Popular Aviation Books

30+ [Hand Picked] Popular Books On Aviation

Discover the list of some best books written on Aviation by popular award winning authors. These book on topic Aviation highly popular among the readers worldwide.

4.7/5

The Spitfire Girls by Soraya M. Lane

Three skilled aviators determined to help win the war. Three brave women who know their place is not at home. At the height of World War II, the British Air Transport Auxiliary need help. A group of young women volunteer for action, but the perils of their new job don’t end on the tarmac. Things are tough in the air, but on the ground their abilities as pilots are constantl Three skilled aviators determined to help win the war. Three brave women who know their place is not at home. At the height of World War II, the British Air Transport Auxiliary need help. A group of young women volunteer for action, but the perils of their new job don’t end on the tarmac. Things are tough in the air, but on the ground their abilities as pilots are constantly questioned. There is friction from the start between the new recruits. Spirited American Lizzie turns heads with her audacity, but few can deny her flying skills. She couldn’t be more different from shy, petite Ruby, who is far from diminutive in the sky. It falls to pragmatic pilot May to bring the women together and create a formidable team capable of bringing the aircraft home. As these very different women fight to prove themselves up to the task at hand, they are faced with challenges and tragedies at every turn. They must fight for equal pay and respect while handling aircraft that are dangerously ill-equipped; meanwhile, lives continue to be lost in the tumult of war. Determined to assist the war effort doing what they love, can May, Lizzie and Ruby put aside their differences to overcome adversity, and will they find love in the skies?

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3.4/5

Circling the Sun by Paula McLain

Brought to Kenya from England as a child and then abandoned by her mother, Beryl Markham is raised by both her father and the native Kipsigis tribe who share his estate. Her unconventional upbringing transforms Beryl into a bold young woman with a fierce love of all things wild and an inherent understanding of nature’s delicate balance. But even the wild child must grow up Brought to Kenya from England as a child and then abandoned by her mother, Beryl Markham is raised by both her father and the native Kipsigis tribe who share his estate. Her unconventional upbringing transforms Beryl into a bold young woman with a fierce love of all things wild and an inherent understanding of nature’s delicate balance. But even the wild child must grow up, and when everything Beryl knows and trusts dissolves, she is catapulted into a string of disastrous relationships. Beryl forges her own path as a horse trainer, and her uncommon style attracts the eye of the Happy Valley set, a decadent, bohemian community of European expats who also live and love by their own set of rules. But it’s the ruggedly charismatic Denys Finch Hatton who ultimately helps Beryl navigate the uncharted territory of her own heart. The intensity of their love reveals Beryl’s truest self and her fate: to fly.

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4.3/5

Daughters of the Night Sky by Aimie K. Runyan

A novel—inspired by the most celebrated regiment in the Red Army—about a woman’s sacrifice, courage, and love in a time of war. Russia, 1941. Katya Ivanova is a young pilot in a far-flung military academy in the Ural Mountains. From childhood, she’s dreamed of taking to the skies to escape her bleak mountain life. With the Nazis on the march across Europe, she is called on A novel—inspired by the most celebrated regiment in the Red Army—about a woman’s sacrifice, courage, and love in a time of war. Russia, 1941. Katya Ivanova is a young pilot in a far-flung military academy in the Ural Mountains. From childhood, she’s dreamed of taking to the skies to escape her bleak mountain life. With the Nazis on the march across Europe, she is called on to use her wings to serve her country in its darkest hour. Not even the entreaties of her new husband—a sensitive artist who fears for her safety—can dissuade her from doing her part as a proud daughter of Russia. After years of arduous training, Katya is assigned to the 588th Night Bomber Regiment—one of the only Soviet air units composed entirely of women. The Germans quickly learn to fear nocturnal raids by the daring fliers they call “Night Witches.” But the brutal campaign will exact a bitter toll on Katya and her sisters-in-arms. When the smoke of war clears, nothing will ever be the same—and one of Russia’s most decorated military heroines will face the most agonizing choice of all.

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4/5

The Wright Brothers by David McCullough

Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize David McCullough tells the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly: Wilbur and Orville Wright. On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two unknown brothers from Ohio changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe what had happened: the age of Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize David McCullough tells the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly: Wilbur and Orville Wright. On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two unknown brothers from Ohio changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe what had happened: the age of flight had begun, with the first heavier-than-air, powered machine carrying a pilot. Who were these men and how was it that they achieved what they did? David McCullough, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, tells the surprising, profoundly American story of Wilbur and Orville Wright. Far more than a couple of unschooled Dayton bicycle mechanics who happened to hit on success, they were men of exceptional courage and determination, and of far-ranging intellectual interests and ceaseless curiosity, much of which they attributed to their upbringing. The house they lived in had no electricity or indoor plumbing, but there were books aplenty, supplied mainly by their preacher father, and they never stopped reading. When they worked together, no problem seemed to be insurmountable. Wilbur was unquestionably a genius. Orville had such mechanical ingenuity as few had ever seen. That they had no more than a public high school education, little money and no contacts in high places, never stopped them in their mission to take to the air. Nothing did, not even the self-evident reality that every time they took off in one of their contrivances, they risked being killed. In this thrilling book, master historian David McCullough draws on the immense riches of the Wright Papers, including private diaries, notebooks, scrapbooks, and more than a thousand letters from private family correspondence to tell the human side of the Wright Brothers' story, including the little-known contributions of their sister, Katharine, without whom things might well have gone differently for them.

