Can someone recommend some good aviation novels?

Discussion in 'The Book Club' started by Pilotl1234, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. stratobee

    stratobee Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Messages:
    1,029
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    stratobee
    Another vote for Vulcan 607. I think it's still today the longest non-stop tactical bomb raid performed. They had to coordinate multiple aerial refuelling rendez-vous for the notoriously thirsty Vulcan, day and night over the Atlantic with zero alternates. Gripping story.
     
  2. LDJones

    LDJones Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Messages:
    10,776
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jonesy
    :yeahthat:

    Excellent read.
     
  3. eaglepilot

    eaglepilot Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    Messages:
    133
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    eaglepilot
    Just finished this book, in audio form...read by the same guy as Fighter Pilot:Memiors of Robin Olds

    Both are outstanding books.

    Higher Call is interesting story about a Lufthansa pilot that was drafted by the Air Force, did not volunteer to fight, but flew over 400 missions because of his sense of duty. Near the end of his fighter pilot career, quit counting his "victories" after about 25. Did not think it was that important.

    Of 30,000 German fighter pilots, only 1,200 survived.

    The book gives a great overview of World War II from his perspective. Makes me think that anyone could be placed in a similar situation, no matter what flag you fight for.

    Memiors of Robin Olds is a great read as well, it is a book I go back to reread again and again.

    Also love Flight of Passage
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2014
  4. divebomber

    divebomber Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2013
    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Chicago
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DiveBomber
  5. flyingriki

    flyingriki Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    Messages:
    911
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    flyingriki
    Ditto on Tim's suggestions. Just finished Robin Old's book - excellent read and the Doolittle book is a classic.
     
  6. tinerj

    tinerj Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    984
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    tinerj
    There are two books -- Weekend Wings and Weekend Pilot -- by the same author.

    Available on Kindle: Over Fields of Fire by Anna Timofeeva-Egorova. Subtitle: Flying the Sturmovik in action on the Eastern Front 1942-1945. A female fighter pilot.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2014
  7. Bob A

    Bob A Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2014
    Messages:
    29
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bob A
    David Freed has written three novels, main character is an impoverished CFI with a spook background. Mostly mystery/adventure stuff, but the flying parts are integral to the story and accurate, well done.
     
  8. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Messages:
    2,728
    Location:
    Marietta, GA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Drake the Outlaw
    Martin Caidin (who was mentioned earlier in the thread) was a prolific writer from the '50's into the '90's. He wrote an interesting mix of fiction, pseudo history (AKA "Faction") and accurate history books.

    "The Last Dogfight" has already been suggested, but I'd also recommend:

    Jericho 52 (Mercenaries with their own JU-52)
    Whip (Gun nosed B-25's in the SWPac theater)
    Zoboa
    The Last Fathom (largely a submarine book, but with some P-3 Orion mixed in).
    The Final Countdown (Made into a movie - Time travel, F-14's vs Zero's)
    The Messiah Stone (No airplanes, but a good read).
    Encounter Three (or the Mendelov Conspiracy) - Science fiction about UFO's

    Anyway, he probably wrote a hundred books. If you like his style, you'll like most of 'em.

    Here's a booklist:

    http://www.goodreads.com/author/list/99333.Martin_Caidin
     
  9. docmirror

    docmirror Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Messages:
    12,008
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Cowboy - yeehah!
    Airframe; Crichton.

    Researched very well as with all his books. More about the aviation business and the development of a plane than flying, but excellent reading.
     
  10. eaglepilot

    eaglepilot Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    Messages:
    133
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    eaglepilot
    Just Finished "The Aviators. Rickenbacker, Lindebergh and Dolittle. " By Winston Groom..Probably in the top 5 of Aviation Books I've read.
     
  11. RalphInCA

    RalphInCA Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2014
    Messages:
    1,133
    Location:
    Glendora, CA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    RalphInCA
    How about some general aviation books set in current times?

    It's fun to read about how flying was many years ago, but I would love to also read about people doing it now.
     
  12. eaglepilot

    eaglepilot Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    Messages:
    133
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    eaglepilot
    So you want to read our logbooks?:yes:
     
  13. RalphInCA

    RalphInCA Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2014
    Messages:
    1,133
    Location:
    Glendora, CA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    RalphInCA
    Only if they have good sex.
     
  14. DiDonovan

    DiDonovan Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2014
    Messages:
    1
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DiDonovan
    Funny you should ask: I just through reading an aviation thriller novel by E.L. Crenshaw, They Always Come in Three, and I've been posting a few other places about it. I read a lot of thrillers - not necessarily aviation. Most hold predictable story lines and one can see the ending come from a mile away (well, I can, anyway).

    Crenshaw's story and premise are different; but more importantly, he's an aviation industry professional and so his story is peppered with references on plane makeup and manufacture which really ring true and support the overall thriller, which centers around what happens when one airline begins to suffer not one, but a series of devastating crashes.

    At every turn the anticipated smooth flight becomes bumpy with complexities and inconsistencies. Thriller readers will find the investigation process precisely detailed, right down to the serial numbers of plane modifications.

