On airplanes and life:
Jonathan Livingston Seagull (fiction)
Night Flight over Europe
Nothing by Chance
Stranger To the Ground
Bomber (fiction). This could be the best book written
about WWII aviation. It has been listed among the ten best books in recent
English fiction altogether, period.
Goodbye Mickey Mouse (fiction)
James P. Gallagher
Meatballs and Dead Birds. This classic photo-history of
the end of Japanese WW II airpower has been republished and is rich with
material for modelers interested in that era. Compare to Robert C.
Mikesh's Broken Wings of the Samurai on the same subject.
Fate is the Hunter
The High and the Mighty (fiction)
Blaze of Noon (fiction)
Song of the Sirens. This a book about ships and the
sea, but it is one of Gann's best and compliments his aviation work.
Ernest K. Gann’s Flying Circus
Sunward I’ve Climbed, The Story of John Magee, Poet and
The Dream of Flight, Aeronautics from Classical Times to the Renaissance
The Prehistory of Flight
Inside The Sky. An interesting essay on the meaning of
the aerial view to human consciousness.
Sagittarius Rising. A must read, perhaps the
best book about flying in WW I, and maybe simply the best book on flying, ever.
Challenge to the Night
Never Look Back
Gemini to Joberg
Farewell to Wings
Ann Morrow Lindbergh
North to the Orient
Listen! The Wind. This and the previous book tell the
story of the two flights of the Lockheed Sirius first to China and then to
Europe that she and her husband made in the early Thirties.
Gift from the Sea. Not about aviation, but probably the
best work of this remarkable woman.
Charles A. Lindbergh
Of Flight and Time
The Spirit of St. Louis
The Wartime Journals of Charles A. Lindbergh
Autobiography of Values. Lindbergh’s philosophical work connects
flying to life and life to the advance of technology.
West With the Night. A must read. I cannot
recommend it highly enough.
Straight On Till Morning: The Biography of Beryl
Markham, Mary S. Lovell
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Wind, Sand and Stars
Flight to Arras
Wisdom of the Sands
The Little Prince (fiction)
Wartime Writings 1939-1944
A Passion for Wings, Aviation and the Western Imagination,
Winged Victory. WW I flying fiction by a WW I pilot.
Compare to Cecil Lewis's non-fiction account of the same in Sagittarious Rising.
A web search of "Aviation Literature" produces a much larger bibliography of
flight related subjects. This small bibliography focuses on work that is
conscious of the human condition in regards machines and flight. Please
recommend books or authors you think would support this general theme at
On model building:
The following is a small bibliography of works on model building that I have
found useful both for constructing models and for the interesting perceptions of
John Alcorn, George Lee & Peter Cook
Scratchbuilt: A Celebration of the Static Scale Airplane
Modeler’s Craft (1993)
John Alcorn, ed.
The Master Scratchbuilders (1999)
Aircraft In Miniature (1957)
The Model Aircraft Handbook (1943)
The Art of
Scale Model Aircraft Building (1943). This is arguably the best manual
on how to construct solid wood models, and is also very interesting as an
historical study in regards the training of model builders and the uses of model
airplanes. With the techniques developed here and in the Woodman work, one might
need only to add the skill of photo etching to have all the tools needed for
building the finest models.
Scale Model Aircraft in Plastic Card (1975). Mr.
Woodman dedicates this work to James H. Stevens who published a book titled
Scale Model Aircraft in 1933, a manual on building solid scale models. In
Woodman’s book, the skills of woodworking as well as paper card modeling
techniques are illustrated as steps toward construction using plastic sheet
material. Many details are carefully explained and illustrated which support
scratchbuilding in any medium.
Frank A.A. Wootton
How to Draw ‘Planes (1941)
State Education Department, The
University of the State of New York.
A Production Plan for the Scale Model Aircraft Project
(1943). Here is illustrated how to set up all the jigs and procedures for
producing thousands of your favorite solid model airplane…. While this
booklet is not commercially available (probably never was), access to
some copies may be available for photocopying. Contact
SKYWAYS The Journal of the Airplane 1920-1940, 15 Crescent Road,
Poughkeepsie, N.Y. 12601. A quarterly journal with articles about
airplanes of this era with detailed photography and drawings as well as features
on models. Highly recommended.
And, finally, from the Aerial Annals of Middle Earth: