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Good aircraft books- what are you reading?

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Good aircraft books- what are you reading?

Old 8th Jun 2008, 10:16
  #101 (permalink)  
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Against the Sun by Edward Lanchbery; The story of Wing Commander Roland 'Bee' Beaumont,Fighter Pilot and Hawker Test Pilot for the Typhoon and Tempest, then after the war the test pilot for the English Electric Canberra and Lightning.

Concur with Youngmic re 'Fly for your Life.' The story of Bob Tuck.

"Memoirs of Chimbu Chuckles"

A great read and absolutely hilarious!


PS: Hopefully he will write them soon!
Hmm, Suspect that there would be a few anecdotes in that tome that might prove embarrassing to a few current Ppruners!

I aint sayin nuthin!!
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 10:26
  #102 (permalink)  
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Credit, please, where's it's due
Absolutely. That's why I'll continue to place more credence on the writings of those who flew with Smithy.

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Old 8th Jun 2008, 10:53
  #103 (permalink)  
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Outback Airman, by Harry Purvis - fascinating account of Aviation in the Kimberley and NT

Flying Low, by Geoffery Dutton - autobiographical story of one of Australia's best poets and his career in the RAAF as a flying instructor in Tigers, then onwards in Wirraways.

I love these threads but they always come on just after my alibris $10 voucher expires!
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 12:38
  #104 (permalink)  
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Good thread a few there to add to the reading list.

Also you might like to try some autobiographies.

Yeager ... Excellent read not just for the Mach 1 stuff, evading the Germans in occupied France, shooting down ME-109's and knocking a dead tree over with the wing tip of a airocobra as a favor for a mate.

The Winged S , Igor Sikorsky. a must for chopper pilots and fixed wing blokes alike.

Also try The Grand Old Lady a collection of DC3 stories

and for fun try Garth Wallace's books

or ACE McCOOL by Jack Desmarais

Last edited by Aerodynamisist; 8th Jun 2008 at 12:40. Reason: forgot to spell check and scared of spelling nazi's
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 13:08
  #105 (permalink)  
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Fris B posted:
That's why I'll continue to place more credence on the writings of those who flew with Smithy.
Well that would indicate a bias against any writer who goes to enormous lengths to interview, and quote verbatim, the many people who in this instance not only flew with Smithy, worked on his planes, had smokes cadged by him, but also with several witnesses, deeper insights into the character and personality of the man than the hero worshippers such as Harry Purvis. Not decrying for a moment any of the late Harry's wide accomplishments, but a good judge of character was not one of them. Ask just about anyone who flew in or out of the old strip at the Rock late sixties early seventies and who knew him well.

And that leaves Scotty Allan's "Australia's Flying Scotsman" by Elizabeth Shearman. As George Roberts ("Qantas by George") said to me once when he was looking after Qantas Archives in Coward Street, "Burn it. And if you can't, delete the 'F' in 'Flying' ". I do not think George would object to me repeating his justification for that remark, should I be pressed. But not on a public forum for I respect family sensitivities. Incidentally, I have interviewed Catalina veterans from Rathmines days, when Scotty Allan was the CO, and the sentiments accord closely with George's. Sorry, did not mean to hijack this thread. Now where did I put that copy of "No Man a Hero to his Butler".
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Old 8th Jun 2008, 13:19
  #106 (permalink)  
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Voice From the Stars by Tom Scotland

Voice From the Stars by Tom Scotland. (Just finished it today.) A young man from Perth joins the RAAF during WWII, trains in WA (poignant for those of us who have done navs out to Cunderdin etc) and then goes off to fly Pathfinder missions for the RAF. Night runs over war darkened Europe navigating by dead reckoning, star fixes and some surface mapping radar (rivers contrasting with land) to drop flares over a target for bombers to follow up. Not just interesting flying stories but he's got a real way with words and telling the non-aviation aspects of the story. Also talks about a bit of his soul-searching during the war.

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Old 8th Jun 2008, 13:26
  #107 (permalink)  

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Thumbs up

Down to Earth: Dunkirk to D-Day and beyond. SQNLDR Ken McGlashan and Owen Zupp. ISBN: 9781904943846

Very readable book. Available from www.angusandrobertson.com.au Do a search for "Down to earth mcglashan" and you're there.

