1, or if each is a complete standalone book, covering the various phases of the plane's operational life over 2 full volumes.

Sorry if I miscommunicated.

Yes, I've trolled ebay - I'd be into them for $100 any way I slice it ...that's clear for sure! :0

February 8th, 2011, 20:49
Try this site for a review of each book - scroll down....


February 9th, 2011, 07:57
Thanks lefty - the reviews certainly gave the linguistic portion of my cerebral cortex a workout and a half - but it looks like they are indeed a true vol 1 and vol 2.

Bread and water diet for a few months ... I'll have these in a few months' time! :)


February 9th, 2011, 08:41
Google Translate does an adequate, if sometimes hilarious, job !

My schoolboy French has been shown up by some of my tomes from la Belle France.........

(Not as bad as the Czech ones though.)

RL Wilkinson
February 12th, 2011, 01:50
Not a book as such, but a link to the Flight Magazine archives where you can download pdf's of every copy from
30948 to 30947

http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/index.html :applause: (http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/index.html)

March 3rd, 2011, 16:35
Going to preorder World's Fastest Four-Engine Piston-Powered Aircraft: Story of the Republic XR-12 Rainbow.


"Still the fastest multi-engine piston aircraft ever flown, the Republic XR-12 and its competitor, the Hughes XF-11, were well ahead of their time in 1946. Envisioned as a long-range photo-reconnaissance aircraft with a top speed of more than 450 mph, the Republic XR-12 also offered near jet-like performance for the world's airlines with a 44-passenger commercial version named the Rainbow. Using original Republic photos, data, and artwork, the author reveals never-before-published information about the Rainbow airliner. While the clear emphasis of this book is on the Republic airplane, the Hughes XF-11 is also covered and compared in its role as a twin-engine competitor to the more advanced four-engine Republic airplane. Although the XR-12 and XF-11 were among the most elegant-looking aircraft ever built, the Rainbow was considered to be Republic chief designer Alexander Kartveli's ultimate masterpiece. Conversely, the more cantankerous XF-11 almost took the life of its designer and chief test pilot, Howard Hughes."

Another one of my favorite designs. I think the book is due to come out at the end of May or so.

March 3rd, 2011, 23:09
Is that a Schiffer tome, Kevin ?

March 4th, 2011, 04:31
Specialty Press Mike.

March 4th, 2011, 04:56
The Rainbow is certainly one of the most beautiful aircraft. I am pleased to see that a book on it will become available. Thanks for the heads-up Moses.

March 4th, 2011, 06:09
I like this pic from the '47 Jane's. Note-they've had to jack up the tail !

March 4th, 2011, 09:20
:applause:Nice photo!

Had this color shot:


March 4th, 2011, 10:53
I agree it's a super, elegant design - until you get to the tail, which just looks too, well, BIG !
(maybe that's why they had to jack it up).

Ralf Roggeveen
March 6th, 2011, 05:57

Hamilton-Paterson, James: Empire of the Clouds, when Britain's aircraft ruled the world; Faber & Faber, 2010. ISBN: 978-0-571-24794-3

Having read it over the weekend, I've just finished this Christmas present and will, as promised, review it here.

A very readable account of the postwar British aircraft industry by an author who certainly knows how to write. He was never personally involved in the business, nor has he ever done any military service, but takes a nice line in having been a boy in the 1950s, growing up as an avid planespotter and going to Farnborough. The book actually opens with the frightful crash of the DH 110 at Farnborough in 1952 (which killed both crew and nearly 30 spectators), though JH-P was not himself present on that occasion.

My heart sank slightly near the beginning of the book when he announced that he wasn't interested in civil aviation, only warplanes; but I'm glad to report that he does, of course, devote a whole (quite good) chapter to the Comet saga and there is a little about Britannias and Viscounts - couldn't not be, could there? (In fact he ends up delivering two very entertaining personal memoirs of flying in both of those types as a passenger, some of my favourite passages in the book).

His main emphasis is on the great test pilots, especially the eccentric and cantankerous Canadian Bill Waterton, to whose memory Empire of the Clouds is dedicated. So there's a certain amount about the machines - he particularly eulogises the English Electric Lightning - but even more of the human story behind them. Inevitably there is also a good deal of blaming politicians for cancelling projects that, with hindsight, look as though they might have proved marvellous and somehow would have kept the UK amongst the world superpowers. Interestingly the fabled TSR2 (that did, of course, fly a little in prototype) turns out to have been a complete bitch to take off and land, which would definitely have required a lot more development and probably didn't really fulfill its original spec. The author has to admit that even Labour governments - whose postwar priorities were social things like housing and education, rather than geopolitical power projection - did pay for the remarkable V bombers that also have a starring role in this book (as you may guess from the cover).

Some technical details are sketched in, but as you're probably aware, it's more of an historical overview of the period 1946-1970, describing the decline of a particular sector of British manufacturing industry. That makes it sound a bit dull - it's anything but! I'm just pointing out that this is a fairly personal account of an episode in industrial history - not a specialist aviation book. It occurs to me that he might have written a little more about the operational use of some of the aircraft described, only Harriers in the Falklands getting brief mention. That's a minor criticism, however, and there are plenty of other books to cover such things.

I really enjoyed reading an extremely well-written and entertaining story; particularly, as noted above, his personal recollections and the anecdotes of test pilots. Recommended!

(No doubt some of you have already read it too...Mike?)

March 7th, 2011, 05:17
Ralf, your post was indeed timely !

I actually bought 'Empire of the Clouds' before Christmas, stuck it away in the bookshelf for reading later, and completely forgot about it -it's the age thing again, you know - :banghead:

I have retrieved it and will commence once I've finished the current bedtime book.

Ralf Roggeveen
March 8th, 2011, 01:48
Will be most interested to hear your opinion.

I'd say he's very good on the types: Hunter, Javelin and all three V Bombers. Not bad on Swift, Buccaneer & Harrier.

Not enough on civil aircraft: Comet, Viscount, Britannia, VC-10 covered - NOTHING on several others. Things like Lancastrian & Tudor mentioned.

Best as a memoir of growing up a 'New Elizabethan', going to Farnborough in the Golden Age (as long as no bits of the aircraft on display fell on you), and about the great test pilots.

The fact that aircraft like the Viscount were highly successful and sold everywhere during the period would slightly spoil his argument that British industry was completely incompetent in the '50s!

It's highly readable, though a real expert such as yourself may spot a few howlers. Worst I noticed was that he doesn't know the difference between the George Medal and the George Cross, and neither (of course) does the girl at the publisher's who was supposed to check for such things...

March 16th, 2011, 13:50
Two slightly early birthday presents: Rob JM Mulder's book about the E.L.T.A. (Eerste Luchtvaart Tentoonstelling Amsterdam (First Aviation Exhibition Amsterdam) 1919) which scored five roundels in the April 2010 issue of Aeroplane,

Been reading this one bit by bit, and it is a well-researched book with a lot of interesting and new photos, but sadly the text isn't a 'good read' I'm afraid. Just a lot of times, dates, names and locations.. Rahter dull! The only interesting story I found so far was the account of a dinner that was interrupted by an uproar of communist kitchen staff who started a fight with the guests!

Tomorrow the original 'Band of Brothers' by Stephen Ambrose will arrive, together with the book written by Don Malarkey :Easy Company Soldier: The Legendary Battles of a Sergeant from World War II's "Band of Brothers".

