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The saga of Iron Annie Hardcover – 1979

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 6 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Caidin restored a classic war-plane! 17 Mar. 2007
By ThorBjorn - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Prolific author and all-around adventurer Martin Caidin fascinates the reader with his discovery and restoration of a sadly neglected Junkers 52 Luftwaffe plane. The Junkers 52, an impressive tri-motor, was the primary transport used by the Wehrmacht in World War II. This was the aircraft from which numerous Fallschirmjaeger (para-troop) jumps were made. The specimen in question, was found decaying at an obscure airfield in South America, when Mr. Caidin became aware of it. With loving care and many hours of labor, Caidin's crew repaired the plane and restored it to flying condition.

This is not only a narrative of saving a classic war-plane, but also a history of the development and use of the Junkers 52. Originally concieved as a bomber, the Luftwaffe converted it to transport duty as it became obsolete in that role, due to concerns over its speed. It was also utilized in the civilian sector as a passenger and cargo plane, prevailing in that role for decades in remote regions of the world. Many of these were still in service in South America, when more advanced commercial aircraft took over in the developed countries. Perhaps there are still abandoned Ju-52s corroding somewhere in South America, ...maybe some are even restorable!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Ju-52 Iron Annie 10 Dec. 2010
By matt8386 - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I've read a few things by British test pilot Eric Brown, and in 4 pages he can tell you what it is like to fly a Ju-52. Or, you can read 236 pages of Martin Caidin's book The Saga of Iron Annie and learn what it is like to love flying a Ju-52. Caidin was a pilot and one helluva story teller. This is history as told by one who literally flew by the seat of his pants, lived life large and that comes through in every word of this book.

Built by Junkers in 1931, 4835 were built and served as transport planes for the Luftwaffe in WW2. This particular bird found its way to South America, was rescued from the scrap heap and flown back to the US in 1970. Five years later, Martin Caidin had to have it, buying it sight unseen. After years of patch work repairs, flying at countless air shows, he rebuilt the plane to safe flying condition. As he states in the book "just because a plane can fly does not mean it is airworthy".

There's a lot of technical pilot speak in this book that only an aviator can understand. I'm sure there were some exaggerations, distortions, small errors by the author, but what really separates this story from just a recounting of a tri motor transport plane is the way the story is told. Caidin knows how to put you in the cockpit, make you sweat out the anxious moments of when the old engine will fail, or the dangers of flying a tin corrugated metal beast into a storm with no radio, of laughing afterwards with his cohorts in crime over a cold one or dozen washed down with a cigar.

A salute to Martin (RIP) for sharing the story, his passion for flying, his craft for writing and capturing those feelings in words so others can enjoy them as well. If more history books were written like this, a lot more folks would love history. Highly recommended reading for all aviation junkies, pilots who love a yarn and anyone interested in a classic warbird, the Ju-52.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Finding Parts for An Aging Warplane- No Sweat! 9 Mar. 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Caidin writes of the history of the pioneering Junkers, with trademark corrugated skin and three engines. How they were used before, during and after WW II - earning reputation for dependability as 'bush plane'.
Illogically, he buys one- probably due to its' historic value, but not for the low cost of operation. It needs engines- and the original BMWs were not in production any more. Same for tires, brakes, etc. etc. It did not have a manual- and the FAA expects all airplanes to have one. But he had good friends who flew the plane from South America to the U.S., and connections through various warbird organizations. It was a hit at airshows, which is great for a pilot's ego.
There is a reason- he is in love:
'...A hundred feet of grass remaining before us and Annie is flying. The nose has come up hardly at all. It's an amazingly flat-attitude climb with this flap setting, and the air-speed needle is swinging past 75 as we're over paved surface. Because of the temperature, I let her build to 85, then come back some more on the yoke, and by the time she's accelerated to 90, those props screaming at the world, we're going upstairs at a thousand feet a minute. I ease her into a 30-degree bank and those great wings come around as if we were on a pivot, just as smooth as a satin nightgown against cream-white skin, the nose swinging through the horizon as it it were on rails.'
Beautiful. Just plain beautiful. The cockpit's an absolute bedlam of engine noise and howling props and the wind beating in through the overhead hatch and the open side windows....' (pp 5-6)
There is no other book dedicated to a single airplane that details such a stormy relationship; that proved the affection Mr Caidin had for the ornery antique. It is one-of-a-kind flying in a one-of-a-kind airplane. Wow!
See also: Junkers Ju52: Aircraft and Legend (A Foulis aviation book).
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
airplanes 25 Mar. 2010
By Judith A. Carlson - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm very happy with this non-fiction book about one of the greatest planes ever manufactured. Received it in record time and the condition is better than described by the seller. I expected this used book to be in good condition, but received one in excellent condition, and the price was right. I would definitely order from this seller again.
Great historical read 26 Jun. 2015
By Neil Dennis - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Really interesting, but with these old eyes, I wish the print was bigger. ben a fan if her for years, lots of new info in the book.
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