Some friends and I have been running a series of gift ideas across our blogs. I already proposed a Breitling Navitimer watch and now it’s my turn again. This time, I’d like to suggest some books and a DVD that any pilot will love.
One Six Right. If you want a single film that captures the joy, romance, history and excitement of flying, this is it. It is a documentary about Van Nuys Airport in LA; but that’s like saying Citizen Kane is a film about a sled. Check out this clip on YouTube.
Backroom Boys. This is a charming little history of the British boffins who tried to take the UK to the stars on a shoestring and almost succeeded. Read a longer review on my writing site.
Boyd. The biography of John Boyd, a US fighter pilot who revolutionised aerial warfare, instigated the F16 fighter and inspired the winning strategy of the first Gulf War. Read a longer review.
Carrying the Fire. Michael Collins’s book is the best of the Apollo astronaut biographies and, I suspect, the only that is not ghost-written. Read a longer review.
Project Orion. Imagine if you could reach Mars in a few weeks in a 4,000 tonne space cruiser powered by nuclear bombs. This is the history of the nuclear scientists who designed such a craft in the 50s. Read a longer review.
Absolute Altitude. The story of a British journalist who decided to try to blag his way around the world in the cockpits of different aircraft. Sadly, I don’t think it would be possible today because of 9/11. So it is also a testament to a more innocent era. Read a longer review.
Previous gifts are:
Patrick Flannigan says
Great roundup of books there Matthew. Absolute altitude sounds very interesting. You know, you can still hitchhike your way around in a way. Bumming a ride in the right seat is still a great way a lot of would-be professional pilots build their multi-engine time.