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Great Aviation Books

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Yeager: An Autobiography
by Chuck Yeager and Leo Janos
Chuck Yeager is one of the great aviatiors - and this is a great book. A fascinating tale of a man who started in the ranks at 18, in 1941, and retired nearly 35 years later a Brigadier General.  He was a man who truly had "The Right Stuff" - during his extraordinary career he was a WWII ace, he broke the sound barrier for the first time, and flew numerous missions in Vietnam. This is a book for pilots, by one of the best there ever was.  Db.
Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years at Lockheed
by Ben R. Rich, Leo Janos
Janos does it again with this absolutely fascinating account of the development of such aviation landmarks as the U2, the Blackbird SR-71 and stealth technology.
Listed under Skunk Works

Biplane by Richard Bach
I recall the first time someone recommended a Bach book to me - I replied, somewhat surprised, "You mean the Seagull bloke? I didn't know he could fly!" I laugh about that now - Bach is a great aviator, and a wonderful author. I doubt very much that he's ever written a bad book - even his first book, which is now almost unknown (Stranger to the Ground), was an enthralling tale of airmanship. And this one's another. He flys a 1929 biplane across the United States and tells us just what it's like to recapture the feeling of flight one gets from such a machine - and much more besides. Richard Bach is quite a philosopher. I think you'll like this book, and if you've not read his work before, you're in for a delightful surprise. More Bach books here ...

The Right Stuff
by Tom Wolfe
Another tour de force from the brilliant mind of one of the twentieth century's more enduring authors. Db
Going Solo
by Roald Dahl
The fascinating story of Roald Dahl's life continues in Going Solo, a marvelous evocation of the author's wartime exploits. As a pilot in World War II, Roald Dahl had some wonderfully exciting - and frighteningly near-death - experiences including encounters with the enemy, battles with deadly snakes, and incredible dogfights. Told with the same irresistible appeal that has made Dahl one of the world's best-loved writers, Going Solo brings you directly into the action and into the mind of this brilliant man. This is part two of his autobiography - the first part is "Boy".

Over to You : Ten Stories of Flyers and Flying
by Roald Dahl
This book contains stories the likes of which you've not read before. From hilarious to hair-raising, he tells tales (true, apparently) which will leave you in wonder at the world in which we live.

The Last Enemy
Richard Hillary
One of the greatest books of the Second World War, highly recommended. 

Len Deighton has written many books on aviation, including "Fighter" and "Bomber", both of which I regard as classics. These books are back in print.

Fate Is the Hunter
by Ernest K Gann
Ernest K Gann is the author of many fascinating books, most of which are out of print.  This is the story of his days as a pilot during the early years of the airlines, years during which he lost many of his friends.

The Lonely Sea and the Sky
by Francis Chichester
Chichester is quite famous as a yachtsman, but relatively unknown as a pilot. His adventures (and misadventures) in aviation put him in the league of the great pioneers.

by Robert C. Mason 
An extraordinary book by a veteran of 1000 helicopter missions in Vietnam. Read More

by James Salter
Paperback from Counterpoint Press


See also: Classics of War - Recommended Military Books

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