    Fine, entertaining reading!
     
  15. Texastaildragger

    Texastaildragger Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    Messages:
    345
    Location:
    Vernon Tx
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Rick
    +1 .....Couldn't put it down.
     
  16. Jimmy cooper

    Jimmy cooper En-Route

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    Messages:
    4,297
    Location:
    Baltimore md.
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jim cooper
    Jeffery quill.....amazing test pilot for spitfire. Flew every model they built as it was improved many times during its production run. He took them up, hundreds of them and wrung them out, loops, rolls stalls, on and on. The flying he did to arrive at the skill level to do this is also amazing. His IFR flying was super amazing, not to mention his forced landings. He also flew combat for a time . This all happened in his early twentys. Passed away not long ago. Also " " Flying Fortress" by edward Jablonsky ! Amazing story's about the 100th bomb group flying b17s , pilots from 19 to 25 years old. Modern flying story's cannot compare.
     
  17. Heavy Weather

    Heavy Weather Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    May 19, 2015
    Messages:
    8
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Heavy Weather
    Not an aviation novel, per se, but "The Right Stuff" by Thom Wolfe is a fantastic read...
     
  18. sferguson524

    sferguson524 Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,117
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    FormerSocalFlyer
    a plug for one of our own.. Modified Flight Plan by bnt83 is a great read.. I couldn't put it down
     
  19. Comanche flyer

    Comanche flyer Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Messages:
    185
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Comanche flyer
    Forty Tears Of Aviation Life Kindle Edition
    by David Boudreaux (Author), Steven Boudreaux (Editor)

    He's my A&P And good friend, decent book on ins and out of flying and owning a plane
     
  20. Nostalgair

    Nostalgair Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Messages:
    79
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Nostalgair
    "Biplane" by Richard Bach is a good, very short, read. :)
     
  21. Jimmy cooper

    Jimmy cooper En-Route

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    Messages:
    4,297
    Location:
    Baltimore md.
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jim cooper
    Safety last by brian power water. He flew with the RCAF, flew for allegheny airlines and finally retired on the eastern shore of Maryland where he flew his Pitts. A real character. He had a strip at his house where I landed my stearman.
     
  22. Archammer

    Archammer Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    1,321
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    FlyingSchmidt
    I'm so glad you started this thread! I hadn't heard of most of these. Awesome!
     
  23. amster105

    amster105 Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2016
    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    DXR
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    amster105
    There is a FaceBook Group called "PositiveRateAviationBookChat" that has several titles.
     
  24. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Messages:
    7,439
    Location:
    Southeast Tennessee
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bill Jennings
  25. GMascelli

    GMascelli Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Messages:
    2,391
    Location:
    Ocean City, MD
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    GaryM
    Not sure if this one was posted. If anyone read A Higher Call by Adam Mankos, his latest book Devotion is also an excellent read. Corsair pilots over Korea with stories of their deployment aboard a carrier. The story is about Pilots Jesse Brown and Tom Hudner, MOH recipient.

    http://adammakos.com/devotion-book.html
     
  26. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    12,219
    Location:
    Catawba, NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    FlyingRon
    It's a shorter work, but Frederick Forsyth's The Shepherd is a good read. My instrument instructor had me read it the night before my checkride.
     
  27. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Messages:
    2,728
    Location:
    Marietta, GA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Drake the Outlaw
    Stuka Pilot by Hans Rudel is a good read. It is the autobiography of one of Germany's best attack pilots in WWII.
     
  28. X3 Skier

    X3 Skier Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,836
    Location:
    I19 & SBS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Geezer
    WW II
    Bomber by Len Deighton. Story of a RAF Bomber Command mission from all sides.
    Carrier Pilot by Norman Hanson. British RNAF pilot story from enlistment to flying Corsairs in the Pacific.

    Cheers
     
  29. mscard88

    mscard88 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    Messages:
    9,793
    Location:
    Alabama
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mark
    Agree on Chickenhawk, but that is Vietnam era.

    WW2

    Flying Fortress
    Unbroken (movie is fantastic also)
    The Wrong Stuff ( B17 pilot's kind of a diary of his time)
    Fighter Pilot (Gen Robin Olds, excellent)
    Bob Hoover's book "Forever Flying" (has a portion of his WWII exploits)
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017
  30. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    6,823
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Velocity173
    IMG_2519.JPG Second Devotion. Just got my print framed a few days ago.
     
  31. JimNtexas

    JimNtexas Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2006
    Messages:
    2,006
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jim - In Texas!
    Check out all of Richard Bach's books. Start with 'Stranger to the Ground', his experiences as a fighter pilot, was big factor in my eventually joining the Air Force. His later books are more hippy-dippy, but still really good.

    The British Author Nevil Shute was an early aeronautical engineer in the United Kingdom. He worked on a bunch of the post-WWI aircraft, including most famously the R-101 ridge airship, which he discusses in his fascinating autobiography. He's most famous for 'On the Beach', but IMHO that was his worst novel, he wrote it shortly before he died.

