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Our aviation books will tell you everything you need to know about aeroplanes and the history of flying. These aircraft books cover the history and the mechanics of all kinds of magnificent flying machines.

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Aviation Books

Our aviation books will tell you everything you need to know about aeroplanes and the history of flying. These aircraft books cover the history and the mechanics of all kinds of magnificent flying machines.

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    Haynes Hawker Hurricane Owner's Workshop Manual

    Paul Blackah, MBE

    Product Code: HWKH
    Hardback
    Hand-picked favourites
    This Haynes Manual lifts the lid on the secrets of the Hawker Hurricane fighter.

    It looks at the construction of the vehicle and offers insights into what it takes to own and fly such a classic fighter. It also reveals how engineers keep it airworthy and gives an overview of its historical background.
    • £3.79
    • RRP £19.99
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  • Spitfire Manual 1940

    Dilip Sarkar

    Product Code: BWTLF
    Paperback
    How to fly the legendary fighter plane in combat using the manuals and instructions supplied by the RAF during the Second World War. An amazing array of leaflets, books and manuals were issued by the War Office during the Second World War to aid pilots in flying the Supermarine Spitfire, here for the first time and using the original 1940s setting, they are collated into a single book. An introduction is supplied by expert aviation historian Dilip Sarkar. Other sections include aircraft recognition, how to act as an RAF officer, bailing out etc.
    • £7.99
    • RRP £9.99
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  • The RAF Colouring Book

    Product Code: BQHFR
    Paperback
    Across 2018, the Royal Air Force celebrates its centenary year, looking back over one hundred years of history from its inception following the First World War through to the modern age. This long history has seen operations conducted across greatly varied terrain in vastly different aircraft, from biplanes to bombers, from jet to delta wing, through to the fighter, surveillance, air mobility aircraft and helicopters of today. The illustrations in this book chart the story of the RAF through its aircraft and its most significant events, remembering and highlighting such key milestones as the Battle of Britain and the Dams Raid. Both the perfect gift to educate and entertain children, and to captivate both RAF and colouring enthusiasts for hours.
    • £9.09
    • RRP £9.99
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  • Cargopilot

    Christiaan Van Heijst

    Product Code: AWIKW
    Hardback
    Christiaan Van Heijst is a 747 pilot and one of the world's leading aviation photographers. Cargopilot is a heavyweight luxury coffee table volume bringing together over 200 of his photos from the cockpit and from the ramp on six continents, from technically fascinating views of the operation of the Boeing 747 to evocative earthscapes and the rare sight of other aircraft in flight. Christiaan was also witness to a unique phenomenon, which lit up the floor of the Pacific Ocean at night as his cargo jet flew overhead. Geologers, nautical authorities, the military (officially) and the airlines are at a loss to explain the sight, but Christiaan's photos of that night that were published around the world are reproduced in this book, along with Christiaan's detailed account of the flight. Christiaan's flying and his camera take in everything from the global megahubs of Chicago, Beijing and Luxembourg to exotic ports such as Kinshasa, Kabul and Lagos. This book is a must-have for fans of aviation, geography, and photography.
    • £37.99
    • RRP £40.00
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  • Secrets of a Stewardess

    Gretchen Ryan

    Product Code: BXLQP
    Paperback
    People always seemed amused whenever Gretchen Ryan recounted anecdotes of her transformative experiences as an air hostess in days gone by. Many even suggested she write a book about it. So she did. These were the debauched days of flying in the 80s, when flying was sexy, hanky-panky abounded, smoking permitted, passengers wore suits, the cockpit never locked and cutlery made of steel. This was a time of excess, cleverly disguised as fun. This humorous, tongue-in-cheek memoir recalls both amusing incidents and tragedies on board as well as at various destinations around the world, including London, Hong Kong, Mauritius, Ilha do Sal and New York. Against the backdrop of this `anything-goes' world of flying, for 10 years life was a kaleidoscope of fun and excitement.
    • £9.09
    • RRP £9.99
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  • My Friend the Enemy

    Dan Smith

    Product Code: BUNKR
    Paperback
    Summer, 1941. For Peter, the war is a long way away, being fought by a faceless enemy, marching across places he's never seen. Until the night it comes to him. A German plane is shot down over the woods that his Dad looked after, before he went off to fight. Peter rushes to the crash site to find something exciting to keep. But what he finds instead is someone: a young and injured German airman. The enemy. Here. And in trouble. Suddenly, helping him seems like the right thing to do ... An exciting and thought-provoking World War 2 adventure from acclaimed author Dan Smith.
    • £6.89
    • RRP £6.99
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  • Ultimate Book of Airplanes and Airports