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3.1/5

Passenger 19 by Ward Larsen

Jammer Davis has spent most of his life investigating aircraft accidents. When a small regional jet disappears over the jungles of Colombia, it is a tragedy like dozens of others he has seen…but for one terrible detail—his young daughter, who was enroute to a semester abroad in South America, is listed on the passenger manifest.  A distraught Davis rushes to Bogotá and bull Jammer Davis has spent most of his life investigating aircraft accidents. When a small regional jet disappears over the jungles of Colombia, it is a tragedy like dozens of others he has seen…but for one terrible detail—his young daughter, who was enroute to a semester abroad in South America, is listed on the passenger manifest.  A distraught Davis rushes to Bogotá and bulls his way into the inquiry. When the wreckage is located, it becomes clear the crash was unsurvivable. As the investigation gains momentum, the facts go astray. Two pilots had been shot before the crash, along with one passenger. The possibility of a hijacking looms large as the search begins to focus on two passengers who boarded the plane, yet their remains cannot be found.  Davis uncovers an even more sinister plot behind the entire disaster—one that goes to the highest levels of the United States government. But how could it possibly involve his daughter?

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4.1/5

Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man's First Journey to the Moon by Robert Kurson

The inside, lesser-known story of NASA's boldest and riskiest mission: Apollo 8, mankind's first journey to the Moon on Christmas in 1968. A riveting account of three heroic astronauts who took one of the most dangerous space flights ever, from the New York Times bestselling author of Shadow Divers. In early 1968, the Apollo program was on shaky footing. President The inside, lesser-known story of NASA's boldest and riskiest mission: Apollo 8, mankind's first journey to the Moon on Christmas in 1968. A riveting account of three heroic astronauts who took one of the most dangerous space flights ever, from the New York Times bestselling author of Shadow Divers. In early 1968, the Apollo program was on shaky footing. President Kennedy's end-of-decade deadline to put a man on the Moon was in jeopardy, and the Soviets were threatening to pull ahead in the space race. By August 1968, with its back against the wall, NASA decided to scrap its usual methodical approach and shoot for the heavens. With just four months to prepare--a fraction of the normal time--the agency would send the first men in history to the Moon. In a year of historic violence and discord--the Tet offensive, the assassinations of MLK and RFK, the Chicago DNC riots--the Apollo 8 mission was the boldest test of what America could do. With a focus on astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders, and their wives and children, this is a vivid, gripping, you-are-there narrative that shows anew the epic danger involved, and the singular bravery it took, for man to leave Earth for the first time--and to arrive at a new world.

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3.9/5

Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History by Keith O'Brien

The 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 The 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.

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3.9/5

GUTS 'N GUNSHIPS: What it was Really Like to Fly Combat Helicopters in Vietnam by Mark Garrison

Synopsis In the summer of 1967, Mark Garrison had dropped out of college at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, just before entering his third year. He had run out of money and had to work for a while. These were the days before the lottery and the draft soon came calling. In order to somewhat control his own future, he enlisted in the U.S. Army’s helico Synopsis In the summer of 1967, Mark Garrison had dropped out of college at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, just before entering his third year. He had run out of money and had to work for a while. These were the days before the lottery and the draft soon came calling. In order to somewhat control his own future, he enlisted in the U.S. Army’s helicopter flight school program. Little did he know that this adventure would be the most profound experience of his life. Garrison flew hundreds of missions for the 119th AHC, stationed in the Central Highlands at Camp Holloway in Pleiku, Vietnam. He was awarded twenty-five Air Medals, four campaign Bronze Stars, and The Distinguished Flying Cross among numerous other awards. His narrative takes you through the whole process, from basic training, flight school, flying combat in Vietnam, and his return to the United States. His description includes many incidents in combat flight, including being hit by rocket propelled grenades and being on fire in the air, over hundreds if not thousands of enemy troops. But this is not all. He elaborates on the daily lives, emotions, and nuances of the pilots and what they considered their mission to be. GUTS 'N GUNSHIPS is a must read if you are to have a realistic understanding of what flying helicopters in Vietnam combat was all about. Review “Mark Garrison’s Guts 'N Gunships is more than just another Vietnam flashback. It is a portal which will transport readers to a most painful American experience. These were definitely goodbye times in America and the author bares his soul with his narrative. The author reveals how he, his friends and family, like millions of other Americans were sucked into the Vietnam whirlwind while the nation’s leaders wrestled with a domino theory pressed upon the nation by think tanks tied to the military industrial complex. Guts 'N Gunships follows Garrison’s true life story of being on the short list for the draft, and then going all in by signing up for helicopter pilot training. After just a few months training, he found himself in the mountains of Vietnam flying Huey helicopters into small holes in the triple canopy jungle. He had been assigned to duty with the Crocodiles and Alligators of the 119th Assault Helicopter Company, just a few short miles from the dreaded Ho Chi Minh Trail. His one year recounting of his numbered days there is painted with blood, pathos and hilarious incidents, stemming from hard drinking and furious nap of the earth flying, while the helicopters were blown apart with the pilots and crews in them. Most uplifting of all is the author’s first person accounting of a unit of pilots who saw the American mission failing but renewed vows among themselves that they would give the enemy no quarter and would cut no corners in their attempts to bring home alive every American they possibly could. No one has ever before addressed the American helicopter pilot experience in the way Garrison does.” —Ron Gawthorp

