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Hunting Warbirds: The Obsessive Quest for the Lost Aircraft of World War II Paperback – March 26, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Sent to Greenland by Smithsonian magazine to write a piece about Navy P-3 Orion aircraft and their search for submarines, freelance journalist Hoffman was taken up by the crew he was interviewing, with a detour past the ruins of a WWII-era B-29 "Flying Fortress," the Kee Bird. Hoffman became hooked, and he found he was not alone in his obsession about the downed plane, which had crashed at the edge of a lake 40 years earlier, and was nearly perfectly preserved. In a painstaking blow-by-blow reconstruction, Hoffman charts three separate expeditions that were made by an assortment of amateur obsessives to salvage read: restore and fly the Kee Bird, writing in the first person when he went along on a trip, and in the third when recounting the adventures of the diverse subculture of plane salvagers when he couldn't. Their efforts go for naught, and anyone who doesn't already have the flier bug will have shut the book before the marooned bird's engines catch and then catch fire. Written with assurance, Hoffman's debut will certainly hold the buff market rapt, and will also find some readers of extreme sports and travel narratives, but it doesn't have the breadth to break out, though a 5-city author tour could help draw in readers.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
A select group of people, fanatic about fabled World War II warplanes, expend vast sums on the recovery of battered wrecks from unlikely places, then spend even greater sums restoring the planes. Most of them want to fly the warbirds, but some just like the detective and engineering challenges involved. Like any special interest group, they have their politics, relationships, successes, and failures. It is now 56 years after the war, and most of the planes have been melted down; little tangible remains of that part of history. For instance, of more than 100,000 B-29s built, only two are still flying. Journalist Hoffman (Smithsonian, New York Times Magazine) had the good fortune to have been an observer at the attempted salvage of the Kee Bird, an almost undamaged B-29 that crashed gently in northern Greenland. This epic tale of unbelievable risk, tragedy, heroism, and obsession, details a strange hobby, yet the author spins it into an intriguing tale. Recommended for libraries with aerospace or World War II interests. Edwin B. Burgess, U.S. Army Combined Arms Research Lib., Fort Leavenworth, KS
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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