Already have read the book by Dick Winters and the one by Wild Bill Guarnere and Babe Heffron. The latter is a fantastic read; what a characters! :applause:

April 22nd, 2011, 17:02
Picked up Dallas Aviation by Bruce Bleakley. Very nice collection of rare photos.

"Since Otto Brodie's airplane flight at Fair Park in 1910, the city of Dallas has seen over 100 years of rich and diverse aviation activity. Many of those years were spent on a long and complex road to a consolidated airport for the Dallas-Fort Worth area, an impasse finally resolved with the dedication of Dallas-Fort Worth Regional Airport in 1974. Central to Dallas aviation history is Love Field, established as a military base in 1917. A waypoint for famous flights such as the first round-the-world flight in 1924, a venue for colorful characters like barnstormer and bootlegger "Slats" Rodgers, and the site of World War II's largest Air Transport Command base--Love Field was all this and more. Although no longer the region's primary commercial airfield, Love Field remains a major aviation facility as the home of Southwest Airlines and several internationally recognized business aircraft operations."


May 26th, 2011, 17:17
The Dauntless Dive Bomber of World War Two by Barret Tillman, Naval Institute Press 1976. Paperback

The Douglas SBD Dauntless from the intial start of development under Jack Northup to the last few flying examples left with excellant coverage of the SBD's operation history in both theaters of WWII. A good read on a great WWII aircraft.

June 25th, 2011, 06:58
Today I bought 'Fate is the hunter' by Ernest K. Gann, because I know a lot of you recommend it. My copy is used and was printed in 1961 but it comes from the private collection of Dick Asjes!!
Dick Asjes was one of the most famous Dutch aviators; he flew for the KLM, worked for Koolhoven, served with the airforce during WW2 but is probably most famous for flying the Pander S.4 'Panderjager' in the London-Melbourne race. He bought this book while living in Mexico (Where he worked for Shell at that time).
His collection of books was donated to the NBLR which later merged with the Aviodrome collection. They are now slowly selling all books they have more than one example of.
What I payed for it? A measly €20!

(Wish I had €75 with me to buy that second edition of Otto Lilienthal's book though!)

September 13th, 2011, 09:01
Bought two books today; the book 'Onze vliegers in mei 1940' (Our pilots in May 1940) which is based on interviews with six surviving pilots. It provides background info for a documentary which is also included on a DVD.


And this book, the first of two parts about the Fokker G.1. Produced by the 'G.1 Foundation' it tells the story of the development and production of the G.1. Lots of photos, a lot previously unpublished. The second book will arrive spring next year and deal with the operational history. Great book but unfortunately (For most here.) almost completely in Dutch. Only the photos have text in Dutch and English, and there's a three-page summary in English in the back.


November 26th, 2011, 08:48
Found a copy of Gunston's Russian Aircraft for under $20.00.


November 26th, 2011, 13:58
Great find Moses. I don't remember exactly what I paid for mine, but it was a lot more than $20. Good show.

November 26th, 2011, 22:36
Glad you got one eventually, Kevin, and that you didn't have to raid Fort Knox...

Pretty good book, although some gaps, and the usual Soviet designation minefield !

December 23rd, 2011, 01:59
Just received my copies of both Aeroplane and FlyPast in the post - great timing for some Christmas reading.

However, these are, of course, the February editions of both magazines, and we're still in 2011 - does anyone else find this as irritating as I do ? Does it happen with American mags ? WHY ??

December 23rd, 2011, 13:19
My wife gave me an early Christmas present from my Amazon wish list that combines my two interests:

Steam in the Air: The Application of Steam Power in Aviation During the 19th and 20th Centuries


This is a subject I have researched in the past (my first FS project was three steam powered aircraft, followed by the Curtiss-Goupil Duck); but there were several aircraft proposals that I had not heard of before. He also dug up an amazing amount of detail on the steam powerplants that powered them, and some facinating proposals for modern day steam in the name of reducing fossil fuel emissions.

There was one that he missed:


Almost none of these would qualify for the mystery aircraft thread since they did not fly, but I did find a couple of stinkers. :mixedsmi:


December 30th, 2011, 21:30
Most of the American mags are like that as well Mike.

Like James, I got Putnam's Canadian Aircraft Since 1909 as a Christmas present from my wife. I think that about does it for my Putnam collection for now.

January 7th, 2012, 10:06
Decided to pop in here to see if anyone had read any good books about the airline pilots in the heydays of TWA, Pan Am and Eastern...circa 60's-70's. I'm also looking for a good book about helicopters.

Anyways, I've read Black Sheep One: The Life of Gregory "Pappy" Boyington by Bruce Gamble. It was a very entertaining book, but I would like to read another book about Pappy Boyington, since this one focused heavily on his drinking, fighting and family life. I guess I am looking for a pro-Boyington book.


I also read Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff, which was more about surviving in the jungles of Papua New Guinea than aviation, they did survive a plane crash though. At any rate it was a very good book and I highly recommend it.


Finally, I read In the Company of Heroes by Michael Durant which started off about helicopter aviation in the Army, then turned into his ordeal as a POW in Somalia.


January 26th, 2012, 08:00
Santa gave me some book money too, so it went towards this new issue.....

February 7th, 2012, 15:10
This recently came in the mail from Amazon. It's packed with information, maps, posters, route schedules, and stories. After all the stuff I've been reading on the flying boats of Pan Am, I wanted something on the history of this air line. It's pretty good.


In this book, it is recorded that the Handley Page HP42 had a “symphonic” sound, due to a complicated system that prevented the Bristol Jupiter engines on the top wing from delivering power before the ones on the lower wing, and the other way around when reducing power. This was necessary to keep the beast from tipping over if too much power was applied to the top engines alone. Makes sense as the top ones are quite high up. I'll bet in flight there was still a nose down pivoting effect when power was brought up. I need one of those for FS now...

February 14th, 2012, 15:11
Valentine's gift from the Mrs. Revolution In The Sky, The Lockheeds of Aviation's Golden Age.

Thanks to MM for the heads up on this one.


February 14th, 2012, 16:44
It's a great book Moses. You'll love it.

February 14th, 2012, 17:37
Terrific! ...Someone has great taste for Valentine's Day.

February 23rd, 2012, 15:58
Just got this from Amazon. It's about this jounalist and plane nut (like us) who decides to trace the Imperial Airways route from London to Australia in 1980-something, by catching hops on all manner of airlines of the day. I just started it, and so far it's pretty entertaining. On the first flight via a British Airways L-1011 from London to Paris, the stew asks him if he wants breakfast, and adds, “we've got yonks in the oven.” I Googled “yonk” but am still wondering what the heck that is... :icon_lol: And look what was in the inside cover. Croydon liberry! I hope they don't find out I have it!



February 23rd, 2012, 16:20
That is a great read P. Lefty got me hooked on it awhile back.

March 3rd, 2012, 13:48
That is a great read P. Lefty got me hooked on it awhile back.

Definately a good read. This book would be a great addition to the reading list of any college anthropology class out there. The tales he tells of his experiences hopping local airline flights between cities in Egypt are simply amazing. I wonder how much things have changed in 30 years...

