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- Published on Amazon.com
There have been a number of 'World's Greatest Aircraft' books published over the years. Mark Phelps' FLIGHT, 100 GREATEST AIRCRAFT is the latest entry in the field. A 2013 Weldon Owen release, it's a 240-page photo-guide to iconic aircraft of the past century.
Originally developed online by the staff of FLYING magazine, the material was tweaked with some wonderful color photographs, expanded a/c descriptions, etc, The aircraft are presented in random order. Many of the 'usual suspects' are featured - the Wright Flyer, DC-3, P-51, Beechcraft Bonanza, Ju-52, B-17, Spitfire, Piper Cub, Sopwith Camel, BAe Harrier, Lockheed Constellation, B-24, PT-17, F-86, Yak-9, Fokker Triplane, Aeronca Champ, Learjet, Bell X-1, Pilatus PC-12, Me 262, Spirit of St. Louis, F-15, C-130, AT-6, Mitsubishi Zero, MiG-15, Beechcraft Staggerwing, Dassault Falcon, Gossamer Albatross, An-225 Mriya, De Havilland Beaver and JN-4 Jenny along with such types as the Diamond DA40 and Piaggio Avanati. Curiously, the book also includes the Robinson R22, AH-64 Apache, General Atomics Predator Drone, Space Shuttle and the Hindenburg; all of which kind of stretch the definition of "aircraft!"
Most of the birds get a two-page spread with a concise write-up and one-three pix, most of which are in color. Two-page overviews on 'Aircraft Basics,' 'Engine Innovations,' 'Heroes of Aviation,' etc. are interspersed throughout the book. The final section of FLIGHT, 100 GREATEST AIRCRAFT is given over to a 22-page 'Specifications' section.
As coffee table books go, Phelps' book is certainly a winner, filled with aviation eye-candy images guaranteed to please aviation enthusiasts of all ages. Recommended.