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Good aircraft books- what are you reading?

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Good aircraft books- what are you reading?

Old 7th Jun 2008, 12:44
  #81 (permalink)  
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Couldn't rate Chickenhawk highly enough. Was very hard to find for a while however its recently been reprinted and is widely available again. A truly incredible book.
Old 7th Jun 2008, 14:55
  #82 (permalink)  
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I do not think there is a better book out there than Swampy's Flying Doctor Stories. It is a great collection of the good old fair dinkum days of aussie aviation pioneering.
Having logged nearly 2000 hrs on Queenairs it brings tears to my eyes every time i pick it up.
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Old 7th Jun 2008, 18:58
  #83 (permalink)  
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Ginger Lacey, Fighter Pilot by Richard Townshend Bickers, a good companion to the RS Tuck book. Funniest bit in it is what Lacey does to a drunken American pilot in India who is slagging off about the "goddam Limeys, getting us into this friggin' war".

Flying Doctor by Clyde Fenton is a brilliant first hand account. Clyde was the pilot and the doctor at Katherine 1935-1939. Also has fall off the perch bits of a kind unique to the perverse personality of the late Dr Fenton.

Beyond the Blue Horizon by Alexander Frater tells the story of Frater's journey retracing the original Imperial Airways/Qantas route from England to Australia.
When he gets to Darwin he meets Ossie Osgood, Arnhem Air Charter. Ossie tells him how every pilot he employs must be a willing reader of the aviation classics, or "he's no use to me, mate."

Every pilot aspiring or qualified or anyone with the tiniest poetic bone in their body and a feeling for flight has to know Wind Sand and Stars, Antoine de St Exupery. Lindbergh's Spirit of St Louis and Autobiography of Values are fine accounts of an extraordinary life. As are his wife's books about their long flights together exploring long haul routes for Pan Am. Listen the Wind is one of those.

Then there's those two brilliant bios by Ian Mackersey on the lives of Charles Kingsford Smith and Jean Batten (Smithy and Jean Batten Garbo of the Skies.)
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Old 7th Jun 2008, 21:49
  #84 (permalink)  
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"Sepik Pilot" by Jim Sinclair. Not available "new" but can generally be found in second hand book stores and EBay.
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Old 7th Jun 2008, 22:16
  #85 (permalink)  
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Great Australian Aviation Stories by Jim Haynes & Jillian Dellit. A great yarn of characters, pioneers, triumphs, tragedies and near misses.
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 01:09
  #86 (permalink)  
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Duke Elegant

I can personally vouch for the veracity of his TPNG exploits

RIP Les.

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Old 8th Jun 2008, 01:36
  #87 (permalink)  
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Then there's those two brilliant bios by Ian Mackersey on the lives of Charles Kingsford Smith and Jean Batten
Brilliant if you enjoy reading a relentless put-down of Smithy.

For a good read you can't go past anything by P.G. Taylor.

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Old 8th Jun 2008, 02:39
  #88 (permalink)  

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I had a hard back copy of Sugar Bird Lady, the story by Robin Miller. Quite a good read if you can get your hands on a copy.
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 03:31
  #89 (permalink)  
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Flynn of the Outback - John Flynn the real flying doctor, amazing read.

I flew for MMA - great read covering the DC3's of Mickey Mouse Airlines.

Penthouse - ok good picture book...
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 03:34
  #90 (permalink)  
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The Bandy Papers by Donald Jack.

A whole series of books starting with,

Three Cheers for Me
That's Me in the Middle
Me Anongst the Ruins
It's Me Again

Hillariously funny, account of a Canadian who signed up as soldier in WW1 and through accidently capturing his Commanding Officer and putting him in hospital, is reccomended for the Flying Corps where the life expectancy is one week.
Nevertheless, Bandy not only goes to distinguish himself as a War Ace, but even gets to run down the same ex Commanding officer who is on horseback during a desperate forced landing.
It has the right amount of tongue in cheek, authenticity and humour to carry it off.
Hard to find, but worth the effoert.
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 06:43
  #91 (permalink)  
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Fris B.
Brilliant if you enjoy reading a relentless put-down of Smithy.

For a good read you can't go past anything by P.G. Taylor.
Bear in mind that Ian Mackersey and his wife Caroline put in at least ten years researching the life and times of Smithy. They uncovered stuff and made contacts with family and close connections that put all previous writers on the subject deeply in the shade. Smithy's qualities as an airman and the way in which he was an inspiration to countless Australians and New Zealanders are given prominence, of course. On the other hand, revelations and expansions about the well known larrikin streak, corporate incapability and instances of his habitual womanising and alcoholism, however distasteful to those who held him and hold him up as an idol, are the stuff of a good biographer's brief. Credit, please, where's it's due, Fris.
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 06:57
  #92 (permalink)  
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"Memoirs of Chimbu Chuckles"

A great read and absolutely hilarious!


