June 18, 2024


I Fall For Art

Flying Is An Experience All Its Own – A Book Review

Do you come from a flying family? Have you ever considered flying for a living or earning your flying license so you can experience something really great? Are you looking forward to owning a flying car in your lifetime? Well, if so, or if you just love aviation, I have a great recommendation, a great book I believe you should read. No, it’s not a new book, and it isn’t just one book, actually it is many books in one – some 75 stories in all, easy reads each and just the right length. The name of the book is:

“Men In The Air – The Best Flight Stories Of All Time From Greek Mythology To The Space Age,” edited by Brandt Aymar and Walter J. Boyne, Wing Books, New York, New York, 1990, pp 597, ISBN: 0-517-14656-8.

The book holds true to the title as the first chapter is the famous story of Daedallus and Icarus, the Greek Mythology of a father and a son are flying with their artificial wings and the son gets too close to the Sun has the wax on the wing melt and he falls to his death unable to hold his altitude. Next we have several science fiction short stories including one by Isaac Asimov; “To Saturn And Back” and then the book starts into human powered flight stories and very good ones I might add.

On the human powered flight front, there are stories on dirigibles, balloons and blimps – then the Wright Brothers, Lindberg, and the designs and story of Sikorski who made the first viable helicopters. I found the stories of flying the mail, barnstorming, air races and early air shows completely interesting.

The book is not without conflict as it talks about the first World War I flying aces in Europe. The stories of World War II flying are numerous and involve tales of pilots on all sides of the war; Japanese, Allied Forces, US Airmen, Luftwaffe, and Russians. There are stories of pilots in the Korean War, Vietnam War, and Cold War.

The last set of stories is all about women pilots in aviation – a must read for inspirational input of future women pilots – I highly recommend reading all the stories there. Interestingly enough there are also interesting stories on flying and the weather – as well as the Hurricane Hunters.

The book has major sections on the prop age, jet age and space age. Our most famous Apollo Astronauts have stories told, gut wrenching, nerve racking intense tales. I think you will love this book as much as I. Be Great – Don’t Hesitate.