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on April 16, 2015
The book is organized as bits and pieces of information and anecdotes sprinkled over the pages..
Sounding to be exhaustive but missing some notable information, including
- XB-70: One of the most beautiful planes, successful and supersonic, now at the Air Museum in Dayton Ohio.
- Civilian passenger planes like the Lockheed Tristar and others
- Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi: The first man said to have flown with wings from atop Galata tower in Istanbul across the Bosphorus.
- Legari Hasan Celebi: Said to have tied up pipes filled with black powder to his body and shot up like a rocket, up to about 30ft and falling into the Marmara Sea,
Both events reportedly took place around 1690 at royal circumcision festivities of the children of the Ottoman Sultan.
On the positive side the book contains a lot of interesting information and informative facts.
It is a useful book, not meant to read straight through like a novel, but consult now and then, or maybe skip pages and read here and there like a magazine.
4 helpful votes
5 helpful votes
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on November 22, 2016
My husband and I fell in love with DK (especially the Smithsonian line) during a trip to the Smithsonian museums. The books are filled with an immense amount of information which is presented in a fascinating, readable way. Of course the author couldn't include absolutely every single detail about the subject at hand, but they still did a wonderful job. The photos are gorgeous and a perfect complement to the information being presented. The books themselves have sturdy binding and stout construction.
1 helpful vote
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on June 19, 2014
I wanted a book about aviation history for my nephew's seventeenth birthday, since he plans to become an aerospace engineer. We have had other books from Dorling Kindersley, so I thought it would be good, but it was even better than I had hoped, filled with an extraordinary wealth of information and pictures. Since it was published several years ago there are a few recent developments that are not included, but I encourage anyone else that has a family member with a desire to know more about aviation history to consider this book for a birthday or Christmas present.
1 helpful vote
2 helpful votes
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on June 26, 2017
Very nice pictures and drawings. Good historical support.
1 helpful vote
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VINE VOICEon May 12, 2003
This is an amazing great big book. There are hundreds of big glossy books of planes and aviation history in bookstores, and with the 100 years of powered controlled flight anniversary, there will no doubt be a few more bowing the shelves. But if you want to buy just one, say for a present, then this is the one to buy. It is balanced, it is complete, it has pictures and text in harmony -- and it is not slapped together like some other slightly embarrassing flying tomes.

Over 400 pages perfect for a youngster, yet written well enough for any adult. Is it perfect? No. But 400 pages of perfection would be hard. I would have put in RJ's rather than the F-28 in the current small airliner section, but complaining about a couple of details should not hide the fact that this is one big cool book. Whatever more detailed specialized books about flying you get later, you will not need to get a great big glossy exciting celebration of flight book again. You'll already have one of the best.
77 helpful votes
78 helpful votes
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on February 9, 2015
Large thick picture book with full story text. Plenty of specs and stats for the aficionado too. Both commercial and military planes on display and
discussed. If you've got an interest in aircraft, this is not going to disappoint.
1 helpful vote
2 helpful votes
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on June 14, 2015
Very good book, and extremely well done on the graphical side.
It is fun to go through over and over again.
Bought it to my son who loves airplanes and he is all over it :)
The only thing I would have liked better is a bit less emphasis on the war side of aviation, but I guess that is life...
1 helpful vote
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on January 4, 2014
This is a great gift to give those who really like or love planes but never really knew the history as a whole aviation. It has a lot of little fascinating stories about significant planes with technical specs and why they made a difference in history. Lots of great and historic photographs to keep any kid happy, with enough rich history and stories to make any grown man feel happy like a kid.

I would highly recommend this for all ages, even if you have well knowledgeable pilot friends, this is a great coffee book to keep around for friendly discussions, instead of having everyone huddle around a computer and search stuff on wiki (which is all fine and dandy, but having a physical book is still nice). I'd recommend buying used to save a few bones since in my experience, most people tend to take care of these larger, text book sized paper backs better than others; unless its a gift.

I would also recommend The Nation's Hanger: Aircraft Treasures of the Smithsonian as another great read that really showcases other planes of historic value. I bought both at the same time and really go hand in hand as other's have suggested to me.
1 helpful vote
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on February 18, 2017
This book was better than I expected. I didn't need to know all about it from the start to get the history. I loved it, and now my friend wants to read it.
1 helpful vote
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on April 25, 2004
The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's "Flight: 100 Years of Aviation," by R.G. Grant and John R. Dailey LOOKS like a "coffee table book." It is SO much more than that - although at over 400 pages and approximately 1000 magnificent photographs, it certainly would fit the bill. It is worth every penny of it's cost.
As the female Vice-President of two small aviation restoration companies, I collect a lot of aviation books. This is absolutely the BEST historical view on aviation. The information and photographs that it provides on early aviation are the best that I have seen. It features memorabilla as well as photos of aviation's many pilots/inventors. Almost all of the photographs were new to me and not simply the same photos shown in all the other books.
Later models are glossed over a little more, but I imagine that the book would have been over 1000 pages if they had gone into much more detail. This book is meant to serve as an overview of aviation's history. Most aviation history books simply feature the planes. This book details so MUCH more. It discusses black boxes, ejection seats, posters, newspaper clippings and much more; truly giving a well-rounded view of aviation.
If you are a pilot or simply interested in aviation - or if you know a young person who is interested in aviation....THIS is the book to buy them. The photographs ALONE are worth purchasing this book!
57 helpful votes
58 helpful votes
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