Flying the Edge: The Making of Navy Test Pilots

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9781557509253: Flying the Edge: The Making of Navy Test Pilots
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Presents a first-hand account of a year spent with the one hundredth test pilot class at the Naval Air Test Center, from hours of test flights and interviews with naval and civilian test pilots and engineers

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From Publishers Weekly:

Washington Post journalist Wilson spent most of 1991 with the 100th test-pilot class at the Naval Air Test Center in Maryland, flying in a variety of high-tech planes with students and instructors, learning how to determine whether an aircraft that accomplished its contract specs and could land safely on a carrier deck was worthy of purchase by the Navy. In a series of exhilarating passages he conveys what it's like to fly these fantastic machines, including the "sweetly responsive" F/A-18, the Navy's most technically advanced aircraft. In an interview, former Secretary of the Navy John Lehman discusses the Pentagon's efforts toward keeping the Air Force as the nation's principal striking arm and "getting the Navy out of the strike business." Lehman believes naval aviation in general is undergoing a crisis of confidence because the Bush administration is the most anti-naval administration since Truman's. For his part, Wilson comes out strong in regard to women in combat, recommending that the armed forces welcome them "all the way aboard" by assigning them to tactical missions in the next war. Not as focused as his bestselling Supercarrier , Wilson's sprawling discussion of Navy test pilots and the history behind them will be of interest mainly to aviation buffs. Photos.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Test pilots have always been viewed as daring aviators "pushing the envelope" of aircraft limits. Wilson (military writer, The Washington Post and author of Supercarrier , LJ 8/86) was allowed to participate in a navy test pilot class, including actual test flights. The result is a journalistic, anecdotal account that includes brief biographies of each member of the class, training methods, the careers of the test pilots after their graduation, the future of test pilots in the navy and test pilot class, including actual test flights. Wilson also gives an overview of the history of navy test pilots. The nu merous quotations may be too much for some readers. Aviation enthusiasts, however, will probably enjoy Wilson's style and examination of the special men and women who test the aircraft. Recommended for public libraries with large aviation collections.
- Dennis L. Noble, Washington State Lib., Clallam Bay Corrections Ctr.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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