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Dreams of Flight: General Aviation in the United States (Centennial of Flight Series) Hardcover – April 24, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Dreams of Flight is a timely, concise, and readable history of general aviation in the United States over the last hundred years by two authors who are themselves pilots. . . an important work that highlights general aviation’s important contribution to American’s growth and development during the twentieth century. . . Dreams of Flight is a welcome addition to the American aviation history, and its lucid prose makes it accessible to a wide audience, from aviation enthusiasts to scholars and students.”--Dr. Richard Byers, professor of history at North Georgia College and State University
(Dr. Richard Byers, professor of history at North Georgia College and State Unive)

About the Author

Janet Daly Bednarek received her Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. She is currently an associate professor and chair of the department of history at the University of Dayton. She has worked with the Air Force History and Museum Programs and has written on urban and aviation history, including America’s Airports, the first title in the Centennial of Flight Series, published by Texas A&M University Press. She has written this book together with her husband, Michael H. Bednarek, who received his MS from the Air Force Institute of Technology. In 1988, he completed a twenty-year active duty USAF military career as an aeronautical engineer and program manager. He now works as an acquisition manager with Dynamics Research Corporation.
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Product Details

  • Series: Centennial of Flight Series (Book 4)
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Texas A&M University Press; 1 edition (April 24, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585442577
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585442577
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,225,217 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Bednarek highlights the varied uses of aircraft with additional themes on women and African Americans in aviation.

In discussing aviation, it is important to understand what is meant by the term "general aviation." Prior to the 1950s what was known as "private or personal aviation" distinguished this category from the airlines or the military. Author Janet Bednarek's explanation, given in the alternative, is quite descriptive: "General aviation is not the scheduled commercial airlines and it is not military aviation. Pretty much all other aviation activities...fall under this broad heading." (xi)

Bednarek's definition needs to be clarified in one respect. Just as a passenger will buy a ticket on an airline, he may charter an airplane not operated as a scheduled air carrier. The mode of transportation is the same but the rules under which airlines and charters operate differ. Scheduled airlines are common carriers and more stringently regulated, whereas charters are operated "on demand" and governed separately.

Personal flying is the least regulated of all passenger air travel. One pays his own way and a friend can fly along too, but not for pay. Acting as the pilot, one must hold at least a private pilot license, possess a valid medical certificate, remain current for landings and instrument flight, and have successfully completed a biannual flight review (BFR). Clearly a higher level of fitness must be demonstrated to fly; a much higher level of competence, it should be noted, than that required to drive an automobile.

The different requirements for airline, on-demand, and personal flying are delineated within particular parts of the Federal Aviation Regulations (the FARs can be accessed online at [...
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