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3/5

The Crash Detectives: Investigating the World's Most Mysterious Air Disasters by Christine Negroni

"Negroni is a talented aviation journalist who clearly understands the critically important part the human factor plays in aviation safety." --Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, pilot of US Airways 1549, the Miracle on the Hudson One of The Wall Street Journal's 3 Books Every Geek Should Read This Fall A fascinating exploration of how humans and machines fail--leading to "Negroni is a talented aviation journalist who clearly understands the critically important part the human factor plays in aviation safety." --Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, pilot of US Airways 1549, the Miracle on the Hudson One of The Wall Street Journal's 3 Books Every Geek Should Read This Fall A fascinating exploration of how humans and machines fail--leading to air disasters from Amelia Earhart to MH370--and how the lessons learned from these accidents have made flying safer. In The Crash Detectives, veteran aviation journalist and air safety investigator Christine Negroni takes us inside crash investigations from the early days of the jet age to the present, including the search for answers about what happened to the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. As Negroni dissects what happened and why, she explores their common themes and, most important, what has been learned from them to make planes safer. Indeed, as Negroni shows, virtually every aspect of modern pilot training, airline operation, and airplane design has been shaped by lessons learned from disaster. Along the way, she also details some miraculous saves, when quick-thinking pilots averted catastrophe and kept hundreds of people alive. Tying in aviation science, performance psychology, and extensive interviews with pilots, engineers, human factors specialists, crash survivors, and others involved in accidents all over the world, The Crash Detectives is an alternately terrifying and inspiring book that might just cure your fear of flying, and will definitely make you a more informed passenger. "Christine Negroni combines her investigative reporting skills with an understanding of the complexities of air accident investigations to bring to life some of history's most intriguing and heartbreaking cases." --Bob Woodruff, ABC News

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3.5/5

Flight or Fright: 17 Turbulent Tales by Stephen King (Editor) , Bev Vincent (Editor) , E. Michael Lewis , Arthur Conan Doyle , Richard Matheson , Ambrose Bierce , E.C. Tubb , Tom Bissell ,

Fasten your seatbelts for an anthology of turbulent tales curated by Stephen King and Bev Vincent. This exciting new anthology, perfect for airport or airplane reading, includes an original introduction and story notes for each story by Stephen King, along with brand new stories from Stephen King and Joe Hill. About the Book: Stephen King hates to fly. Now he and co-editor Be Fasten your seatbelts for an anthology of turbulent tales curated by Stephen King and Bev Vincent. This exciting new anthology, perfect for airport or airplane reading, includes an original introduction and story notes for each story by Stephen King, along with brand new stories from Stephen King and Joe Hill. About the Book: Stephen King hates to fly. Now he and co-editor Bev Vincent would like to share this fear of flying with you. Welcome to Flight or Fright, an anthology about all the things that can go horribly wrong when you're suspended six miles in the air, hurtling through space at more than 500 mph and sealed up in a metal tube (like—gulp!—a coffin) with hundreds of strangers. All the ways your trip into the friendly skies can turn into a nightmare, including some we'll bet you've never thought of before... but now you will the next time you walk down the jetway and place your fate in the hands of a total stranger. Featuring brand new stories by Joe Hill and Stephen King, as well as fourteen classic tales and one poem from the likes of Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury, Roald Dahl, Dan Simmons, and many others, Flight or Fright is, as King says, "ideal airplane reading, especially on stormy descents... Even if you are safe on the ground, you might want to buckle up nice and tight."

