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Final Cut: The Post-War B-17 Flying Fortress and Survivors (4th Edition) Perfect Paperback – April 1, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-1575101569 ISBN-10: 1575101564 Edition: 4th
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Editorial Reviews

Review

1) At the Air Classics office, there are numerous aviation references that we utilize on a regular basis. However, when it comes to the civilian use of the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress there is only one reference we use:Final Cut-The Post-War B-17 Flying Fortress and Survivors by Scott Thompson and we are happy to report that the third edition of the seminal work has arrived in the office. Since the first edition came out in 1990, Scott has been acquiring a massive amount of new material on the survivors of the world's most famous bomber.

When the government offered its surplus fleet of WWII combat aircraft for sale, there were very view B-17 buers and the few that did sell went to specialized operators that wanted to use the Fort as high-altitude camera platforms, cargo haulers, and bug sprayers. Unfortunately, many of these aircraft were written off in remote areas of the globe and it wasn't until the early 1970s that the aviation community began to realize the historical importance of the few surviving B-17s.

Scott set out with a very specific goal: To tell the post-war history of the B-17 in the US military where the former bombers were used for SAR, VIP transports, and target drones. The limited post-war use is very well presented, but the "meat" of the book is Scott's masterful accounting of the individual histories of each of the 48 surviving B-17s. Each survivor is presented in a great deal of detail, describing how the aircraft made it to 2009. Final Cut is illustrated with a wealth of illustrations more than 300) -- many of them new -- that show the aircraft during various stages of their lives.

The book (which contains 24 additional pages compared to earlier editions) ends with a hopeful note: Currently, there are a dozen flying B-17s and author predicts we will see this number grow to 17 during the next few years. If you are a B-17 enthusiast or a Warbird buff, this book is a must. (Review of 3rd edition of book) --Air Classics Magazine (February 2009)



2) First published in 2009, this work set the benchmark in 'warbird' history titles. Now substantially revised and updated, it awaits loyal owners looking to upgrade and an entirely new readership. Every surviving B-17 is given detailed provenance and the type's 'demobbed' career as drone, air-sea rescue, corporate transport, air tanker, duster, sprayer, and film star is lovingly chartered. Each page has at least one 'I never knew that' moment. (Review of 3rd edition of book) --FlyPast Magazine (April 2009)

About the Author

Scott Thompson has long held an interest in the B-17 and, in particular, its post-war use. He has been writing about aviation history since 1980 and Final Cut was his first book when it was first published in 1990. He has written numerous other books and articles on a variety of aviation history topics. He has been a pilot since 1975 and flies a Lear 60 for the FAA as a flight inspection pilot checking navigation aids and instrument flight procedures from the Sacramento Flight Inspection Field Office. He lives with his wife in Lincoln, California.
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Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Pictorial Histories & Aero Vintage Books; 4th edition (April 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1575101564
  • ISBN-13: 978-1575101569
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.8 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,895,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. A. Stidsen on June 23, 2011
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At the time the 4th edition closed for press , there were 48 intact B-17 Airframes in the world , 11 of those flyable. These survivors have mostly survived by hard work as water bombers, freight haulers, etc., before becoming the (well-deserved) pampered Warbird Queens that most ( but not all) have become. They have each earned their right to honorable retirement .

In the 4th edition ,Mr. Thompson has seamlessly updated the B-17 survivor list from the third edition, which itself had been released less than three years earlier. My only criticism is that the updated information is not highlighted, forcing me to read the entire text entry regarding each survivor. However since the B-17 remains one of my favorite birds,that was not an arduous task!

Unfortunately, shortly after printing the 4th edition, B-17G 44-85734/N5111N/N390TH ("Liberty Belle")was lost to fire after an engine fire and emergency landing, fortunately without loss of life. I was one of the lucky few to have flown (as a passenger) in N390TH during her short exhibition life (2004 - 2011)as "Liberty Belle", and can personally attest that the world lost an outstanding restoration because the local Fire Department thought the ground was too soft for their trucks to approach the fire scene. So, the book is technically obsolescent already. I suppose that the 5th edition will move the story of 390TH/N511N to a small print of lost B-17's and out of the main text. But meanwhile, let Chapter 40(pp.192-196) serve as her requium.

The book itself is a delight to read , well-written and straightforward, in a softbound format, with coated card covers. The photos (mostly black and white , but some in color)are reproduced on good quality paper and are wonderfully clear.
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This was a present to my Dad. He is currently flying around on one of these birds. He was very impressed with the book. Can't get much more of a professional opinion than that.
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By Joe Jopek on January 9, 2014
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Having an interest in the Flying Fortress since boyhood the book is a favorite of mine. Plus it is a good read.
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Final Cut: The Post-War B-17 Flying Fortress and Survivors (4th Edition)
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