Holiday Aviation Reading List


Many of us are heading away for some well-deserved downtime this December, reading is often an option for many but the question is what to read? I spent some time looking around at what is available and I hope it helps to make your holiday even more relaxing.

Early Jet Bombers, 1944–1954 (Images of War)

Leo Marriott

In a companion volume to his Early Jet Fighters: British and American 1944-1954, Leo Marriott describes, using over 200 archive photographs, the first decade in the development of the jet bomber. This was a time of intense technical innovation which transformed the design and capabilities of the bomber and gave birth to a range of classic military aircraft in the USA, Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union. The photographs take the story from the earliest jet bombers constructed in Germany towards the end of the Second World War to the successful designs both sides depended on through the first phase of the Cold War.

The pace of development was rapid and remarkable, from initial prototypes built in Germany – the Arado 234 and the Junkers Ju. 287 – to the fleets of advanced jet bombers like the British Canberra and V-bombers, the American B-47 and B-52 and the Soviet Il-28 Beagle and Tu-16 Badger. The images of the prototypes give a fascinating insight into the extraordinary technical challenges and the ambition and inventiveness of the designers and manufacturers who overcame them.

Leo Marriott’s vivid selection of photographs and his lucid historical narrative offer the reader an overview of a dynamic stage in the evolution of the design of military aircraft.

American Secret Projects 2: Airlifters

Craig Kaston and George Cox

This book charts the history of the US airlifter from its origins in World War II to today's transport giants. In doing so, it reveals and describes numerous designs which never saw the light of day, examining the thinking behind them and giving insights into why they did, or did not, succeed.

In many ways, this untold story of aviation history reflects both the changing face of conflict and the exercise of geo-political power; it has also had a major bearing on the development of civil aviation.

The book has been made possible by the authors being given unprecedented access to major aerospace company archives, uncovering scores of design proposals which have never previously been revealed. It is profusely illustrated, much in full colour, with artwork and three-view drawings extracted from manufacturers' archives and with photographs of original project models.

As well as describing how airlifters were progressively developed to meet ever-more demanding military transport requirements, the book looks at other roles for which they were adapted, from nuclear test-beds to Space Shuttle carriers.

This previously untold story describes more than 200 unknown, or little known, designs, and contains more than 400 illustrations detailing some of the largest and most incredible aircraft ever conceived.

Concorde: Supersonic Icon - 50th Anniversary Edition

Ingo Bauernfeind

This lavishly illustrated volume tells the amazing story of Concorde, the supersonic icon that has been capturing the world’s imagination since its maiden flight in 1969. With personal accounts written by former pilots and crew members, it covers Concorde’s history, her technology as well as her undisputed and timeless charisma. Moreover, this volume will focus on her legacy and the ambitious undertaking of bringing one Concorde back to service as a heritage aircraft. Included is a download video about Concorde.

MAYDAY

Dan Stratman

Do you fly on the airlines? Ever wonder what goes on in the cockpit during a dire emergency? Fasten your seat belt and raise your tray table because the ride is about to get terrifying!

The Tech-Liner—appropriately christened the Spirit of Silicon Valley—is the most advanced airliner ever built. Its speed and luxurious amenities could usher in a new golden age of air travel. Struggling Alpha Airlines is betting its future on the new jet.

But on its maiden voyage—packed with VIPs from government, industry, and banking—this state-of-the-art plane is also a prime target for attack.

Capt. Mark Smith, former US Air Force pilot and now Alpha Airlines Chief Pilot, will need to draw on all his decades of experience to make sure that never happens. At thirty-five thousand feet above the ocean, things on his flight spin wildly out of control. Smith will need a decidedly old-school strategy to save this high-tech marvel.

If you fly on the airlines, MAYDAY! is a must read. Learn what has the FAA so nervous in this fictional aviation thriller.

Ever wonder what really happens in an airliner cockpit during a life-threatening emergency? Then this is a book you won’t want to miss. Airline pilot Dan Stratman takes his readers where no passenger is ever allowed to go – past the armoured steel cockpit door and into the pilot seat – transporting them on a terrifying journey that has a chilling resemblance to recent actual events. Only an experienced pilot like Captain Stratman could bring such authenticity and frightening realism to this story

Fundamentals of International Aviation

Suzanne K. Kearns

International aviation is a massive and complex industry that is crucial to our global economy and way of life.

Fundamentals of International Aviation, designed for the next generation of aviation professionals, flips the traditional approach to aviation education. Instead of focusing on one career in one country, it has been designed to introduce the aviation industry on a global scale with a broad view of all the interconnected professional groups. Therefore, this is an appropriate introductory book for any aviation career (including aviation regulators, maintenance engineers, pilots, flight attendants, airline managers, dispatchers, air traffic controllers, and airport managers among many others).