PS: Hopefully he will write them soon!
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 07:04
  #93 (permalink)  
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Fate is the Hunter might be a good read for you!

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Old 8th Jun 2008, 07:08
  #94 (permalink)  
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WINGED VICTORY by V Yates, a former Camel pilot's novel about serving in France 1917-18 is sometimes compared with those literary gems ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT and HER PRIVATES WE, in Yates' case capturing the essence of contemporary aerial combat and the surreal life on the ground and in estaminets rubbing shoulders, (and the odd other part), with the natives.

TE Lawrence, no less, praised Yates style and veracity when the book was in MS form in 1930. My copy is a paperback reprint, ca. 1980. The only original (Jonathon Cape) edition I've ever seen was in an extensive private collection of First World War books about the war in the air, 1914-1918. The reprint has a foreword by Henry Williamson ('Tarka the Otter'), a friend of Yates. Williamson gives a sad account of Yates' short post war life and says how Yates' descriptions of tactics were so sought after during the Second World War, copies of the by then rare book changed hands for up to 20 pounds.
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 07:14
  #95 (permalink)  
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Hello All,

P.G. Taylor, The Sky Beyond.

Peter Fitzsimmons is working on a Smithy book ,(yet another version on the man who has been depicted as all from: fool to hero).

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Old 8th Jun 2008, 07:22
  #96 (permalink)  
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And we can not forget the paperback collection of Tom Clancy's fictional novels centering the invincible B-52 and it's crew during the cold war era.

Lt. Col. Jack Ryan. Remember him?

Lot of crap but it is entertaining!

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Old 8th Jun 2008, 07:49
  #97 (permalink)  
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Speaking of which, Slim Pickens playing Major "King" Kong in Dr Strangelove comes to mind:

* Well, boys, I reckon this is it. New-q-lure combat, toe-to-toe with the Rooskies. Now look, boys. I ain't much of a hand at makin' speeches. But I got a pretty fair idea that somethin' doggoned important's going on back there. And I got a fair idea of the kind of personal emotions that some of you fellas may be thinkin'. Heck, I reckon you wouldn't even be human beins if you didn't have some pretty strong personal feelings about nuclear combat. But I want you to remember one thing - the folks back home is a countin' on ya, and by golly, we ain't about to let 'em down. Tell ya somethin' else - this thing turns out to be half as important as I figure it just might be, I'd say that you're all in line for some important promotions an' personal citations when this thing's over with. That goes for every last one of ya, regardless of your race, color, or your creed. Now, let's get this thing on the hump. We got some flyin' to do.

* Survival kit contents check. In them you'll find: one .45-caliber automatic, two boxes ammunition, four days' concentrated emergency rations, one drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine, vitamin pills, pep pills, sleeping pills, tranquilizer pills, one miniature combination "Rooshin" phrase book and Bible, one hundred dollars in rubles, one hundred dollars in gold, nine packs of chewing gum, one issue of prophylactics, three lipsticks, three pair of nylon stockings... Shoot, a fella could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff!
o Pickens actually said "... have a pretty good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff." but his line was looped in post-production because of sensitivity about the Kennedy assassination that had just occurred in Dallas.

* Well, I've been to one world fair, a picnic, and a rodeo, and that's the stupidest thing I ever heard come over a set of earphones.

* Now, boys, we got three engines out; we got more holes in us than a horse trader's mule; the radio's gone and we're leakin' fuel, and if we's flying any lower, why, we'd need sleigh bells on this thing. But we got one little bulge on them Rooskies, at this height, why, they might harpoon us but they dang sure ain't gonna spot us on no radar screen.

* Well, shoot. We ain't come this far just to dump this thing in the drink. What's the nearest target o' opportunity?

* Stay on the bomb run, Ace. I'm goin' down below and see what I can do...Stay on the bomb run, boys. I'm going to get them doors open if it harelips everybody on Bear Creek.

* [as he rides on top of the bomb as it falls on the target]Aaaaaa hoooo! Waaaaa hooooo!
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 09:06
  #98 (permalink)  
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Flight Plan PNG, written in the late 1960's,

I Flew For MMA, by Reg Adkins,

The Flying Business the Arthur Schutt story
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 09:38
  #99 (permalink)  
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yeah Schutty's good reading, in fact the old bugga was a good read himself I still have a smile on my face old Schutty thinking of that one time!

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Old 8th Jun 2008, 09:42
  #100 (permalink)  
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FWIW an absolutely brilliant place to get old(er) books is ABE books.

Bought many a book through them, well worth it.
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