April 17th, 2012, 16:56
Finished both these Edwards Park books, Nanette, and Angels Twenty. Well. If you read Nanette first, you must read Angles Twenty immediately after. Nanette is... Well it's an odd book. A very interesting and riveting read, but... strange. It makes more sense after reading Angels-20. The 41st squadron (35th FG) seems to have been left in the back-waters of the war, with old stuff (P-39s) when everyone else had P-38s and P-47s. At times they seem to have been almost forgotten. I can imagine acquiring a bit of an “attitude” at some point under such conditions. I love his descriptions of flying the P-39, and sight seeing over the rugged jungle covered mountains and ravines of New Guinea. Fascinating. He tells, more or less, the same story in both books, which is also interesting. He wrote Nanette first (1977). He wrote Angels-20 twenty years later, in 1997. The later is a more detailed, and more serious telling of the story. One annoying thing is that he states, in both books, that he changed the names of the participants, so they wouldn't get mad and argue about what he said about them. But the characters get different names in each book! So where in Nanette, “Badger” is the old guy, very experienced pilot with no patience for the new guys with little flying time (like Park), the same guy is named “Heming” in Angels-20! For all his seeming cynicism at times, much less visible in Angels-20, his account of meeting Richard Bong is full of respect, even when telling of his frequent “air shows” for the 5th Air Force “mucky-mucks.” Don't know why the publisher put a photo of a TBF on the cover, since the book is about P-39s. But that's not uncommon among dunderheaded publishers. I know a guy who wrote a book about flying F-100s in the Air Force. When it was published it had a photo of an FA-18 on it. Dunderheads. Anyhow, these two books are great reads. Thanks to MM for recommending them!


June 7th, 2012, 16:42
Picked this one up on a whim at the local discount book reseller for $10.00, The Saga of Iron Annie. It has turned out to be a fantastic read. I will pass along some of the the stories once I finish it.

Learned some very interesting things about the 'ol Ju-52.


June 18th, 2012, 14:52
Just found a gem in a local antique mall ..... $15.00. The jacket is yellowed but otherwise in great shape.

September 17th, 2012, 15:12
Was checking out eReader software and ran across a listing for this... Has anyone bought/read it?


A bit problematic for now as "International Shipping is Unavailable for this Item" but ve haf vays, ya?

Ian Warren
September 17th, 2012, 16:20
Yes i have it on my shelf , least currently lent out to a NZFF member , it is filled with artworks and descriptions of the WWII era , a good historical reference from the artists of the time from all combatant country's showing leaflets , propaganda and cartoons , great book .
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October 12th, 2012, 02:40
Finally nabbed one of these - still fetching a chunky price ! But worth it.

October 12th, 2012, 11:36
I just finished this one which I picked it up in hardback for $7.00 in my local used book store. What a gentleman he seems to have been.


Just starting this one $5.00


Great store.

October 12th, 2012, 11:45
Was checking out eReader software and ran across a listing for this... Has anyone bought/read it?

Yes I also have it and recommend it. available from Amazon:


October 12th, 2012, 11:50
That Beyond The Blue Horizon is a great read!

December 25th, 2012, 01:22
Santa's been around again.........:santahat:7780177802

Great for lovers of British blunders and FFFFrench ffffloaters !

December 25th, 2012, 10:15
A must have : Fate Is The Hunter, by Ernest K. Gann......


Fully agree with Fate is The Hunter as a prime recommendation! At the very beginning of the book, Ernie Gann's writing style can be a tiny bit perplexing, but the reader quickly becomes accustomed to it and it's soon a very enjoyable part of his astonishing story-telling abilities.

Taken with its companion book (as I see it), Ernest K. Gann's Flying Circus, the two books essentially tell the story of the aviation side of Gann's near-incredible life.

Among all of the many aviation titles I own or have read, Fate is The Hunter is easily my "desert island" book of immediate choice! I re-read it about every two years, desperately hoping I've forgotten enough of it. Regardless, I'm never disappointed. (Btw: it's been about two years now! Hot damn!)

Fate is The Hunter is available at most book stores. A soft-cover, thick-ish book, I get my copies (gifts for other enthusiasts) at Amazon. His Ernest K Gann's Flying Circus takes some rummaging around in the used-book bazaars online. Try for the hardcover version; it has much better presentation and far better photos.

December 30th, 2012, 05:24
Here are some photos of my copy of 'Fate is the hunter' and some info about its first owner, withthanks to this site: http://www.au.af.mil/au/goe/eagle_bios/1989/asjes_1989.asp

Dirk L. "Dick" Asjes is a most distinguished pioneering aviator from the Netherlands. He was born on 21 July 1911, in Soerabaja, on the island of Java in the Netherlands East Indies. Leaving the East Indies in 1929 to study in the Netherlands, he entered into and received a commission in the Netherlands Army Infantry in 1930. Later transferring to the Netherlands Army Air Force, he received his pilot wings at Soesterberg in 1931. During the 1930s, he served as a military flight instructor, test pilot, international race flyer, and mail flight pioneer.

His 1933 flight in the unique Pander S4, a fast, streamlined, trimotor monoplane from Amsterdam to Batavia, Dutch East Indies, proved the concept of direct airmail routes from Europe to Southeast Asia. Prior to World War II, Asjes entered civilian life with the Royal Dutch Oil Group and was mobilized in the East Indies in 1940 as an instructor in multi-engine bombers. He subsequently conducted bombing missions in the export versions of the Martin B-10 against advancing Japanese forces until ordered to Australia in 1942 to organize a Dutch flying school. The school soon reorganized at Fort Leavenworth,
Kansas, and Asjes was appointed Chief of Primary Training. Later, he served as Chief, Operational Training, at the Dutch Military Flying School in Jackson, Mississippi.

In December 1943, he led 17 B-25 Mitchells from Mississippi to Australia. In early 1944, he was appointed Operations Officer and later Commander of an all-Dutch B-25 squadron. Operating from Darwin, Australia, he flew 47 combat missions in B-25s against the Japanese. At war's end, he was Chief of the POW and Civilian Internees Recovery for the Netherlands East Indies. In April 1946, Asjes returned to the Netherlands to help organize his nation's new air force. He reentered civilian life and the reserve forces in December 1946. Serving in various positions with the Royal Dutch Shell Oil Group in Venezuela and Trinidad, he rose to Board of Directors of the Company in 1955 and to President and General Director of the Mexican Eagle Oil Company from 1958 to 1965.

He returned to the Netherlands in September 1965 where he held various distinguished military, civil, and government positions. General Asjes has accumulated 19,000 flying hours in 160 different types of aircraft over 52 years of active flying. Among his many military decorations, Asjes received his nation's highest award for valor--the Knight Militare Willemsorder.

Asjes died in 1997 in The Hague, but in 186 he donated his library to the 'NBLR' (National library for aviation and space) which was connected to the old Aviodome museum at Schiphol airport. When the Aviodome moved to Lelystad to become the Aviodrome, the library moved too and recently the decision was made to sell all books with more than one copy in the collection, and that's when I bought it.

There's no jacket, just a simple blue cover with the author's signature on it. The book was printed in 1961, at the time Asjes was living and working in Mexico, and on the inside there's a stamp with his adress at the time. To the left is the adress (In white) of the Aviodome, the other white box reads "Donated to the NBLR by D.L. Asjes, March 1986 and the stamp at the bottom confirms it was removed from the Aviodrome library.


Great buy for only 20 euro's, and I still have to start reading it!