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4.8/5

Raven One by Kevin Miller

Librarian Note: Alternate Cover Edition for ISBN-10: 1939398223 / ISBN-13: 9781939398222. UNARMED OVER HOSTILE TERRITORY... For a moment Wilson froze and looked at the white-helmeted pilot who sat high on the nose of the colossal fighter. Across the small void, he saw the pilot’s eyes peer over his mask. Dark, chilling eyes… Wilson kicked right rudder to slide closer and jam Librarian Note: Alternate Cover Edition for ISBN-10: 1939398223 / ISBN-13: 9781939398222. UNARMED OVER HOSTILE TERRITORY... For a moment Wilson froze and looked at the white-helmeted pilot who sat high on the nose of the colossal fighter. Across the small void, he saw the pilot’s eyes peer over his mask. Dark, chilling eyes… Wilson kicked right rudder to slide closer and jam any chance for a bandit gunshot. When the bandit pulled all the way over, almost on its back but in control, he cursed in frustration at what he knew was coming next. The hostile fighter reversed over the top in a negative-g maneuver, his nose tracking down on Wilson like a falling sledgehammer in slow motion. Horrified, Wilson realized he faced an imminent snapshot. With the little air speed he had, his inverted his Hornet to avoid the attack. His aircraft still rolling and ruddering, Wilson saw that the monster had another weapon at its disposal…

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3.5/5

The Plane That Wasn't There: Why We Haven't Found Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 by Jeff Wise

The definitive investigation into the greatest aviation mystery in history, with a startling hypothesis about who took the plane, where they took it, and how. On March 8, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared. A year later, still no trace of the plane — or the 239 people on board—has been found. But why? In “The Plane That Wasn't There,” science journalist and CNN The definitive investigation into the greatest aviation mystery in history, with a startling hypothesis about who took the plane, where they took it, and how. On March 8, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared. A year later, still no trace of the plane — or the 239 people on board—has been found. But why? In “The Plane That Wasn't There,” science journalist and CNN Aviation Analyst Jeff Wise sweeps aside the conspiracy theories and misconceptions and lays out with clear concision just what we know about the plane’s fate — and what we don’t. The deeper into the technical details one delves, Wise reports, the stranger the case seems. He proposes that in order to make sense of the data we have, a radical new hypothesis ought to be considered—one which he lays out in gripping detail, complete with modus operandi, flight path, possible perpetrators, and a startling destination. Jeff Wise a science journalist specializing in aviation and psychology. A licensed pilot of gliders and light airplanes, he has also written for 'New York', the 'New York Times', 'Time', 'Businessweek', 'Esquire', 'Details', and many others. His 2011 'Popular Mechanics' story on the fate of Air France 447 was named one of the Top 10 Longreads of 2011. His last book was 'Extreme Fear: The Science of Your Mind in Danger'. A native of Massachusetts, he lives in New York City with his wife and two sons.

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4.5/5

The President's Pilot by Robert Gandt

First-of-her-kind President Libby Paulsen is in a world of trouble. Her controversial agenda has made her the target of a right wing military cabal led by an enigmatic Air Force general. The conspirators will stop at nothing—including assassination—to remove Libby Paulsen from office. When the cabal targets Air Force One, Libby’s Presidency—and her life—rest in the hands o First-of-her-kind President Libby Paulsen is in a world of trouble. Her controversial agenda has made her the target of a right wing military cabal led by an enigmatic Air Force general. The conspirators will stop at nothing—including assassination—to remove Libby Paulsen from office. When the cabal targets Air Force One, Libby’s Presidency—and her life—rest in the hands of a maverick pilot named Pete Brand, a man with whom the President shares a long-smoldering secret. The President’s Pilot is a high stakes political and military thriller drawn from today’s—and tomorrow’s—explosive headlines.

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4.1/5

The Arsenal of Democracy: FDR, Ford Motor Company, and Their Epic Quest to Arm an America at War by A.J. Baime

In 1941, as Hitler’s threat loomed ever larger, President Roosevelt realized he needed weaponry to fight the Nazis—most important, airplanes—and he needed them fast. So he turned to Detroit and the auto industry for help. The Arsenal of Democracy tells the incredible story of how Detroit answered the call, centering on Henry Ford and his tortured son Edsel, who, when asked In 1941, as Hitler’s threat loomed ever larger, President Roosevelt realized he needed weaponry to fight the Nazis—most important, airplanes—and he needed them fast. So he turned to Detroit and the auto industry for help. The Arsenal of Democracy tells the incredible story of how Detroit answered the call, centering on Henry Ford and his tortured son Edsel, who, when asked if they could deliver 50,000 airplanes, made an outrageous claim: Ford Motor Company would erect a plant that could yield a “bomber an hour.” Critics scoffed: Ford didn’t make planes; they made simple, affordable cars. But bucking his father’s resistance, Edsel charged ahead. Ford would apply assembly-line production to the American military’s largest, fastest, most destructive bomber; they would build a plant vast in size and ambition on a plot of farmland and call it Willow Run; they would bring in tens of thousands of workers from across the country, transforming Detroit, almost overnight, from Motor City to the “great arsenal of democracy.” And eventually they would help the Allies win the war. Drawing on exhaustive research from the Ford Archives, the National Archives, and the FDR Library, A. J. Baime has crafted an enthralling, character-driven narrative of American innovation that has never been fully told, leaving readers with a vivid new portrait of America—and Detroit—during the war.

