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American military aviation reached a low point after World War I, lagging behind its European counterparts and facing a peacetime battle for survival. To raise the public profile of aviation, military leaders encouraged their pilots to enter air shows and vie for speed, endurance, and altitude records. As a result, U.S. Army airmen daringly accomplished the first flight around the world in 1924, three years before Charles Lindbergh's famous solo flight.In Around the World in 175 Days, Carroll V. Glines recounts this adventure from the golden age of aviation. After two years of planning, four Douglas World Cruisers, each carrying a pilot and a mechanic, took off from Seattle in April 1924, flying west to circle the globe; one additional plane was held in reserve. Four of the men and two of the planes completed the flight in September 1924 and, miraculously, all eight men survived, even though one plane had crashed in the Alaskan mountains and another had ditched in the Atlantic. The airmen had triumphed over the weather extremes of Arctic Alaska and the desert Middle East, numerous primitive landing sites in rough terrain, and maintenance and supply problems that persisted despite the coordinated efforts of land- and sea-based support personnel from the Army Air Service, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Coast Guard.Glines captures the drama of the journey, from the careful behind-the-scenes planning through the airmen's harrowing in-flight experiences to the mission's culmination in triumph. The success charted the future of the Army Air Service's worldwide aircraft deployment and paved the way for long-distance commercial air travel.
Companion volume to Clash of wings (1994). This volume covers the great naval campaigns from 1939 to 1945. Boyne vividly depicts all the pivotal battles and skillfully analyzes each nation's naval tactics and strategy as he explains how seapower shaped and changed the course of the war.
Boyne resurrects the war of the skies in all its heroic and tragic drama, while supplying insightful, expert conclusions about previously overlooked aspects of the war, including the essential role of American bombers in Europe; Germany's miscalculation of the number of planes required for victory; the Allies' slow start in deploying maximum air power--and why they eventually triumphed.
The jet age began in 1939 with the brief hop of a secret German airplane. Seventy years later, the entire world depends upon the jet engine in every sphere - political, military, economic, and social. In Hypersonic Thunder, Walter Boyne weaves an intricate story of how the jet engine changed aeronautics and astronautics, pushing the frontiers of flight forward and permitting humankind to enter the space age. Drawing on his knowledge of the period, Boyne paints a gripping picture of jet aviation from the brilliant supersonic Concorde to the coming challenges of hypersonic flight. Using the fictional Shannons as a vehicle, the author ranges the world of aviation, combining the triumphs and tragedies of great aviation companies with the familiar conflicts of family life. All of the great names of aeronautics and astronautics appear here as they did on the historic scene, including such luminaries as Howard Hughes, Kelly Johnson, Burt Rutan, and Steve Fossett. The book thunders with the clash of combat, ranging from the courageous fights of the Israeli Air Force down through the raid on Libya, Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom, and, most important the ongoing war on terror. And space is not neglected, as Boyne covers everything from Skylab and the Space Shuttle, with its great achievements and terrible tragedies, to the International Space Station.
The story of the jet age of aviation revolves around remarkable geniuses including Sir Frank Whittle, the British inventor of the jet engine; Hans von Ohain, a German jet engine designer; famed aeronautical engineer Kelly Johnson; the daring test pilot Tex Johnston; and many more brilliant men who conceived early, extraordinary airplanes and had the courage to fly them to new horizons. Roaring Thunder blends real life adventures of the industry giants with the fictional Vance Shannon and his aviation family. Shannon, a prototypical American test pilot, sees and guides the birth of American jet aviation. His sons, Tom and Harry, fly the new jets in combat. Their aviation careers are blessed by skill and courage, and they help usher in the greatest advance in aviation history with the birth of the transport. The Shannons serve as counterparts to the real-life heroes, creating continuity and explaining the intricacies, successes, and setbacks of a brand new industry.This dramatic, accurate story of the beginning of the jet age is presented against a background of real and fictional personalities who bring the story to life.
From the first flight of the U-2 to the flashing speed of the famous SR-71 Blackbird, Supersonic Thunder is a portrait of the jet as it comes of age. Aviation genius is personified in famous engineers such as Kelly Johnson and Ben Rich and in test pilots like Tony LeVier and Tex Johnson in this fast-moving story of military and commercial jet aviation. Under the guidance of top test pilot and engineer Vance Shannon, the reader is present at every major event in jet aviation in the 1960s and 1970s. The Shannon family continues its business successes and domestic failures as they battle the ever-changing jet industry. Vance looks to his two sons, Tom and Harry, to keep the family business on the cutting edge, as they balance their professional and personal lives. Supersonic Thunder takes readers from Gary Powers's U-2 shoot down to the first flight of the Russian Supersonic Transport, and goes behind the scenes, revealing the motivations of top Russian, English, and American designers as they push the limits of engines and airframes and confront the difficulties of the pursuit of Mach 2.0 speeds. From the luxury of the 747 to the abject despair of a cell in the Hanoi Hilton, Supersonic Thunder tells the real story of this amazing chapter of jet aviation in terms of the men and women who lived and died to make it a part of our everyday life.
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