BTW You mystery aircraft hunters will probably knw the man that sold me the book :Nico Braas.
He is an author himself, and has quite a collection of photos: http://www.1000aircraftphotos.com/Contributions/Braas/Braas.htm

January 9th, 2013, 09:30
Three new additions arrived this week; the first is the latest part of the 'Dutch profile' series, dealing with the Douglas DB-8A/3N in Dutch service. Some personal interest there, as a brother of an old family friend was killed on the day of the German invasion, flying as the observer on the '385'. Odd choice to use those DB-8's as fighters...
Only 58 pages but lots of good photos and colour profiles. Text in English and Dutch. More information here: http://www.dutchprofile.nl/
Already have the parts about the Fokkers D.21 and T.5 and hope to get a few more!



Second addition is the book 'Luchtvaart 2012' (Aviation 2012), the annual review of aviation news from last year. Over 200 pages and it includes a full Dutch registry. This series is as old as I am, starting in 1976. I used to borrow these all the time from the local library when I was a kid, and have bought every one since 2004.


Third is not really a book, but the latest issue of Aeroplane monthly. Not easy to find in book stores unfortunately! The 'Sabre vs. MiG-15' cover story was of particular interest since I added both aircraft to FsX last month.

January 9th, 2013, 10:04
Here are some photos of my copy of 'Fate is the hunter' and some info about its first owner, withthanks to this Great buy for only 20 euro's, and I still have to start reading it! Start reading Ferry, it has some great DC2 stuff in it as well.

January 9th, 2013, 10:26
It's somewhere in the queue Rob, just need to find some time..

February 10th, 2013, 05:03
One of the most interesting books I've read in a while.

The author, George Erickson is, among other things, a retired dentist. He had flown this area for decades with various flying buddies, each with their own similar type planes. In the trip covered in this book, he flew alone, in the late 1990s, in a Piper “Tundra Cub”, a variation I hadn't heard of before. He would land and camp for the night, either when it got dark, or when the weather forced a landing, in remote lakes all across northern Canada. What an adventure!

He has a story to tell at each of the places he stops, usually about the history of the place, or people he's met over the years, many of then the native people. He also talks about the geology of the area as “we're” flying over it, musing on the “Canadian Shield”, and the fact that many large Canadian lakes are remnants of the immense ice age era “Lake Agassiz”, and of the tectonic forces that shaped Great Slave Lake in Northwest Territories.

In fact there is more story telling, history, and science diversions than tales of flying a Piper Tundra Cub, but I found it to be a fascinating and fun read.

- Paul



March 11th, 2013, 15:22
My recent arrivals from Amazon

Enterprise by Barret Tillman. History of the USS Enterprise (CV-6) Good read

The Forgotten 500 by Gregory A Freeman. The story of the rescue of downed US Airmen in occupied Yugoslavia during WWII. Excellant

US Navy Aircraft Carriers 1922 - 1942 and US Navy Aircraft Carriers 1942 - 1945 both by Mark Stille. Kind of thin, but pretty good but left me wanting more. 1922 to 1942 covers Langley, the Lexington class, Ranger, the Yorktown class and Wasp. 1942 to 1945 covers the Essex class and the Independence class. The Essex class coverage doesn't say much about their postwar careers.

April 13th, 2013, 09:40
Bought part 2 of the Fokker G-1 history books today; part 1 focussed on design and production, part 2 tells the operational history. Well over 500 pages in two books with a lot of unique photos.
All photos are labelled in both Dutch and English but the main story is Dutch only, with a few pages summary in English in the back.

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a262/Ferror/2013-04-13181636_zps8ddfda64.jpg (http://s13.photobucket.com/user/Ferror/media/2013-04-13181636_zps8ddfda64.jpg.html)

May 11th, 2013, 13:14
Red Star vol 7, Tupolev Tu-4 by Gordon and Rigmant. $10.00 at the local reseller. Story of the reverse engineered B-29 with lots of rare photos.


August 16th, 2013, 03:04
Getting depressed about the state of the specialist book market. There are 180 items on the British E-Bay site in the Aircraft section (auction only). No bids for any of them ! Decent copies of the Putnam British Fighter/Bomber are not even making £10... Looks like the Net has killed off books ! (thanks to those kind gentlemen who are scanning them and uploading - copyright be damned..)

I have quite a few duplicates - some expensive - for sale at a later date, but it looks like their value will be a fraction of what I expected. Should have spent it all on wine & women after all.....:banghead:

August 17th, 2013, 09:13
My take on the Putnams is this: I treasure the information and not worry about their worth. It is a bit depressing to stumble across copies that have been scanned in though. I had a lot of fun tracking down my set over the last few years.

September 14th, 2013, 04:48
Another visit to my favourite store with my birthday money and a discount coupon (Even my family knows where I like to do my shopping!) and came home with three books:

Two more volumes of the 'Dutch profiles' series, both dealing with the history of the P-40 in Dutch service. A lesser known aircraft here, but mainly because it only served in the Dutch East-Indies. Testing the FsX Flight Replicas P-40N got me interested in this aircraft. Great photos, almost all new to me and story in both English and Dutch.


This one's called 'Fighter pilots during the cold war: Flirting with death?' and is a collection of 160 stories of our pilots that served with the RNLAF since WW2. Been reading the first few chapters and there are some great stories in there.


I also found this book, but it will have to wait until next month as it was becoming a bit expensive:


January 5th, 2014, 02:07
Made another trip to my favourite store yesterday, and came back with some more books including the one on top of my list:

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a262/Ferror/Bugatti_100P_zps49bb182a.jpg~original (http://s13.photobucket.com/user/Ferror/media/Bugatti_100P_zps49bb182a.jpg.html)

The development of this extremely advanced airplane with many novel features was started in 1937, for which Ettore Bugatti had hired the Belgian Louis de Monge as chief engineer. The first version of the airplane was planned as a speed-record airplane, a military version was to follow later. Tragically the Bugatti 100P airplane never flew, the Germans invaded Paris where it was being built before it was 100% ready. The airplane surprisingly survived the war, and still exists in the EAA museum in Oshkosh, USA. Both engines exist, and were built into Bugatti race-cars. Currently a flying replica is being constructed in the USA, built in such a way, that it will be aerodynamically the same as the original.

This book for the first time describes the complete history of this wonderfully beautiful streamlined airplane, as well as all of it’s novel systems. Also, the histories of both the plane’s creators are followed, from the early years of aviation.

Ettore Bugatti is of course well-known through his race- and sportscars from the years in between both worldwars, but he was also interested in many other technical devices. During the first world war airplane-engines were designed and built, the book describes these engines and derivatives in detail, showing also all the airplanes which used these engines, including the world’s first fully functional “modern” helicopter.

Louis de Monge built his first airplanes before WWI, during WWI he designed and produced modern propellers, sold under the name Lumière. After WWI many, often technically advanced, designs were made. The complete history of his many interesting inventions and lack of commercial success is published here for the first time.

Great book at first glance, which starts with a detailed desciption of the construction, history and restoration of the 100P. There's a short chapter on Ettore Bugatti and his car designs, and a longer story on the use of his engines in aircraft. Intersting how his famous stright-eight was developed into a 'U-16', a 'Double U-16' and even a 1000 hp 'H-32'!

Next is the story of Louis de Monge, his designs, patents and aircraft (Including those made for other firms like Dyle et Bacalan) and the last chapter shows the build of a replica that should fly in the near future.
The book is filled with interesting drawings and photos, and highly recommended for anyone with an interest in these two men and their work! It is written in English, even though the author is a Dutch Bugatti expert.