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4.1/5

The Fleet at Flood Tide: America at Total War in the Pacific, 1944-1945 by James D. Hornfischer

The extraordinary story of the World War II air, land, and sea campaign that brought the U.S. Navy to the apex of its strength and marked the rise of the United States as a global superpower One of America s preeminent military historians, James D. Hornfischer has written his most expansive and ambitious book to date. Drawing on new primary sources and personal accounts b The extraordinary story of the World War II air, land, and sea campaign that brought the U.S. Navy to the apex of its strength and marked the rise of the United States as a global superpower One of America s preeminent military historians, James D. Hornfischer has written his most expansive and ambitious book to date. Drawing on new primary sources and personal accounts by Americans and Japanese alike, here is a thrilling narrative of the climactic end stage of the Pacific War, focusing on the U.S. invasion of the Mariana Islands in June 1944 and the momentous events that it triggered. With its thunderous assault into Japan s inner defensive perimeter, America crossed the threshold of total war. From the seaborne invasion of Saipan to the stunning aerial battles of the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot, to the largest banzai attack of the war and the strategic bombing effort that led to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Marianas became the fulcrum of the drive to compel Tokyo to surrender with consequences that forever changed modern war. These unprecedented operations saw the first large-scale use of Navy Underwater Demolition Teams; a revolution in the fleet s ability to sustain cross-hemispheric expeditionary warfare; the struggle of American troops facing not only a suicidal enemy garrison but desperate Japanese civilians; and the rise of the U.S. Navy as the greatest of grand fleets. From the Marianas, B-29 Superfortresses would finally unleash nuclear fire on an enemy resolved to fight to the end. Hornfischer casts this clash of nations and cultures with cinematic scope and penetrating insight, focusing closely on the people who rose to the challenge under fire: Raymond Spruance, the brilliant, coolly calculating commander of the Fifth Fleet; Kelly Turner, whose amphibious forces delivered Marine General Holland Howlin Mad Smith s troops to the beaches of Saipan and Tinian; Draper Kauffman, founder of the Navy unit that predated today s SEALs; Paul Tibbets, who created history s first atomic striking force and flew the Enola Gay to Hiroshima; and Japanese warriors and civilians who saw the specter of defeat as the ultimate test of the spirit. From the seas of the Central Pacific to the shores of Japan itself, The Fleet at Flood Tide is a stirring and deeply humane account of World War II s world-changing finale. Advance praise for The Fleet at Flood Tide This is a masterful account of the barbaric last year of the Pacific War, combining original scholarship, engaging prose, excellent historical judgment, and empathy for the soldier, to explain why defeating the Japanese proved so costly and how American military forces performed so effectively and, in the end, humanely. The Fleet at Flood Tide is, quite simply, popular and scholarly military history at its best. Victor Davis Hanson, author of Carnage and Culture, senior fellow in classics and military history, The Hoover Institution, Stanford University We have here a carefully researched and well-written account of key stages and events in the final portion of the war in the Pacific that includes a careful look at the Japanese side as well as the American. The campaign in the Marianas and the background and reality of the atomic bomb are exceptionally thoughtfully presented. Gerhard L. Weinberg, author of A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II, professor emeritus of history, University of North Carolina"

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3/5

The Wright Brothers by David McCullough

Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize David McCullough tells the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly: Wilbur and Orville Wright. On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two unknown brothers from Ohio changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe what had happened: the age of Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize David McCullough tells the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly: Wilbur and Orville Wright. On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two unknown brothers from Ohio changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe what had happened: the age of flight had begun, with the first heavier-than-air, powered machine carrying a pilot. Who were these men and how was it that they achieved what they did? David McCullough, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, tells the surprising, profoundly American story of Wilbur and Orville Wright. Far more than a couple of unschooled Dayton bicycle mechanics who happened to hit on success, they were men of exceptional courage and determination, and of far-ranging intellectual interests and ceaseless curiosity, much of which they attributed to their upbringing. The house they lived in had no electricity or indoor plumbing, but there were books aplenty, supplied mainly by their preacher father, and they never stopped reading. When they worked together, no problem seemed to be insurmountable. Wilbur was unquestionably a genius. Orville had such mechanical ingenuity as few had ever seen. That they had no more than a public high school education, little money and no contacts in high places, never stopped them in their mission to take to the air. Nothing did, not even the self-evident reality that every time they took off in one of their contrivances, they risked being killed. In this thrilling book, master historian David McCullough draws on the immense riches of the Wright Papers, including private diaries, notebooks, scrapbooks, and more than a thousand letters from private family correspondence to tell the human side of the Wright Brothers' story, including the little-known contributions of their sister, Katharine, without whom things might well have gone differently for them.

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3.1/5

West with the Night by Beryl Markham

West with the Night is the story of Beryl Markham--aviator, racehorse trainer, beauty--and her life in the Kenya of the 1920s and '30s.

