Ron Dick served with the Royal Air Force for 38 years, retiring with the rank of Air Vice-Marshal. After his retirement, Dick lived in the U.S.A. and wrote and lectured on military and aviation history until his death in May 2008. Dan Patterson received the first annual Combs Award, honouring his contribution to the photographic preservation of America's air and space heritage.
Following the completion of their excellent five-volume "Aviation Century" series in 2006, Dick and photographer Patterson decided to further share their expertise by offering additional studies of some of the century's legendary airplanes. This is their subjective attempt to rank which aircrafts merited inclusion (along with their pilots and designers) among the top 50 Aviation Hall of Famers. Priority choices include the Wright brothers' 1905 Flyer and various World War I fighters. The section covering the interwar period offers several record-breaking machines, while the World War II inductees profiled conclude with Hitler's Messerschmitt 262 jet interceptor. Classic Korean War jets and commercial liners follow. The book's final portions are devoted to aerospace engineer Burt Rutan's futuristic flying creations and combat jets for the 21st century, which incorporate such innovations as stealth technology and fly-by-wire controls. This is much more than a composite rehash of the "Aviation Century" series. The text is new, the team's selections are defensible, and the illustrations (300 color/b&w), sidebars, pilot and aircraft profiles, and human-interest stories are all fresh, appealing, and insightful. Recommended for all aeronautical collections.-John Carver Edwards, Univ. of Georgia Libs. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Fascinating.--Sheldon Kirshner"Canadian Jewish News"
[Review of previous edition: ] Dick and Patterson have made unusually fine choices.... The 50 aircraft...receive analytical but accurately admiring write-ups... Reasonable affection for aircraft is shown throughout this attractive, literate volume. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers.-- (04/01/2008)
[Review of previous edition: ] This is much more than a composite rehash of the "Aviation Century" series. The text is new, the team's selections are defensible, and the illustrations, sidebars, pilot and aircraft profiles, and human-interest stories are all fresh, appealing, and insightful. Recommended for all aeronautical collections.-- (11/15/2007)
[Review of previous edition: ] An impressive and encyclopedic history of influential aircraft [that] should be a part of every personal, professional, academic, and community library's Aviation History reference collection.--James A. Cox"Midwest Book Review" (11/01/2007)
[Review of previous edition: ] Really a must read for everyone -- imagine the history.-- (12/13/2007)
[Review of previous edition: ] A close-up survey of 50 of arguably the most remarkable and influential aircraft in aviation history... Beautifully presented... A bargain at 40 bucks, this book will grace the coffee table of any aviation aficionado.-- (09/01/2007)