Product Details

Pegasus Books
Publish Date
September 11, 2018
5.1 X 8.1 X 0.7 inches | 0.45 pounds

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About the Author

James Hamilton-Paterson is the author of Empires of the Clouds (Faber), a classic account of the golden age of British aviation. He won a Whitbread Prize for his first novel, Gerontius. He lives in Austria.


When it zoomed into history in the late 1960s, the Blackbird was the fastest and most expensive plane ever to take off under its own power, soar on the lift provided by its own wings and land on its own tires. This is where Hamilton-Paterson shines. He explains this impossibly complex aircraft in terms that anyone can understand. Hamilton-Paterson relents a bit toward the end, quoting an SR-71 pilot to the effect that it was 'the greatest aircraft ever flown.' Indeed, it was. And wasn't that worth a few billion dollars?
Fascinating. Thoroughly accessible to readers of all backgrounds and especially recommended for public library collections and aviation history connoisseurs
Tells its inherently vivid story with more sheer comprehensive energy than any previous English-language history has ever done. Hamilton-Paterson's storytelling skills are on point and gratifyingly varied--there isn't a dull page in this book.
The account is enlivened by quotes from pilots' journals and letters home. Best of all, the author is a consummate storyteller; not only does the book tell a fascinating story, it is nearly impossible to put down.
A well-researched history of the air operations of WW1 from an unusual perspective. A high quality historical work which is at the same time highly readable.
Documents not only the hardware development for the most famous spy plane in history but also the times and political history of the day. Written in easy-to-understand language, Hamilton-Paterson does an excellent job presenting the history of the SR-71 that all aviation lovers can enjoy. With 20 black-and-white and 19 color images, this publication is a great addition to any enthusiast's book collection.