The second book I bought is this Haynes Spitfire manual; not that I'll ever own one, but nevertheless it looks like a good read, being a lot more than just a 'workshop manual'.

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a262/Ferror/Spit_manual_zps186b3fa5.jpg~original (http://s13.photobucket.com/user/Ferror/media/Spit_manual_zps186b3fa5.jpg.html)

And of course the annual 'Luchtvaart' (Aviation) edition had to join the collection, giving a nice review of events in aviation during the last year.

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a262/Ferror/LV_2014_zps34b4ea6f.jpg~original (http://s13.photobucket.com/user/Ferror/media/LV_2014_zps34b4ea6f.jpg.html)

January 5th, 2014, 02:43
Great stuff, Ferry - I've been thinking about that Bugatti book for a while, but it's going to have to wait until I start selling some of my surplus books to (a) raise some cash and (b) make some room on the shelves !

January 5th, 2014, 03:02
I'm in need for more shelve space too Mike, guess my next purchase will be a second bookcase!

January 13th, 2014, 00:08
Well there's another New Year resolution gone ! Anyone who knows my predilection for flying boats will surely excuse this purchase. Nothing spectacularly new, but some great photographs, 3-views, and in-depth stuff about those fascinating French floaters..

January 14th, 2014, 12:53
the definitive book on the history of the model, “The Bell 47 Helicopter Story.” It’s available for sale at www.helicopterheritagecana<wbr>da.com (http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.helicopterheritagecanada. com%2F&h=mAQHKlees&enc=AZN1yjErdQtKHSgoQjYdUcBNV0DlbXz9x5WVyDyyPWH45r wpp_dGJnvRWv5yQvR2491tsdUilBWExLTAeU_apnrmTAwN-AY8FaXbkUxXHAnZT4OTRL3q7vuee8sU4TwThHHTynLAK8ZDtbK L7g-dQ5VG&s=1)

guess I should let you in on the Vertical Mag contest too...

January 25th, 2014, 03:04
A 1935 original Jane's just went on EBay UK - sold for £212 ($350) I put in a bid, but was some way off. Just as well - I would have been murdered by the Boss......

January 25th, 2014, 03:53
Or maybe she would have helped you with your shelf space & cash problem by putting the rest of your collection on ebay, Mike..

Slightly off-topic (Even though I see big engines, wings and long strips of tarmac..) but I did buy my most expensive book yet:


Not cheap, but it also comes with a 77-minute long documentary on DVD.

January 25th, 2014, 06:54
Difficult to believe it is nearly 30 years since there was a Dutch G.P., Ferry.

Ah, the shark-nose Ferrari - and proper racing not decided by tyres and electronics.........but that's for another forum, eh ? Looks like a nice purchase !

January 25th, 2014, 07:18
I can't even remember the Dutch GP, Mike... And until last August, I had never been to Zandvoort! But the Historic GP won me over, I will definitely be going back there this year!

Watched the DVD last night, and read the chapters until the 1960's just now. The writer also publishes a magazine (RTL GP Magazine) that is focussed completely on historic racing.

January 26th, 2014, 16:41
Bought this book because it looked interesting. It was. The author, Greg Fletcher, is the son of the central figure of the book, Will Fletcher, who was a TBM Avenger pilot in WW-II, flying from the USS Intrepid (CV-11). In the battle of Leyte Gulf, in October 1944, Will Fletcher participated in one of many attacks against the Japaneses Center Force, consisting of the bulk of the IJN battleship fleet. Young Fletcher was shot down making a torpedo run on Musashi, and his story of survival from that moment is exciting and inspiring. Still, what I found most fascinating was his account of his training as a naval aviator, and of flight operations around US carriers in 1944. I spoke briefly with the author via e-mail after reading the book, and he was very tolerant and polite of my unsolicited praise of his work.


January 27th, 2014, 14:52
Been on a sabbatical from the aviation page for the last few months trying to catch up on some other interests. Namely the Spanish Conquistador explorations into 16th & 17th century North America and early Native American culture.

Anyways, today I picked up Frozen In Time by M. Zuckoff. Looks to be a good read. Sort of a Glacier Girl type story.



February 9th, 2014, 14:09
Interesting book. Billy Bush was an SB2C Helldiver pilot in WW-II. He was among that second generation of pilots and aircrew, who joined after Pearl
Harbor. While all the epic carrier battles on 1942 were being fought by men who were already in the navy on Dec 7 1941, Bush, and the rest of the
young pilots who would serve in 1943-44, was in training. He would fly with VB-2, attached to the USS Hornet (CV-12). He was among the many crews
who would ditch their planes in the sea, at night, upon returning from the long range attack on the Japanese fleet in the Battle of the Philippine
Sea, in June 1944.

Bush's squadron conducted dive bombing training in the states using the Douglas Dauntless SBD. When deployed to the Pacific with VB-2, they flew the
Curtiss Helldiver. In light of the on-going debate (of sorts) with our SOH member "Helldiver", who was a rear seat man in SB2Cs towards the end of
the war, Bush's opinion of the SB2C was interesting to me. He, and his squadron mates, did refer to the plane as "The Beast". After flying the SB2C,
he compared it to his training experience with the SBD and concluded that the SBD could be "flown" all the way down through the dive, and easily
aimed and re-aimed at any point in the dive. The SB2C, by contrast, was very difficult. You had to get the plane trimmed perfectly before you
started the dive, or the whole thing would be a bust. And while the SBD was stable in the dive, the SB2C would accelerate like mad, even with the
dive flaps deployed, contributing to the overall difficulty in aiming the plane. Still the big beaste did get him home, and he acknowledged that,
even after ditching in the dark sea in June 1944. A good read...


February 26th, 2014, 06:44
Just finished this most interesting book. It's about two brothers, 17 and 15 years old, who in 1966 flew their Piper Cub, which they restored themselves in a barn, across the country from New Jersey to Los Angeles and back again. I started it a few months ago and set it aside as a boring story about the authors trials and troubles with his father, and old barn storming pilot, and his brother. I picked it back up after going through my stack of reading stuff. In fact it's a great read. In the author's own words, the book is "about life, not about flying". There is a lot of flying in it however, and it's a great story about all the interesting people they met along the way. The author was the 15 year old. His brother did the trip as a way to get some cross country hours towards a commercial license. Both of them could fly and they each still do. On this trip the author rode in the back seat most of the way doing the navigation.


April 9th, 2014, 18:55
I like books that cover a particular aircraft and variants. Added "Junkers Ju 90" by Karl-Heinz Regnat. It's my first Black Cross series purchase and is a good one. Plenty of never seen before photos of the giant airliner.



May 4th, 2014, 04:53
Just finished this book by James Greiner. It's a biography of a man named Don Sheldon, who started a company called Talkeetna Air Service, in Alaska. He did a lot of flying around the Mountains of Alaska, dropping off climbers, and sometimes rescuing them. A very interesting read.