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4.3/5

Fate Is the Hunter by Ernest K. Gann

Ernest K. Gann’s classic memoir is an up-close and thrilling account of the treacherous early days of commercial aviation. In his inimitable style, Gann brings you right into the cockpit, recounting both the triumphs and terrors of pilots who flew when flying was anything but routine.

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4.7/5

The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe

Tom Wolfe began The Right Stuff at a time when it was unfashionable to contemplate American heroism. Nixon had left the White House in disgrace, the nation was reeling from the catastrophe of Vietnam, and in 1979--the year the book appeared--Americans were being held hostage by Iranian militants. Yet it was exactly the anachronistic courage of his subjects that captivated Tom Wolfe began The Right Stuff at a time when it was unfashionable to contemplate American heroism. Nixon had left the White House in disgrace, the nation was reeling from the catastrophe of Vietnam, and in 1979--the year the book appeared--Americans were being held hostage by Iranian militants. Yet it was exactly the anachronistic courage of his subjects that captivated Wolfe. In his foreword, he notes that as late as 1970, almost one in four career Navy pilots died in accidents. "The Right Stuff," he explains, "became a story of why men were willing--willing?--delighted!--to take on such odds in this, an era literary people had long since characterized as the age of the anti-hero." Wolfe's roots in New Journalism were intertwined with the nonfiction novel that Truman Capote had pioneered with In Cold Blood. As Capote did, Wolfe tells his story from a limited omniscient perspective, dropping into the lives of his "characters" as each in turn becomes a major player in the space program. After an opening chapter on the terror of being a test pilot's wife, the story cuts back to the late 1940s, when Americans were first attempting to break the sound barrier. Test pilots, we discover, are people who live fast lives with dangerous machines, not all of them airborne. Chuck Yeager was certainly among the fastest, and his determination to push through Mach 1--a feat that some had predicted would cause the destruction of any aircraft--makes him the book's guiding spirit. Yet soon the focus shifts to the seven initial astronauts. Wolfe traces Alan Shepard's suborbital flight and Gus Grissom's embarrassing panic on the high seas (making the controversial claim that Grissom flooded his Liberty capsule by blowing the escape hatch too soon). The author also produces an admiring portrait of John Glenn's apple-pie heroism and selfless dedication. By the time Wolfe concludes with a return to Yeager and his late-career exploits, the narrative's epic proportions and literary merits are secure. Certainly The Right Stuff is the best, the funniest, and the most vivid book ever written about America's manned space program. --Patrick O'Kelley

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3.9/5

Stick and Rudder: An Explanation of the Art of Flying by Wolfgang Langewiesche

"Stick and Rudder" is the first exact analysis of the art of flying ever attempted. It has been continuously in print for thirty-three years, and has enjoyed steadily increasing sales. Flight instructors have found that the book does indeed explain important phases of the art of flying, in a way the learner can use. It shows precisely what the pilot does when he flies, jus "Stick and Rudder" is the first exact analysis of the art of flying ever attempted. It has been continuously in print for thirty-three years, and has enjoyed steadily increasing sales. Flight instructors have found that the book does indeed explain important phases of the art of flying, in a way the learner can use. It shows precisely what the pilot does when he flies, just how he does it, and why.

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4.8/5

Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry , Lewis Galantière (Translator)

Recipient of the Grand Prix of the Académie Française, Wind, Sand and Stars captures the grandeur, danger, and isolation of flight. Its exciting account of air adventure, combined with lyrical prose and the spirit of a philosopher, makes it one of the most popular works ever written about flying. Translated by Lewis Galantière.

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4.8/5

Shot Down: The True Story of Pilot Howard Snyder and the Crew of the B-17 Susan Ruth by Steve Snyder

Belgium ... February 8, 1944 ... Shot Down and Alive For the first time, the full and complete story of the B-17 Flying Fortress Susan Ruth is shared in unbelievable detail. Author Steve Snyder’s story of his father, Lieutenant Howard Snyder, and the Susan Ruth crew, provides in-depth details about many aspects of World War II few understand or know about including the:• Belgium ... February 8, 1944 ... Shot Down and Alive For the first time, the full and complete story of the B-17 Flying Fortress Susan Ruth is shared in unbelievable detail. Author Steve Snyder’s story of his father, Lieutenant Howard Snyder, and the Susan Ruth crew, provides in-depth details about many aspects of World War II few understand or know about including the:• separation for young families as men went off to war; • training before heading to foreign soil; • military combat operations; • underground and resistance and what Lt. Snyder did when he joined it; • German atrocities toward captured crew and civilians; • behind-the-scenes stories of the Belgium civilians who risked all to save American flyers who were in the air one moment, spiraling down in flames the next; • creation and dedication of the monument to the Susan Ruth and its crew located in Macquenoise, Belgium in 1989.Shot Down was created from the vast number of letters and journals of Howard Snyder; diaries of men and women on the ground who rescued, sheltered and hid the crew; and interviews conducted by historians. Centered around the 306th Bomb Group in Thurleigh, England, it is informative, insightful and captivating.For most, 70 years is a long time ago. World War II fades in importance as each year goes by. Shot Down moves history out of the footnotes into reality, keeping the stories of real people alive as they experience being shot down. You are there, almost holding your breath as Lt. Snyder gets his crew out of his B-17 when bailing out over Nazi occupied Europe.

