50 Aircraft That Changed the World

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9781554076581: 50 Aircraft That Changed the World
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"A close-up survey of 50 of arguably the most remarkable and influential aircraft in aviation history. . . . Beautifully presented . . . this book will grace the coffee table of any aviation aficionado."
-- Airforce Magazine

In this book, the authors of the widely acclaimed Aviation Century series profile 50 of history's most influential aircraft, their pilots and designers.

They begin with the Wright Brothers' 1905 Flyer, then move on to the birth of aerial warfare in World War I, the trailblazers of the interwar years, classic World War II aircraft, the jets of the Korean and Vietnam wars, modern commercial carriers, private jets, experimental designs and new combat fighters featuring stealth technology.

Featured aircraft in 50 Aircraft That Changed the World include:

  • Fokker E.111
  • Charles Lindbergh's Ryan NYP
  • Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Vega
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109
  • Supermarine Spitfire
  • Boeing B-17
  • Avro Lancaster
  • De Havilland Mosquito
  • Howard Hughes's Lockheed Constellation
  • Concorde
  • Learjet
  • Boeing B-52
  • Rutan Voyager

Hundreds of color and archival photographs enhance the informative and entertaining text.

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About the Author:

Ron Dick served with the Royal Air Force for 38 years, retiring in the rank of Air Vice-Marshal. After his retirement, Dick lived in Virginia and wrote and lectured on military and aviation history until his death in May 2008.

Dan Patterson received the first annual Combs Award, honoring his contribution to the photographic preservation of America's air and space heritage. He lives in Dayton, Ohio.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Introduction

When Dan Patterson and I completed our five-volume Aviation Century series in 2006, we took some time to look back on the adventures we had experienced during the eight years it had taken us to compile the books. We had worked with museums and organizations in nine countries, written half a million words, created thousands of new color photographs, and searched for historic material in dozens of archives. It occurred to us that in the Aviation Century series we had built a firm foundation for other books on aviators and their machines. We recalled the people we had met and the aircraft that were their passion, and we began to think about those that had left the deepest impressions on our memories. It was a short step to considering a ranking system. Which aircraft deserved a place (together with their pilots and designers) in the top fifty of aviation's hall of fame?

Once the question had been posed, we soon found that a definitive answer was beyond our capabilities. We might just as well have tried to respond to "How long is a piece of string?" Nevertheless, we determined to make the attempt, realizing as we did so that any list of ours would be bound to leave out many aircraft that our readers would consider at least as deserving. What follows are our own ideas, arrived at after much discussion, soul-searching and fingernail biting.

The list begins, as it surely must, with the work of the Wright brothers. However, we chose to feature the 1905 Flyer rather than the machine made famous in 1903 on the sands near Kittyhawk. The first Flyer opened the door to manned flight, but only just. It was its 1905 successor that was the world's first practical aircraft. We then move to Europe and the dramatic events of World War I, recognizing the sad fact that aerial warfare is most often the spur that drives aeronautical advance. The interwar years are represented by a selection of trail-blazers and record-breakers, and by some of the aircraft that led the way in the development of commercial aviation. In the opinion of many, the era of the great flying boats was the last time that air travel offered elegance and luxury to rival the ocean liners.

Classic aircraft from World War II, such as the Messerschmitt Bf 109, Spitfire and Mustang, make up the center of the book, covering the astonishingly brief period that saw air forces move from biplanes into the jet age. They are followed by the competing jets from the Korean War, the MiG-15 and F-86 Sabre, and then by the F-4s and MiG-21s that saw action over Vietnam. In between come the commercial aircraft, the Boeings and their contemporaries, that created massive industries and changed the character of international travel. Burt Rutan's imaginative, mold-breaking designs are not forgotten. The last few places of the fifty go to some combat jets for the 21st century, such as the B-2 Spirit and the F-35, pointing to developments such as stealth technology, fly-by-wire controls and advanced avionics.

As we never tire of saying, in our opinion aviation changed the world more than anything else during the 20th century. We offer a very personal selection of the machines, and the people, that between them contributed more than most to that change, not only technologically, but also economically, militarily, sociologically and politically.

Ron Dick
December 3, 2006
Fredericksburg, Virginia

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Book Description FIREFLY BOOKS LTD, Canada, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this book, the authors of the widely acclaimed Aviation Century series profile 50 of history s most influential aircraft, their pilots and designers. They begin with the Wright Brothers 1905 Flyer, then move on to the birth of aerial warfare in World War I, the trailblazers of the interwar years, classic World War II aircraft, the jets of the Korean and Vietnam wars, modern commercial carriers, private jets, experimental designs and new combat fighters featuring stealth technology. Featured aircraft in 50 Aircraft That Changed the World include: Fokker E.111, Charles Lindbergh s Ryan NYP, Amelia Earhart s Lockheed Vega, Messerschmitt Bf 109, Supermarine Spitfire, Boeing B-17, Avro Lancaster, De Havilland Mosquito, Howard Hughes s Lockheed Constellation, Concorde, Learjet, Boeing B-52, Rutan Voyager. Hundreds of colour and archival photographs enhance the informative and entertaining text. Seller Inventory # FLT9781554076581

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