Talkeetna Air Service (http://www.sheldonairservice.com/About-Sheldon-Air-Service/Don-Sheldon)


June 28th, 2014, 14:47
Just finished this one. What a great read. North Star Over My Shoulder, by Robert Buck. This guy flew for TWA, from DC-2s to 747s, so you can imagine he has a lot of stories to tell. During WW-II, in addition to flying for the Air Transport Command, he was given a B-17, picked his own crew, and spent the next year investigating weather. In particular, they were looking to solve the "p-static" problem, which was (is) static charge build-up on antennas when flying through snow and rain. During such conditions, you couldn't hear the radio range signal, or low frequency comms. After the war, Howard Hughes, owner of TWA, called on him for "special missions", such as when, in 1947, he was pilot for actor Tyrone Power and friends, as they flew on a tour of Africa and Europe, covering Puerto Rico, Liberia, S.W. Africa, Italy, British Guyana, Gold Coast, South Africa, Ethiopia, Brazil, Belgian Congo, Portugal, Sudan, Ireland, Goose Bay, Labrador, Canada, Kenya, Greenland, England, Iceland, France, and Greece. Hmm, Flight-19 material, mayhap? Movie Stars and DC-3s...? Good stuff!

Oh, here's a good one. While doing the B-17 weather research, they flew the B-17 from Adak to Midway. They didn't have an official navigator, but they did have an extra pilot, so Buck decided his self taught skills with the sextant and other matters would suffice to get them there. They also had an experimental "high altitude radar altimeter" which he used to tell if he was moving toward a low pressure or a high pressure system. Like this: Since they're flying over ocean, the radal altimeter Will indicate "true ASL". He compares that with what the pressure altimeter indicates. 30 minutes later, he does it again. The difference between the error tells him if he's flying towards a low or a high pressure region, and that tells him what the prevailing winds should be, since low pressure systems rotate in a CCW direction. This was used an a "confidence checker" to backup drift calculations made by other means, including sextant readings. That's pretty cool.


July 5th, 2014, 05:41
the book "ChickenHawk",by a man named Robert Mason.true story of his time in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot,and what happened to him after "his war"...very good,holds your attention.

July 5th, 2014, 12:48

chickenhawk on amazon

July 15th, 2014, 10:11
Found a hardcover copy of Bower's Wings of Stearman for $12.00 at the local used book store. Could not believe my luck as most copies start at $45.00 and up.

Usually they pick the collector books out and put them in the higher priced section.:kilroy:


July 17th, 2014, 09:27
This is interesting. At the same place I got the Stearman book, I found a copy of Images of America: Sikorsky. It's a handy guide to all the aircraft that Igor designed both fixed wing and rotor.

The neat part is that Sergei Sikorsky had autographed the first page. Sergei (http://www.justhelicopters.com/HELIARTICLES/tabid/433/ID/5040/Reminiscing-About-Rotorcraft-Pioneers-with-Sergei-Sikorsky.aspx) is Igor's oldest son. Kind of a bonus bit there.


August 16th, 2014, 06:47
Good finds, Moses! I found this today at the local used book store:


August 16th, 2014, 08:23
You lucky fellows - our local bookshops are devoid of aviation interest !

Larkins' book is indispensable, Paul - nice one !

August 17th, 2014, 07:00
Missed the opportunity today to buy a 1904 first edition of a book written by Albert Santos-Dumont......... Also a 1969 reprint of the Jane's all the world's aircraft 1913.... Should have brought more cash.. Oh well..

September 27th, 2014, 12:13
This is a great book. The idea, as you can figure out from the title, is a look at how the development of race planes advanced the technology of aviation. Lots of technical stuff on the race planes on the 1930s. Not much focus on the "big" races, like MacRobertson, or race events in particular. More about the planes.


October 1st, 2014, 12:14
Valentine's gift from the Mrs. Revolution In The Sky, The Lockheeds of Aviation's Golden Age.

Thanks to MM for the heads up on this one.

I just ordered this one...

October 1st, 2014, 18:26
Here's one I'd heartily suggest, about the man considered by many to be "The Father of Aerial Navigation":


October 6th, 2014, 12:53
That definitely looks interesting, VP!

Just received this one in the mail from Amazon. Paperback, Published in 1963. Lots of good stuff, race results, details of the planes, and stories of the airplane builders and pilots. Too bad it covers only the US races.



December 6th, 2014, 14:57
A few new, relatively cheap, additions to my library; Farewell MD-11 about the last MD-11 flying passengers for the KLM, the long history KLM had with Douglas (Flying all types from the DC-2 till the MD-11!) and the people working with the MD-11. In Dutch only:


Luchtvaart 2015 (Aviation 2015), the next part in this 38-year old series of books, and #11 for me. A good review of new aircraft and important events over the last year. (Dutch only):


Warplane No.06: Convair B-58 Hustler. Edition 6 in a new series from Dutch writer Nico Braas. Tekst in English and a lot of good photos. My second book from this series, the first one (About the Me-109) I bought from the writer himself, who also runs the antiue shop at the Aviodrome.



January 10th, 2015, 11:17
Just finished this one. It's pretty good. Mallick was a navy pilot in the Korean War, then spent the rest of his career as a NACA/NASA test pilot, until retirement in 1987. He has very interesting accounts of what it was like to fly many different kinds of planes, from SR-71/YF-12s, B-58s, XB-70, DC-3s, F-100s, F-104, that funny looking F8U-3 Crusader, and many more. He was there when the XB-70 crashed, and was friends with the pilot flying the F-104 that collided with it. He said that after the F-104 sliced off both tails of the XB-70, the big jet continued to fly along for 15 seconds or so like nothing unusual had even happened. But then, of course, it began a sickening roll and never regained control.


January 17th, 2015, 12:10
I just ordered this one...

Great book. You will enjoy it!

Two arrived from Amazon today. Folded Wings, A History of Transocean Air Lines and Ernie Gann's autobiography, A Hostage to Fortune.



January 17th, 2015, 13:55
Gann's books are unrivalled. What a storyteller.....

February 22nd, 2015, 02:16
Added two more Haynes manuals to the collection, the Avro Vulcan: http://www.haynes.co.uk/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10001&storeId=10001&productId=51201&langId=-1

and the SR-71 Blackbird: http://www.haynes.co.uk/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10001&storeId=10001&productId=55055&langId=-1

March 7th, 2015, 20:03
Found this today in the stacks at the local reseller; Messerschmitt Aircraft Designer by Ishoven.

Not so much interested in over documented WWII models like the 109 etc. This book has a decent history on the lesser known early 1930 civil and military designs.


April 24th, 2015, 15:52
Just finished this one. I initially put it down after about a quarter way through. The author writes with a sarcastic style that makes it look like he has an "ax to grind" against Pan Am. The book is about Pan Am's slow decline, starting in the 1970s, until they ceased to exist in the 1990s. The title, "skygods", is how he refers to the "old timers" at Pan Am, the "Masters of Ocean Flying Boats" who were held up as, well, you get it the idea. But by the jet age they were also, in the author's opinion, "old curmudgeons" who didn't "get" the idea of crew coordination, and wouldn't tolerate any dissenting opinions, or even comments, from co-pilots. Ok, this was true, in some cases...

But last week I had nothing to read so I picked it back up and finished it. It was actually quite good. Lots of interesting stuff about how "deregulation" found Pan Am unprepared to cope with the new environment. And after Trippe retired, Pan Am went through several different leaders of varying "stature" and capability. And in 1989, only a few years before the end, Pan Am flight 103 was destroyed over Lockerbie Scotland, in what one Pan Am pilot said was "the day the heart of Pan American died".

Anyhow, I'm glad I finished it. It was ok. Three of five stars.


