Cover image for Aviation : the first 100 years
Aviation : the first 100 years
Gunston, Bill.
Personal Author:
First edition for the United States and Canada.
Publication Information:
Hauppauge, NY : Barron's, [2002]

Physical Description:
191 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 29 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TL515 .G814 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



In 2003, the world will mark the hundredth anniversary of the Wright brothers' historic first flight over Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. This handsome volume celebrates humanity's first century of aviation with lavish illustrations and an exciting chronological account of aeronautical development. Following the Wright brothers came a number of pioneer designers and flyers from several European countries, including Voisin and Bleriot in France and Zeppelin in Germany. World War I saw the birth of fighter and bomber planes, while the decades between the wars witnessed the glamour of competition flying, including Lindbergh's first flight across the Atlantic and Wiley Post's seven-day flight around the world. This era also saw the dawn of commercial flight, which started as airmail service and slowly developed to include passenger service. It was the era of pioneering passenger-carrying aircraft such as the Ford Trimotor and the revolutionary Douglas DC-3. Also covered in detail are the fighters and bombers of World War II, the dawn of the jet age, the evolution of helicopters, and the birth of supersonic flight. An account of the burgeoning of the intercontinental commercial airline industry brings readers to the present, which is marked by intense competition between Boeing of the United States and Airbus of Europe, both vying for the lion's share of the market. Other topics covered in this superlative history include development of general (private) aviation, and a look at radically innovative planes, such as the Concorde SST and the Stealth military aircraft. Hundreds of photos and drawings, most of them in color, enhance an intensely readable text.

Author Notes

Bill Gunston was born in London. He was educated at the University of Durham -- under the auspices of the Royal Air Force -- and at London University. During his RAF service 1945-48, he piloted 93 types of aircraft. In 1951, he joined the staff of Flight International and became the magazine's technical editor in 1955. In 1970, Gunston "retired" and began writing. Since then, he has written 362 books, countless reports, and several thousand magazine articles. He also contributes to video, movie, and television scripts, and has acted as an expert witness in a celebrated U.S. aviation manufacturing dispute. He is currently editor of Jane's Aero-Engines, a renowned guide dedicated to every gas-turbine engine used for manned aircraft. Gunston is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and, in 1995, was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to aviation writing.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 6
1 Pioneersp. 8
Hot Air to Propulsionp. 8
Early Developmentp. 10
2 The First Air Warp. 12
Primitive Warplanesp. 12
The First Bombersp. 14
The First Fightersp. 16
Giant Bombers and Airshipsp. 18
3 Infant Airlinesp. 20
North Americap. 20
Europep. 22
The First Airportsp. 24
4 Competitionp. 26
The Schneider Trophyp. 26
To Fly the Atlanticp. 28
Around the Worldp. 30
Pylon Racingp. 32
5 Warplanes 1918-1939p. 34
Fightersp. 34
Bombersp. 36
Reconnaissance Aircraftp. 38
Conflicts of the Erap. 40
6 New Technologyp. 42
Aerodynamicsp. 42
Structuresp. 44
Propulsionp. 46
Systemsp. 48
In the Cockpitp. 50
At the Airportp. 52
7 World War IIp. 54
The Luftwaffep. 54
Battle of Britainp. 56
RAF Bombersp. 58
Barbarossap. 60
The Rising Sunp. 62
USAAF Fightersp. 64
USAAF Bombersp. 66
U.S. Navy and Marinesp. 68
D-Dayp. 70
Soviet Surprisesp. 72
Victory in Europep. 74
Victory in the Pacificp. 76
8 Post-War Progressp. 78
Airports Todayp. 78
American Airlinersp. 80
British Airlinersp. 82
Mistaken Monstersp. 84
Piston Pinnaclep. 86
9 The Cold Warp. 88
Jet Fightersp. 88
Jet Bombersp. 90
Strategic Air Commandp. 92
Soviet Fightersp. 94
Soviet Bombersp. 96
U.S. Navy Supercarriersp. 98
U.S. Navy Shore-Based Aircraftp. 100
RAF Aircraftp. 102
Royal Navy Aircraftp. 104
10 War Gets Hotp. 106
Indo-Chinap. 106
Suezp. 108
Algeriap. 110
Jungle Conflictsp. 112
Vietnamp. 114
11 General Aviationp. 116
Airplanes For Allp. 116
Executive Aviationp. 118
Ag-Aviationp. 120
Flying Laboratoriesp. 122
Fire Bombersp. 124
12 Rotating Wingsp. 126
Early Strugglesp. 126
Turbine Revolutionp. 128
Battlefield Helicoptersp. 130
Naval helicoptersp. 132
Transport Helicoptersp. 134
13 New Ideasp. 136
Faster than Soundp. 136
On to Mach 7p. 138
VTOLsp. 140
Tilting Windmillsp. 142
Weird Shapesp. 144
14 Airlinersp. 146
Early Jetlinersp. 146
Turbopropsp. 148
Enter the Wide Bodiesp. 150
Today's Boeingsp. 152
Today's Airbusesp. 154
Jetliners Around the Worldp. 156
Future Supercarriersp. 158
15 Modern Warplanesp. 160
Francep. 160
Former USSRp. 162
Swedenp. 164
Surveillancep. 166
Transports and Tankersp. 168
16 Collaborationp. 170
Jaguar and Tornadop. 170
Harrierp. 172
Fighters Around the Worldp. 174
Airliftersp. 176
SSTsp. 178
17 At the Cutting Edgep. 180
Stealthp. 180
F-22 Raptorp. 182
Eurofighter Typhoonp. 184
Joint Strike Fighterp. 186
18 Have Funp. 188
Glidersp. 188
Seeking Pleasurep. 190
Indexp. 191