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Old 8th Jun 2008, 14:03
  #108 (permalink)  
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Old 9th Jun 2008, 00:11
  #109 (permalink)  
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my 2 bobs...

Sock it to 'em baby - RAAF FAC in Vietnam - Garry Cooper
(excellent aviation read and the piss poor treatment from our government regarding the military gong system).

No One Left Behind - the Lt.Comdr. Michael Scott Speicher Story - (F18 POW in IRAQ)
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Old 9th Jun 2008, 05:06
  #110 (permalink)  
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Night After Night by Max Lambert http://www.rsa.org.nz/review/bs2005f...okshelf_4.html

For something in a more humourous line try The Wrong Stuff, Flying on the edge of disaster, By Cdr. John Moore, USN Ret.
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Old 9th Jun 2008, 08:18
  #111 (permalink)  
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Catalina Dreaming, by Andrew McMillan.
Needless to say, 'tis about the RAAF Cats based in the tropics during WW2. Good read.
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Old 10th Jun 2008, 03:02
  #112 (permalink)  
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Big fan of Yeagers book. Great read.

On fictional stories, I love James Clavells "Whirlwind". OK it's about helecopters but that's not enough to write it off. The story is a ripper.
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Old 10th Jun 2008, 03:37
  #113 (permalink)  
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Thanks for the suggestions on the Australian/PNG aviation heritage books.

Currently reading "Night Fighter over Germany" by pilot Graham White about his exploits (often humorous) in the RAF No.100 Group 1943-45.
From age 17 when he volunteered then through training in Arizona and on to electronic intercepting of Luftwaffe fighters over Germany in Mosquitoes.
So far a very good read. It was loaned to me by a friend of the author but can be found here
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Old 10th Jun 2008, 06:02
  #114 (permalink)  
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almost forgot this one...

Propellerhead, by Anthony Woodward.

Young fella studying Law decides that he isn't getting enough action, the way to pull chicks is to be ... a pilot! I know, I'll learn to fly.

Finds that flying anything in the UK is a bit beyond the average student budget... but ends up in a Thruster - some of the adventures make interesting Human Factors case studies.

a cracking good read, many laughs ...and all true!

Like many good books, available in every second hand bookshop and remainder bin. When I was flying RAAus I gave one to every student who I sent solo in the Thruster (and now I think of it they probably sold it back to the 2nd hand bookshop so I could buy it and give it to the next victim....)
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Old 10th Jun 2008, 06:36
  #115 (permalink)  
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About Vietnam

"Chickenhawk" By Robert Mason

Some graphic descriptions such as "You know when you are being shot at. You can hear the tic tic tic of the bullets as they hit the Huey"

Last edited by Fark'n'ell; 26th Jun 2008 at 06:16.
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Old 11th Jun 2008, 02:32
  #116 (permalink)  
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Forever Flying by Bob Hoover is also a bloody good read. goes well with Yeagers book
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Old 11th Jun 2008, 22:11
  #117 (permalink)  

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A quick update on the plug I gave for 'Down to Earth'. It looks like it's cheaper out of Amazon UK.


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Old 11th Jun 2008, 23:43
  #118 (permalink)  
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Can't be said enough - Fate is the Hunter, Ernest Gann.

Best book about flying ever written.
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Old 15th Jun 2008, 23:48
  #119 (permalink)  
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Billy Vincent's book about flying the mutton birds in Tasmania -


There are also several good reads about Sir Hubert Wilkins. Simon Naste's recent biography is well researched and written. Wilkin's own account (as told to Lowell Thomas), is a gripping read. The postscript is a beautiful account of life with Wilkins by his widow Suzanne Bennett who was a dancer on the stage in New York when they first met. She was a girl from the bush, having been raised in Walhalla in the Gippsland.

Last edited by Fantome; 16th Jun 2008 at 02:45.
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Old 16th Jun 2008, 01:02
  #120 (permalink)  

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We Landed by Moonlight written by the late GP CAPT Hugh Verity (Mrs IJ's uncle). Some really gutsy flying at night over France in Lysanders in support of the SOE and landing on a simple "L" light pattern marked ALAs.
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