This book isn’t primarily about relationships. There’s no romance involved--not even any close friendships. It’s mostly about flying machines and their missions. But people are important. After all, pilots fly the machines.
There are a lot of characters here that aviation buffs will immediately recognize: Lots of record-setting test pilots, and even some astronauts. Older non-buffs will also see familiar names: an aviation legend, first-ever moon walkers, a couple of popular entertainers, a famous TV-news anchor and even two former presidential candidates. Watch closely, some of them just flash past.
Airplanes star in this tale. None of them were perfect, but many of them excelled performing their assigned tasks. North American Aircraft’s F-86F was a beautiful machine. But it was also a breathtakingly-good MiG killer. Because of its fine flying qualities, it was fun to fly--a sports car among sedans. Fairchild/Chase Aircraft’s C-123B was an outstanding assault transport. It was almost perfect for its mission in Vietnam, but it could be a real handful for any pilot to fly.
I have lots of “favorite” airplanes, but Douglas’ A-1H Skyraider stands out. There has never been a better attack fighter in terms of accuracy in iron-bomb delivery, weapons load-carrying ability or endurance. Lockheed’s F-104A or C models were many pilot’s dream machines. Their luster dimmed somewhat for me after I flew them. But they were certainly suitable for training Test Pilot School students to perform zooms and shuttle-aircraft type approaches and landings. I’ll stop with these four. There’s much more on airplanes inside--about 192,000 words worth.
That’s a lot to slog through and you may find some parts too technical or too detailed. Ignore them. There are also many numbers, but most aren‘t important. Browse for good stuff. If you want more info on some airplane, Google her up.