    Sophie Bordet-Petillon

    Product Code: BKJZH
    Hardback
    The Ultimate series is a worldwide success because it offers readers an intriguing close-up view of their subject with lots of opportunity for hands-on interaction with flaps, tabs, pop-ups, and more! What better subject than airplanes and airports, endlessly fascinating to children of all ages-from the detailed instruments of a Boeing 747 cockpit to the mysterious innards of a baggage carousel, The Ultimate Book of Airports delivers absorbing information and hours of fun. It's the perfect book to prepare young readers for a first flight!
    • £15.89
    • RRP £15.99
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  • Airbus A380 - a History

    Graham Simons

    Product Code: AKNZM
    Hardback
    Every 7 minutes, an A380 takes off or lands somewhere in the world...The Airbus was initially designed and developed in order to provide a contender to the Boeing's growing monopoly of the skies in the biggest large-aircraft market in the world. Ambitious in design, the undertaking seemed mammoth. Yet scores of aviation engineers and pilots worked to get the design off the ground and the Airbus in our skies. This double-decker, wide-body, 4 engine jet airliner promised to redefine expectations when it came to commercial flight. Five years on from its launch, Graham Simons provides us with this, an impressively illustrated narrative history of the craft, its achievements, and the legacy it looks set to provide to a new generation of aviation engineers, enthusiasts and passengers. Operated by airlines such as Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Quantas and Lufthansa, the story of the A380 could be said to represent the story of modern-day travel itself, characterised by major technological advances across the world that constantly push the boundaries of expectation. Sure to appeal broadly across the market, this is very much a commemorative volume, preserving the history of this iconic craft in words and images.
    • £23.09
    • RRP £25.00
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  • Jetliners of the Red Star

    Charles Kennedy

    Product Code: CBVJD
    Paperback
    This is a story that has never been told before, pulling back the Iron Curtain to reveal the lives of the jet airliners of the Soviet Union, full of previously unseen stories and previously unpublished information. The Tupolevs, Ilyushins and Yakovlevs, including the supersonic Tu-144, get a chapter each, lavishly illustrated with rare photos from the past and present. An introductory essay details the history of Aeroflot and the Soviet aerospace establishment. Tragedy and triumph, crushing defeats and stratospheric successes in the parallel world of the airline scene during the Cold War. This book tells the story of every jetliner produced by the Soviet Union, including the Tupolev Tu-104 (the world's first successful passenger jet), the Ilyushin Il-62 (Aeroflot's flagship) and the supersonic rival to Concorde, the Tu-144. Other chapters cover the Tu-154 workhorse, the Il-86/-96 jumbo jet and the world's first regional jet, the Yak-40 (and -42). The meltdown of political certainties coincided with the Tu-204, which was able to form a bridge out of the old Soviet era into the current age. The story of commercial aviation and aero engineering behind the Iron Curtain is told in fascinating detail accompanied by beautiful illustrations taken from Russian archives by Charles Kennedy, one of aviation's best-known writers. Not only for aviation fans but also a fascinating look Soviet history, European socialism and the evolution of technology. Additional info Chapter each on the Tu-104/-124, -134, -144, -154 & -204; Il-62 & -86/-96; Yak-40/-42; and an essay on the history of Aeroflot. Bonus feature: SU's epic winter 1985/86 timetable reproduced in full. 158 pages and over 250 classic pics.
    • £22.80
    • RRP £24.00
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  • Single No. 08: Messerschmitt Me 410 A-1

    Dariusz Karnas

    Product Code: CBLHX
    Paperback
    A compilation for aero modellers of 4-view colour profiles, scale plans and photo details of the single variant of the Messerschmitt Me 410 A-1, with scale plans in 1/72 and 1/48 scales plus drawings from wartime technical manuals.
    • £7.20
    • RRP £9.00
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  • Air Ambulance Manual

    Claire Robinson

    Product Code: BYNGV
    Hardback
    A unique insight into the UK air-ambulance service, with the aim of raising awareness of the remarkable work carried out by the services, and the effort required behind the scenes to ensure the successful, safe and efficient operation of helicopters and crew around the country. This book looks at the history of air ambulance services, the various different models for their structure, how they are funded, organised and run, the helicopters used and the roles of crew members and support staff, with case studies of typical missions undertaken. Written with the cooperation of Haynes' local air ambulance service - Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance - a donation from each copy sold will be made to the national Air Ambulances UK charity.
    • £18.39
    • RRP £22.99
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  • Forty-Seven Years Aloft: From Cold War Fighters and Flying the PM to Commercial Jets