May 5th, 2015, 17:15
This one turned out to be way more interesting than I thought it would be. It's more a "corporate history" of US air carriers, after "deregulation". How the CEOs of the major airlines brutally competed with each other after the demise of the CAB in the late 1970s. One of the more interesting aspects of this story, to me, was the computer based reservation systems that United and American Airlines developed, in the 1980s! The American system was called "Sabre", and United's was called "Apollo." In both cases, these companies contracted with travel agencies to connect with their own system. Both these systems were able to make reservations with any airlines in the world, but both had sneaky and sophisticated ways of "steering" customers to their own airline. By 1993, from the book:

"...In a cavern in Oklahoma, behind a retina-scanning security device, the mainframes of Sabre were now connected to 200,000 reservations terminals around the world, handling as many as 3,600 transactions per second— the largest privately owned real-time network ever built, with every screen ringing up a fee on every reservation processed for another airline..."

All this before the "interwebs". Astonishing.


May 9th, 2015, 03:20
Added two more Haynes' manuals to my library :The Avro Lancaster and the Panavia Tornado. Love these books, fun to read and plenty of good photos and information.
The only downside is that I counted at least 38 different volumes at the shop, I'm up to five now..

June 16th, 2015, 05:07
I've been reading this one lately


Fw 200 Condor by Jerry Scutts

I got it mainly for the early Fw 200A propliners, but it extensively covers the maritime patrol version as well. A keeper for me.

July 9th, 2015, 17:00
Started this one today and got about 80 pages into it. So far, it's the history of the Northern Pacific war with the Aleutians, Kurile Islands and points in between. I've just got to the point where the PV-1 Venturas entered the fray...


July 31st, 2015, 04:17
Here's one I had to add to my already overstocked bookshelfs:

Have read the first three chapters, and so far I like it. Very thorough and well written.

March 20th, 2016, 08:01

I'm always looking for books that tell a personal story of aviation. Of these two, An Ace of the Eighth was a little dry, while Check Six! was more interesting, with more airplane stuff. For example, Curran explains that the P-47 had this little valve on the cockpit floor that was used to equalize the pressure in the two hydraulic systems. If you forgot to do that when landing, the flaps on one side would come down slower than those on the other, or not at all. This, or course, would make the landing experience very interesting indeed.

I've read many books by or about fighter pilots in WW-II, and it's never been remarkable to read that fighter pilots look down upon pilots who fly anything else. Fortier, in Ace, does not disappoint, referring to DC-3 and bomber pilots as "truck drivers". It wasn't until becoming a member of this site that I started reading a lot of books about the transports, prop liners, Ferry Command, etc. Books recommended by Moses03, Willy, srgalahad, and others. In these books one finds that hot shot fighter pilots can't get jobs flying "trucks" after the war because they don't have enough multi-engine experience. Poetic justice? Maybe a little. So I was impressed with one part of Check Six! In which Jim Curran, P-47 pilot, tells of his squadron acquiring a old P-70 that they turned back into an A-20 by removing all the guns, armor, and black paint. They used it for their "executive transport" and beer runs to Australia. Curran says he loved that plane. He then relates how one of his hot shot squadron mates wrecked the A-20 only a month later in a landing accident. In his opinion, the A-20 was too complex an airplane for a fighter pilot to handle!

Oh, and in both books, the author's squadron transitioned from P-47s to P-51s. And in both cases, the reaction was negative. "What? You're taking my Thunderbolt away and I have to fly P-51s? This is outrageous!" Lolol.

April 2nd, 2016, 04:46
This is a great read. Author flew Cessna 206s, 402s, BN-2 Islanders, and Twin Otters in and around the mountains of PNG for a couple decades, and went on to drive Air Buses for Cathay Pacific. Each night when I resumed reading I had to go back a chapter, because by the time I put it down the evening before I was half asleep. While not a WW-II history nut, he knew enough to point out to us dear readers when he flew over old WW-II airfields, saying how he could still see the revetments from the old airfield a couple miles away from the one he was flying into. This sent me off to Google Earth to see if I could find them. Very cool.


April 17th, 2016, 04:34
One of my favorite books for a CFS3 fan. World War II Fighting Jets by Jeffrey Ethell and Alfred Price Airlife Publishing 1994

May 14th, 2016, 11:56
Picked up a used copy of 'The lost squadron' by David Hayes at a armour event today. Looks like a good book.

December 30th, 2016, 06:21
Found another book on Fw 200A Condor airliners and just now ordered it. Only place I've found it is out of Norway so I expect that I'll have a bit of a wait on it.


Apparently the Danes thought more of the Condor than they did the DC-3. It was more technologically advanced, faster and longer ranged. And parts were available next door in Germany. Can't say as I blame them.

Milton Shupe
December 30th, 2016, 12:42
Late present from Santa: Vultee Aircraft 1932-1947 by J. Thompson. (Same author of Italian Civil and Military Aircraft 1930-1945).



I know this was an old post but I am looking for info on the XP-54. Do you have any good stuff?


December 30th, 2016, 14:35
Check your PM's Milton.:encouragement:

January 25th, 2017, 15:13
I just finished this one. What a great read. It's been out since 1979, but I just found it. The author flew F4U Corsairs in the Royal Navy, off HMS Illustrious in the Indian Ocean and Pacific. The RN sent him to the US to be trained as a pilot by the US Navy in Pensacola. He flew Fulmars in Africa for a while before transitioning to Corsairs and the carrier fleet. I've been reading books like this since I could read, and this one is in the top five. What a great story teller! At times hilarious, sad, and tragic.


Ralf Roggeveen
March 7th, 2017, 22:12
Just picked up this nice little 1950s book at last weekend's Newark Air Museum Aeroboot sale:


The dealer was also selling this:


Which to buy? :confused:

Well of course it was a No-brainer and I bought them both.

No dates, but they are clearly either side of 1958 when the Comet 4 came into service (the Free Model was, of course, long gone).

There'll be lots of fun at the Cal Classic versions of London Airport with these books!

I find I'm only allowed four images at a time now, so afraid the rest of this thread (which I just spent nearly an hour writing) will have to wait to be posted later...

Anyway, nice to be back! :wavey:

March 8th, 2017, 00:35
Takes me back to my first airline flights, Ralf !

Edinburgh-Heathrow in the wondrous Viscount - a lovely experience - oh, those big, big windows......

then Heathrow-Jersey in the BEA Dakota. Never forget the surprise of entering the rear door and having to climb...

How civilized it all was in those days. Nice find, Ralf.

Ralf Roggeveen
March 8th, 2017, 21:45
Yup, the Dakota was probably a Pionair, named after a famous explorer (preferably one who got back alive). Not sure if I ever went in a Viscount, but there was at least one VC-10 to Paris before going further south to Nimes by Air Inter. Went by Air France Caravelle direct to Nice in '73 and the place I was staying on the other side of the bay gave fantastic views of aircraft landing by night which was pretty cool. More often in the '60s we went to France by what was called the 'Boat-Train', sleeping in a Wagon Lit while the (huge black steam!) engine took us south through the night. Years later I found myself gawping at one of these carriages in a museum and started to feel a bit old.

Remember this concourse in the Passenger Building very well:


And that early luggage carousel!

These books are from the Pitkin Pride of Britain series which usually covered cathedrals, stately homes and the Royal family:


Their 1950s catalogue is listed on the back of the Viscount cover book. 'Two Shillings & Sixpence' (2/6 or 'Half a Crown') was 12 and a half New Pence after decimalisation in 1971. That's about 15 Cents US, or 30 Cents Euro today, but it had much greater value then when I got two shillings/10p a week pocket money.

