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Growing Up Boeing: The Early Jet Age Through the Eyes of a Test Pilot's Daughter Paperback – February 7, 2014
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Top Customer Reviews
Wallick aimed to have this memoir published on the 51st anniversary of the first flight of the 727, her father's favorite airplane. I love memoirs, particularly ones from a woman's point of view of a man's world. Other books like this that I enjoy are An Aviator's Wife by early 20th century aviator Earle Ovington's wife and Wondrous Beauty: The Life and Adventures of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte.
The book Growing Up Boeing is a reprise of that time. After reading her final draft, I interviewed the author.
So, there really was a Happy Bottom Riding Club out in the desert, like in the film The Right Stuff? "Yes there was, and Dad went there, met Pancho Barnes. All the test pilots did."
What compelled you to write this book? How did this all get started? "My undergraduate degree is in history, so I’ve always had an interest in history. Around 2002, as Dad’s health began to fail, I got out a tape recorder and sat down many Sundays to record his memories, the stories I heard pieces of growing up and always knew were part of aviation history."
There are a lot of other pilots mentioned in the book, how did you gain access to them? "My father was not the sort to take credit or boast. Once it was clear I was moving forward with the work he tapped into that network of others who flew with him, taking the same risks. I knew them all as a child, and soon I become re-acquainted with them."
Risks, yes, let’s talk about them. "We get on commercial airliners today and don’t give it a second thought, but the truth is there were many times when Dad wasn’t sure they could bring the aircraft home. To cite one example, the leading edges of the new 767’s wing stuck in the open position, creating drag on one side of the airplane which if improperly handled by the pilot would cause the airplane to crash. The test pilots work out the bugs so the rest of us can fly safely.Read more ›
Lew was always my hero, and I always had a lot of admiration, and respect for him! He, in my opinion, was the most important name in Boeing's history! He was there, and on most all the first flights of the jet age! Back when Boeing was a “Family”, kept their promises, and airplanes were delivered on time! Now, if they are 3 ½ years late on a program, and may never make a profit, they pat themselves on the back! The “big names” come and go, and many just drive the company into the ground, including McNerney as of late! Not so with Lew! He, and the other engineers and test pilots are who made it all happen! I took an early retirement from the now Chicago based company just because I could no longer stand what it had become.
We led kind of a weird parallel life. We both worked for Boeing for about 35 years, although, I was at the other end of the food chain. I spent a lot of time growing up at our little cabin on Lake Sammamish right across from the Wallick’s. I probably saw them out on the lake 100 times, although, we never met. Then, much later in life, my then fiancée, sees some Boeing “thing” I had and asked if I had ever heard of Lew Wallick? I said “Hell Yeah”! She said "he was kind of my Step Dad". I said “Yeah Right”! Then she brings out the photo album! OMG!! This was while Lew was in the hospital, and she set up a visit for her and I thru the widow, who, by the way, is a Lovely Lady! I told her that was awesome, and I would love to meet him, but told her I would wait until he got better. He never did! My Dad, who was also an engineer, and had worked for Boeing for a short time, also passed away about the same time.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
When I was in training on the 737-300 in 1985 in Seattle, I remember seeing Lew Wallick's picture on a wall in the Boeing training center, along with pictures of several other... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Whitefish
This pilot and aircraft developer gives two thumbs up for Rebecca Wallick's biography Growing Up Boeing. Well-written, with very engaging stories. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Bob Kuykendall
Fabulous inside view into the drama of test pilots, their families, and to the heroic measures required to certify a modern commercial aircraft.Published 8 months ago by Randi Lynn
A fascinating read for those of us interested in the stories of the folks who made Boeing great.Published 8 months ago by Eugene J Woodward
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Dwight Bates <batesl777@gmail. Read more
Great inside stories about all my favorite airplanes! And their test pilots, which makes it even more interesting and fun.Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
Rebecca Wallick will take you through a lengthy history of her father Lewis Wallick's life as an aviator/ test pilot and also his and her personal relationship as she and her... Read morePublished 11 months ago by James E. Hathaway
My father went to work for Boeing following WWII and I grew up in the Boeing culture of the Puget Sound area during Boeing's hayday. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Stephanie Frieze