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4.8/5

Yeager: An Autobiography by Chuck Yeager , Leo Janos (Editor)

General Chuck Yeager, the greatest test pilot of them all -- the first man to fly faster than the speed of sound . . .the World War II flying ace who shot down a Messerschmitt jet with a prop-driven P-51 Mustang . . .the hero who defined a certain quality that all hotshot fly-boys of the postwar era aimed to achieve: the right stuff. Now Chuck Yeager tells his whole incredi General Chuck Yeager, the greatest test pilot of them all -- the first man to fly faster than the speed of sound . . .the World War II flying ace who shot down a Messerschmitt jet with a prop-driven P-51 Mustang . . .the hero who defined a certain quality that all hotshot fly-boys of the postwar era aimed to achieve: the right stuff. Now Chuck Yeager tells his whole incredible life story with the same "wide-open, full throttle" approach that has marked his astonishing career.  What it was really like enaging in do-or-die dogfights over Nazi Europe.  How after being shot over occupied France, Yeager somehow managed to escape.  The amazing behind-the-scenes story of smashing the sound barrier despite cracked ribs from a riding accident days before. The entire story is here, in Yeager's own words, and in wondeful insights from his wife and those friends and colleagues who have known him best.  It is the personal and public story of a man who settled for nothing less than excellence, a one-of-a-kind portrait of a true American hero.

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3.7/5

Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years at Lockheed by Ben R. Rich , Leo Janos

From the development of the U-2 to the Stealth fighter, the never-before-told story behind the high-stakes quest to dominate the skies Skunk Works is the true story of America's most secret & successful aerospace operation. As recounted by Ben Rich, the operation's brilliant boss for nearly two decades, the chronicle of Lockheed's legendary Skunk Works is a drama of co From the development of the U-2 to the Stealth fighter, the never-before-told story behind the high-stakes quest to dominate the skies Skunk Works is the true story of America's most secret & successful aerospace operation. As recounted by Ben Rich, the operation's brilliant boss for nearly two decades, the chronicle of Lockheed's legendary Skunk Works is a drama of cold war confrontations and Gulf War air combat, of extraordinary feats of engineering & achievement against fantastic odds. Here are up-close portraits of the maverick band of scientists & engineers who made the Skunk Works so renowned. Filled with telling personal anecdotes & high adventure, with narratives from the CIA & from Air Force pilots who flew the many classified, risky missions, this book is a portrait of the most spectacular aviation triumphs of the 20th century.

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3.3/5

The Aviators: Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Doolittle, Charles Lindbergh, and the Epic Age of Flight by Winston Groom

Written by gifted storyteller Winston Groom (author of Forrest Gump), The Aviators tells the saga of three extraordinary aviators--Charles Lindbergh, Eddie Rickenbacker, and Jimmy Doolittle--and how they redefine heroism through their genius, daring, and uncommon courage.   This is the fascinating story of three extraordinary heroes who defined aviation during the great age Written by gifted storyteller Winston Groom (author of Forrest Gump), The Aviators tells the saga of three extraordinary aviators--Charles Lindbergh, Eddie Rickenbacker, and Jimmy Doolittle--and how they redefine heroism through their genius, daring, and uncommon courage.   This is the fascinating story of three extraordinary heroes who defined aviation during the great age of flight. These cleverly interwoven tales of their heart-stopping adventures take us from the feats of World War I through the heroism of World War II and beyond, including daring military raids and survival-at-sea, and will appeal to fans of Unbroken, The Greatest Generation, and Flyboys. With the world in peril in World War II, each man set aside great success and comfort to return to the skies for his most daring mission yet. Doolittle, a brilliant aviation innovator, would lead the daring Tokyo Raid to retaliate for Pearl Harbor; Lindbergh, hero of the first solo flight across the Atlantic, would fly combat missions in the South Pacific; and Rickenbacker, World War I flying ace, would bravely hold his crew together while facing near-starvation and circling sharks after his plane went down in a remote part of the Pacific. Groom's rich narrative tells their intertwined stories--from broken homes to Medals of Honor (all three would receive it); barnstorming to the greatest raid of World War II; front-page triumph to anguished tragedy; and near-death to ultimate survival--as all took to the sky, time and again, to become exemplars of the spirit of the "greatest generation."