    For pilots, start with 'Trustee From the Toolroom', if you want to fly a Connie from London to California, and then sail a boat to Tahiti. If you are interested in WWII military read 'The Breaking Wave', UK title 'Requiem for a Wren'. This is more of a study of what we now call PST. If you ever wondered what the invasion ports in the UK just prior to D-Day were like, this novel puts you there. Because Shute was really there at the time.

    Lastly if you ever wondered what it was like to go from a farm boy to a WWII B-24 crew member flying 50 missions in the Mediterranean theater, check out my wife's uncle's memoirs. He takes you every step of the way, from in-processing to discharge.

    And maybe I missed it, but there is of course Ernest Gann.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017
  32. wanttaja

    wanttaja Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    2,178
    Location:
    Seattle
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ron Wanttaja
    Derek Robinson has written a lot of interesting novels about WWII and WWI air combat... getting away from the "Air Hero" point of view. He wrote "Piece of Cake," a book about Hurricane pilots during the first year of the war, made into a mini-series with Spitfires. "A Good Clean Fight" is the sequel. There's also "A Damned Good Show," same era, about British bomber crews.

    "War Story," "Hornet's Sting", and "Goshawk Squadron" is a trilogy set in WWI.

    Ron Wanttaja
     
  33. Dana

    Dana Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2016
    Messages:
    112
    Location:
    CT & NY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dana
    Here's a list I compiled awhile ago, in no particular order; some of these have already been mentioned:

    Anything early (Stranger to the Ground, Biplane, Nothing by Chance, A Gift of Wings) by Richard Bach, before he got all New Agey weird and stopped writing about airplanes (though Jonathan Livingston Seagull and Illusions are fun reads if you don't take them seriously).

    Anything from Ernest K. Gann. Most of his stuff is about the years around WWII, but 'Gentlemen of Adventure' is about some WWI pilots and their lives in later years.

    Any of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's flying stories (some of the best, but I have to be in the mood for his writing style).

    Flight of Passage by Rinker Buck, two kids fly a Cub across the US in the early 1960s.

    The Cannibal Queen , about flying a Stearman around the US, and Flight of the Intruder (a Vietnam tale) by Stephen Coonts.

    The Air Devils by Don Dwiggins (the story of the early barnstormers).

    Slide Rule by Neville Shute.

    WWII:
    Reach For the Sky by Paul Brickhill (the story of Douglas Bader, the legless Battle of Britian ace).
    Fly For Your Life by Larry Forrester (the story of Bob Tuck, another Battle of Britian pilot... Tuck and Bader did not like each other).
    The Look of Eagles by John Godfrey, an American fighter pilot.
    Serenade to the Big Bird by Bert Stiles, a B-17 pilot.

    Ultralights/microlights:
    On a Wing and a Prayer by Colin MacKinnon, a Scotsman flying an ultralight across the southern US.
    Global Flyer by Brian Milton, who flew a microlight around the world, more or less... he comes across as kind of a jerk, but it's an interesting read.
    Propellerhead by Anthony Woodward, who decides to learn to fly to impress girls.
    Flying With Condors by Judy Leden.

    Marooned by Martin Cadin is a fictional novel about spaceflight, but has a great chapter about an 1960s USAF pilot taught to fly a Stearman by an old curmudgeon of an instructor.

    Flight to Freedom by Michael Donnet. True story about a Belgian Air Force pilot stuck in occupied Belgium after Germany invaded finds a derelict Stampe biplane in a barn, fixes it up in secret, and flies to England.

    Voyager by Jeanna Yeager and Dick Rutan, about the round the world flight.

    Yeager, the autobiography, and Forever Flying, about Bob Hoover.

    The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe.

    Rickenbacker, the autobiography.

    The Spirit of Saint Louis by Charles Lindbergh.

    Listen! The Wind by Anne Morrow Lindbergh.
     
  34. tawood

    tawood Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2015
    Messages:
    519
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tim
  35. Goofy

    Goofy Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2011
    Messages:
    404
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Goofy
    Wings on My Sleeve

    Eric Brown went to Germany in 1939 on an exchange course, and his first experience of the war came when the Gestapo arrested him, not knowing he was an RAF pilot. The rest is history. He is the only man alive to have flown every major and most minor combat aircraft of the Second World War (as well as all the early jets), and has been interviewed by the top Nazis. While testing the Nazi jets in .....

    Review
    'fascinating... If you only buy one aviation book this year, make sure it's this one.' TODAY'S PILOT 'In all the lists of those magnificent men in their flying machines, this must surely come very near the top.' DAILY MAIL 'The stories beggar belief.' THE GUARDIAN 'Copiously illustrated, filled with insights, opionion, anecdotes and observations, this is a gem of a book.' NAVY NEWS 'a fascinating story... for anyone interested in aviation, this is required reading.' AEROPLANE magazine 'a fascinating story ... full of absorbing information and insight.' TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.