Thursday, June 19, 2008

Some Favorite Non-Fiction Aviation Books

A few friends and I were discussing a few of our favorite aviation books about a week ago. I said I would post a list of some of my favorites, so here they are:

  • Flight of Passage by Rinker Bunk - Two brothers rebuild a Piper Cub and fly across America during their teen years. Quite a nostalgic book and very well written.
  • Flights of Passage by Samuel Hynes - Samuel Hynes is a literature professor at Princeton and it shows, as this is one of the best written books about military aviation I've ever read. Hynes flew SBDs and TBM Avengers during World War Two. A must read for any aviation fan or modeler.
  • Sixty years : the RCAF and CF Air Command 1924-1984 by Larry Milberry - I got this book as a young child it and was my introduction to the Canadian military aviation history. The one that started it all. I still dip into time to time for modeling inspiration.
  • The Cannibal Queen by Stephen Coonts - Coonts writes mostly fiction, but this book is his non-fiction story about barnstorming in a Stearman. A good read.
  • Ragwings and Heavy Iron by Martin Caidin - One of the few books out there about flying restored warbirds. Some good stories here, though being a Caidin book you do wonder how much of it is fiction.
  • Slide Rule by Nevil Shute - Before he became a writer Nevil Shute Norway was an aviation engineer. This is his autobiography up to 1938. Mr. Norway worked on the R-100 project and there is much discussion of it and R-101 in the book. A fascinating read about the early years of aviation.
  • Spitfire: The Canadians by Robert Bracken - Maybe the best monograph on a single type in service with the RCAF ever. Great stories, photos, and profiles.
  • Spitfire II: The Canadians by Robert Bracken - More of the above. I hope for a Spitfire III someday.
  • Airman's Odyssey by Antoine de Saint-Exupery - Three of Exupery's books in one volume. Excellent stories of flying mail in the 30s, and Flight to Arras is Exupery's only wartime memoir.
  • Stranger to the Ground by Richard Bach - Bach book about a flight in a F-84F in Europe. Bach writes not only about flying, but about his fears and mortality as well.


lawroark said...

Do you have favorite fiction-aviation books?

David M. Knights said...

Now that is what I call a good blog post. Makes you think.

A few of mine, off the top of my head are:
SAMAURI by Cadin (yes, I know it may be better classified as fiction)
BLACK SUNDAY by ? Best of many books ono Ploesti.

Matt Tauber said...

where's 'Flight of the Old Dog'?