March 10th, 2017, 02:19
Sad article in today's Times, Ralf, about the demise of the wagon-lit. It seems the only people operating them nowadays are the Russians, Americans and a couple of routes here in the UK. Even the Orient Express is no more....:sorrow:

Was on the Viscount often on the Edinburgh-London route, followed by the Vanguard, another comfortable plane to fly in.

Flew in the VC-10 to Johannesburg in 1970 - much preferred the Boeings !

March 20th, 2017, 18:11
I have finished to read a really good book: Duel of Eagles by Peter Townsend. The book is about the Battle of Britain and how the RAF won it, from the first Hurricanes to the Chain Home radars, it talks about the everyday heroism of those aviators that fought for the freedom of their country. The narration of what happens in UK is mixed with the narration of what happened in nazi Germany, from the first clandestine Luftwaffe in Russia to the attack of Poland and France, until the first defeat in the skies of Britain.

Ralf Roggeveen
March 20th, 2017, 22:23
Group Captain Peter Townsend himself a Battle of Britain pilot, but unfortunately most famous for his 1950s affair with Princess Margaret. This was well-known at the time, but it was made clear that she could not marry someone who was divorced (even if he was a war hero). Townsend went to live in France and poor Margaret had to make do with Lord Snowden who, somewhat ironically, she later separated from. In France in the '70s I saw Townsend on TV telling his disbelieving son, both speaking fluent French, that he really had been a pilot in the Battle of Britain! I once saw poor Princess Margaret in the back of a limo coming out of Kensington Palace. I was quite a long way away and tried to make out which Royal person it might be (Diana was still there at the time). Realised it must be Margaret because she had a cigarette in a long holder. Townsend was older than her and died a few years before.

March 31st, 2017, 05:29
If you are interested in stories about WW2 then I can highly recommend "A real good war" by Sam Halpert.

It's an autobiographical novel based on his experiences flying a B-17 over Germany, written at the age of 77!

Sam Halpert flew 35 missions over Germany as a navigator.

This is the story of the making of a B-17 crew, from basic training in the US through to the real thing, taking off before dawn, and flying through enemy flak and fighters in broad daylight to their targets - Hamburg, Frankfurt, Berlin.
Bravado, humour, camaraderie, raw and vivid language protect the rookie airmen from the danger and death all around them.

April 30th, 2017, 09:43
Was following a 1932 Jane's AWA that came up on UK Ebay - price was looking reasonable - until the very end. It went for £164.

I was beginning to worry that book values were declining in the light of electronic archiving. It would appear not ! £164 - that'll nearly buy you dinner in London.......

Ralf Roggeveen
June 8th, 2017, 21:58
Just picked this up for £1.50 (!) at a recent village booksale:


Still experimenting with Windows 10 and Gimp (with fond memories of Windows xp and PictureIt 2001, but hope to show more of this lovely book over the weekend if anyone's interested. You can no doubt start by easily i/ding the cover image..?

January 7th, 2018, 10:30
Had to buy this one; not just is he the singer of my all-time favourite band, the man also is type-rated on the 737,747 and 757, and owns a Bucker Jungman and a Fokker Dr1 which he flies during displays.

April 9th, 2018, 13:06
Tanker Pilot by Mark Hasara really is outstanding. Highly Recommended!
ISBN 978-5011-8166-5


From a veteran air-refueling expert who flew missions for over two decades during the Cold War, Afghan War, and Iraq War comes a thrilling eyewitness account of modern warfare, with inspirational stories and moral lessons for people on the battlefield, in boardrooms, and in their everyday lives.

Get a glimpse of life in the pilot’s seat and experience modern air warfare directly from a true American hero. Lt. Col Mark Hasara—who has twenty-four years experience in flying missions around the world—provides keen and eye-opening insights on success, failure, and emphasizes the importance of always being willing to learn.

He provides twelve essential lessons based on his wartime experience and his own personal photographs from his missions during the Cold War, Gulf War, and Iraq War.

April 9th, 2018, 16:33
Tanker Pilot by Mark Hasara really is outstanding. Highly Recommended!
ISBN 978-5011-8166-5

Funny, I was just looking at that book the other day and wondered about checking it out.


August 30th, 2018, 15:25
Had to buy this one; not just is he the singer of my all-time favourite band, the man also is type-rated on the 737,747 and 757, and owns a Bucker Jungman and a Fokker Dr1 which he flies during displays.

Bought the audio book :ernaehrung004:

February 13th, 2019, 15:05
Just finished the Kindle edition of this one. It’s pretty good. The author, Scott Gloodt, flew "18s" for freight outfits in the US mid-west during the 1970s and 1980s. He says he was inspired by Gann to write his book. Can’t go wrong there. It’s basically a collection of stories about what it was like to fly in a time before GPS, iPads, glass cockpits and all that, in a business where you had to do whatever it took to get the freight to its destination, in every type of weather, season, and time of day. The stories read very much like the tales of the SOH's own Flight-19 adventures… Very interesting and entertaining read. I believe 93.5 percent of the "sea-stories" contained within the pages!


April 20th, 2019, 08:52
My brother has just returned from a nostalgic trip to Milan and Como, where he spent a lot of time in the Sixties. He sent me this lovely book - a story about the restoration of a Caproni 100 and of the Como Aero Club's history.

It even mentions the Super Cub floatplane in which I was once taken for a flight around the lake - unforgettable !

April 23rd, 2019, 04:43
Most of what I've been reading the past few years have been for research for aircraft textures for FS. With that in mind, the latest is "Sikorsky S-43/JRS-1 Amphibian" by Steve Ginter. There's several liveries in it that I'd never seen pictured before, along with lots of good info on the histories of the individual aircraft along with some pretty obscure airlines that flew them like Iloilo Negros Air Express of the pre-war Phillipines. The fly in the ointment for a painter is that the pictures are all black and white so a lot of "educated guesses" have to be made about colors. I'm still pondering a few of them.

Also a lot of Jeep manuals as well...

pomme homme
April 26th, 2019, 01:17
Finally I got around to buying a copy of this book before it went OOP.


December 5th, 2019, 15:01
I was in Australia the past couple weeks. Brisbane. I've been there before, twice, but didn't know about this place. This building was there in WW-II, and on the 8th floor general Douglas MacArthur had his headquarters for two years. It is an apartment building today, but there is a small museum on the 8th floor, with his office preserved as it was in 1942. It probably wasn't this neat back then, but this is his actual office! This got me to reading a book about the general, and in it was a story about general Marshall visiting MacArthur in 1943, and flying there aboard a C-54, the pilot of which was an airline pilot before the war, drafted to fly for the military, as so many of them were. And this pilot, Weldon E. Rhoades, wrote a book about his experience in WW-II. I looked it up on Amazon, and ordered it. Hard cover "like new", the seller claims. It will arrive on Monday. I will submit a book report when I am finished reading it...

January 11th, 2020, 04:32
Finished it. Very interesting read, but not "an aviation book". In his capacity as "chief pilot for MacArthur's office" he got to fly B-25s, B-17s, C-47s, and C-54s, but often he didn't even mention the type of plane he was flying when telling stories. He was a United Airlines pilot flying DC-3s when the war started, so B-17s and B-25s were a new experience. He liked flying the B-25, but complained that it was very loud. He especially liked flying the B-17. As a civilian airline pilot during this time, he was good at navigation, and found he often had to teach these skills to army pilots.