Each chapter of this text introduces a different cross-section of the industry, from air law to operations, security to remotely-piloted aircraft (drones). A variety of learning tools are built into each section, including case studies that describe an aviation accident related to the content of each chapter.

This book provides a foundation of aviation industry awareness that will support the next generation as they choose a career path that best aligns with their interests and ambitions. It also offers current professionals an enriched understanding of the practices and challenges between the many interconnected professional groups that make up the rich fabric of international aviation.

How Carriers Fought: Carrier Operations in WWII

Lars Celander

In November 1921 the first purpose-built aircraft carrier was launched by the Japanese, followed a year later by the launch of the British Hermes. The conversion of battlecruisers into aircraft carriers after World War I required the consideration of issues including handling aircraft on the flight deck and the techniques of attacking enemy ships, and the evolution of carrier operations was ongoing when World War II broke out. With a focus on the conflict in the Pacific between the U.S. Navy and the imperial Japanese fleet, this title examines how aircraft carriers fought during World War II by first considering all the tools and building blocks of carrier operations, and then discussing the various battles that involved aircraft carriers to explore how carrier operations evolved during war.

Every aspect of carrier operations is covered; from the technology used on the carriers and in aircraft including for navigation and communication, to what life was really like in the cockpit for the pilots. A world of tactical dehydration, amphetamine pills, and illegal smoking is explored, as well as the measures pilots implemented to reduce their risk of death in the event of being hit.

The major carrier battles of the war are considered, from Coral Sea to Leyte Gulf, with a focus on how the tools of carrier operations were employed. At the battle of Midway the debate of concentration vs. dispersion became relevant, as the Japanese decided to divide their forces while the Americans concentrated theirs. How Carriers Fought questions these tactics, exploring which worked best in theory and in practice.

The book concludes with a discussion of how carrier operations changed during the course of the war, as better technology and a better understanding of this new type of warfare allowed for quick advances in how operations were carried out.

Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History

Keith O'Brien

The previously untold story of five women who fought to compete against men in the high-stakes national air races of the 1920s and 1930s — and won

Between the world wars, no sport was more popular, or more dangerous, than airplane racing. Thousands of fans flocked to multi‑day events, and cities vied with one another to host them. The pilots themselves were hailed as dashing heroes who cheerfully stared death in the face. Well, the men were hailed. Female pilots were more often ridiculed than praised for what the press portrayed as silly efforts to horn in on a manly, and deadly, pursuit. Fly Girls recounts how a cadre of women banded together to break the original glass ceiling: the entrenched prejudice that conspired to keep them out of the sky.

O’Brien weaves together the stories of five remarkable women: Florence Klingensmith, a high‑school dropout who worked for a dry cleaner in Fargo, North Dakota; Ruth Elder, an Alabama divorcee; Amelia Earhart, the most famous, but not necessarily the most skilled; Ruth Nichols, who chafed at the constraints of her blue‑blood family’s expectations; and Louise Thaden, the mother of two young kids who got her start selling coal in Wichita. Together, they fought for the chance to race against the men — and in 1936 one of them would triumph in the toughest race of all.

Like Hidden Figures and Girls of Atomic City, Fly Girls celebrates a little-known slice of history in which tenacious, trail-blazing women braved all obstacles to achieve greatness.

Without a Trace: 1970-2016

Sylvia Wrigley

True Stories of Aircraft and Passengers who Disappeared into Thin Air

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 in 2014 is considered the greatest aviation mystery of our time but it does not stand alone. The second volume of Without a Trace begins in 1970, when a military pilot chased a glowing unidentified object only for both to disappear in an instant. How did India manage to misplace five fighter jets? Did the young pilot chasing an inexplicable aircraft over the Australian coast really get abducted by aliens? These questions and more are explored in Without a Trace. We explore modern mysteries as recent as 2016, with the sudden disappearance of an Antonov An-32 on a routine courier flight, while the aircraft ahead and behind saw nothing. Each case is laid out in rich detail and presented chronologically, with explanations of technology, aviation jargon and cultural aspects involved in each mystery.

Where did they go?

Sylvia Wrigley introduces the crews, innocent bystanders and rescuers in this collection of true stories. Documenting the popular theories from each case, she uses her knowledge and experience as a pilot and an aviation journalist to demystify aviation jargon and narrow down each disappearance to the most likely explanations. The stories range from fighter jets to commercial airliners, all of which have vanished within our lifetimes without a trace.

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