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4.7/5

Flyboys: A True Story of Courage by James D. Bradley

The classic New York Times bestselling story of heroism and sacrifice--by the author of Flags of Our Fathers, The Imperial Cruise, and The China Mirage. This acclaimed bestseller brilliantly illuminates a hidden piece of World War II history as it tells the harrowing true story of nine American airmen shot down in the Pacific. One of them, George H. W. Bush, was miraculousl The classic New York Times bestselling story of heroism and sacrifice--by the author of Flags of Our Fathers, The Imperial Cruise, and The China Mirage. This acclaimed bestseller brilliantly illuminates a hidden piece of World War II history as it tells the harrowing true story of nine American airmen shot down in the Pacific. One of them, George H. W. Bush, was miraculously rescued. What happened to the other eight remained a secret for almost 60 years. After the war, the American and Japanese governments conspired to cover up the shocking truth, and not even the families of the airmen were informed of what happened to their sons. Their fate remained a mystery--until now. FLYBOYS is a tale of courage and daring, of war and death, of men and hope. It will make you proud and it will break your heart.

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4.9/5

Flight of Passage: A True Story by Rinker Buck

Writer Rinker Buck looks back more than 30 years to a summer when he and his brother, at ages 15 and 17 respectively, became the youngest duo to fly across America, from New Jersey to California. Having grown up in an aviation family, the two boys bought an old Piper Cub, restored it themselves, and set out on the grand journey. Buck is a great storyteller, and once you ge Writer Rinker Buck looks back more than 30 years to a summer when he and his brother, at ages 15 and 17 respectively, became the youngest duo to fly across America, from New Jersey to California. Having grown up in an aviation family, the two boys bought an old Piper Cub, restored it themselves, and set out on the grand journey. Buck is a great storyteller, and once you get airborne with the boys you find yourself absorbed in a story of adventure and family drama. And Flight of Passage is also an affecting look back to the summer of 1966, when the times seemed much less cynical and adventures much more enjoyable.

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4.3/5

Airframe by Michael Crichton

The twin jet plane en route to Denver from Hong Kong is merely a green radar blip half an hour off the California coast when the call comes through to air traffic control: 'Socal Approach, this is TransPacific 545. We have an emergency.' The pilot requests priority clearance to land - then comes the bombshell - he needs forty ambulances on the runway. But nothing prepares th The twin jet plane en route to Denver from Hong Kong is merely a green radar blip half an hour off the California coast when the call comes through to air traffic control: 'Socal Approach, this is TransPacific 545. We have an emergency.' The pilot requests priority clearance to land - then comes the bombshell - he needs forty ambulances on the runway. But nothing prepares the rescue workers for the carnage they witness when they enter the plane. Ninety-four passengers are injured. Three dead. The interior cabin virtually destroyed. What happened on board Flight TPA 545?

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5/5

One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson

In One Summer Bill Bryson, one of our greatest and most beloved nonfiction writers, transports readers on a journey back to one amazing season in American life. The summer of 1927 began with one of the signature events of the twentieth century: on May 21, 1927, Charles Lindbergh became the first man to cross the Atlantic by plane nonstop, and when he landed in Le Bourget ai In One Summer Bill Bryson, one of our greatest and most beloved nonfiction writers, transports readers on a journey back to one amazing season in American life. The summer of 1927 began with one of the signature events of the twentieth century: on May 21, 1927, Charles Lindbergh became the first man to cross the Atlantic by plane nonstop, and when he landed in Le Bourget airfield near Paris, he ignited an explosion of worldwide rapture and instantly became the most famous person on the planet. Meanwhile, the titanically talented Babe Ruth was beginning his assault on the home run record, which would culminate on September 30 with his sixtieth blast, one of the most resonant and durable records in sports history. In between those dates a Queens housewife named Ruth Snyder and her corset-salesman lover garroted her husband, leading to a murder trial that became a huge tabloid sensation. Alvin “Shipwreck” Kelly sat atop a flagpole in Newark, New Jersey, for twelve days—a new record. The American South was clobbered by unprecedented rain and by flooding of the Mississippi basin, a great human disaster, the relief efforts for which were guided by the uncannily able and insufferably pompous Herbert Hoover. Calvin Coolidge interrupted an already leisurely presidency for an even more relaxing three-month vacation in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The gangster Al Capone tightened his grip on the illegal booze business through a gaudy and murderous reign of terror and municipal corruption. The first true “talking picture,” Al Jolson’s The Jazz Singer, was filmed and forever changed the motion picture industry. The four most powerful central bankers on earth met in secret session on a Long Island estate and made a fateful decision that virtually guaranteed a future crash and depression.      All this and much, much more transpired in that epochal summer of 1927, and Bill Bryson captures its outsized personalities, exciting events, and occasional just plain weirdness with his trademark vividness, eye for telling detail, and delicious humor. In that year America stepped out onto the world stage as the main event, and One Summer transforms it all into narrative nonfiction of the highest order.

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4.4/5

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth E. Wein

Oct. 11th, 1943 - A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun. When "Verity" is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn't stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she's living a spy's worst nightmare. Oct. 11th, 1943 - A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun. When "Verity" is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn't stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she's living a spy's worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution. As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage and failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy? Harrowing and beautifully written, Elizabeth Wein creates a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other. Code Name Verity is an outstanding novel that will stick with you long after the last page.

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