    Burdett, Brian

    Product Code: BYNAN
    Hardback
    London-born Brian Burdett had only one career objective - to be a pilot. By the time that he touched down on his last flight, Brian had flown more than twenty-five different types of aircraft both for the RAF and a variety of famous commercial airlines. It all began for Brian, as it has for so many, with the Air Cadets, flying Tiger Moths at the age of just fourteen. He obtained his civil license at the age of seventeen, and six months later he was accepted into the RAF. The year was 1954. With the RAF he graduated from Piston Provost trainers, to the de Havilland Vampire and eventually the Hawker Hunter. It was to fly Hunters that Brian was posted to 257 (Burma) Squadron at Wattisham in Suffolk, where the jets were frequently scrambled to intercept Soviet intruders in the dark days of the Cold War. His RAF career developed further with a transfer to Transport Command where Brian could fly the planes he loved the best - the big jets. After training on Handley Page Hastings, Brian was given the chance to fly the famous de Havilland Comet. With 216 Squadron, flying high above the ceiling for commercial aircraft, Brian flew the long-distance routes between the RAF bases around the world, through the Middle East, Pakistan, Shri Lanka and down to South Africa and Australasia. This included taking personnel to Woomera and Christmas Island nuclear testing sites. After a period as a trainer at Cranwell, Brian became the youngest four-jet captain in the world. He then flew VIPs around Europe in the RAF's VC10s, his passengers included the then Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, among other dignitaries. Brian eventually turned to the commercial world, flying Falcons, VC 10s, Tristars and every type of Boeing 747, for a variety of airlines. His adventures are legion. From a double engine failure on take-off and still managing to land safely, to losing control in cloud and levelling off feet from the ground, to a mid-air near miss with an American aircraft that no-one knew was there, to spotting a strange object that remains unidentified to this day. Brian's last flight was into Los Angeles in an Airbus 340, in December 2000\. He had 22,500 hours in his log book, after forty-seven years aloft.
    • £24.99
    • RRP £25.00
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  • Corsair KD431

    David Morris

    Product Code: BYJPH
    Paperback
    In 2000, the Fleet Air Arm Museum conservation team embarked on an ambitious project to explore what remained of any original paintwork and markings on its WW2 Corsair fighter aircraft. The painstaking, inch-by-inch removal of a 1960s paint layer from the whole aircraft slowly revealed that the entire aircraft remained authentic and original in its 1940s wartime condition. The detailed forensic approach allowed the valuable and (many) unique details to be studied and preserved, allowing the team to chart the aircraft's history from factory to end of Royal Navy service. A unique and fascinating project that resulted in a true time capsule being exposed and preserved.
    • £20.00
    • RRP £25.00
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  • The Jet Provost

    Martyn Chorlton

    Product Code: BYGWL
    Paperback
    Initially designed and built by Hunting Percival, the Jet Provost was a jet-powered development of the piston Provost trainer, which only entered service five years before its more powerful younger sibling. The Jet Provost became the RAF's first ab initio jet trainer when it entered service in 1955 and would staunchly remain in this crucial role until 1993 when it was replaced by the turboprop-powered Tucano. During its long service career with the RAF, the Jet Provost progressed through seven marks, although it was only from the T.3 onwards that numbers began to climb. In 1960, Hunting Percival, which was renamed Hunting three years earlier, was taken over by BAC. It was under this new management that the Jet Provost was offered to a world audience with some success in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Iraq, Venezuela and Sudan. It was at this point that a dedicated ground-attack version was created in the shape of the Strikemaster, of which 146 were built, serving with a number of air forces across the globe.
    • £12.79
    • RRP £15.99
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  • Southampton Airport Through Time

    Peter C. Brown

    Product Code: BYAUK
    Paperback
    Southampton Airport boasts a long history, with the first aircraft taking off from the original site at Stoneham Farm in 1910. Requisitioned by the War Office in 1917 as an aircraft assembly area, it was given to the US Navy to develop. The current airport was established in 1932, and was the test bed for R. J. Mitchell's prototype Spitfire. The airport was commissioned as HMS Raven in 1939, and subsequently spent most of the war in service with the Royal Navy. Regular air services returned in 1945, and by the early 1950s Southampton was one of the busiest airports outside of London. Despite the nationwide slump in air passenger traffic during the 1970s, huge investment was made by its owners Airports UK Ltd, and a decade later it was purchased by the British Airports Authority. Currently owned by Heathrow Airport Holdings, it is steadily climbing the ranks of the UK's busiest airports.
    • £11.99
    • RRP £14.99
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  • Boulton Paul Defiant

    Alec Brew

    Product Code: BYAAM
    Paperback
    Fighting over the beaches of Dunkirk and in the Battle of Britain, guarding the night skies during the perilous months of the Blitz, pioneering electronic countermeasures, and serving air-sea rescue roles all around our coasts, the Boulton Paul Defiant played a vital part through most of the Second World War, finishing it in the important target-tug role. The Defiant is rightly considered Wolverhampton's highest profile contribution to the war, and the most important product of Boulton Paul Aircraft. This book celebrates the contribution of the Defiant to the war in over 200 illustrations, most from Boulton Paul's own archives, and many never published before. It exposes some of the false myths attached to an aircraft held in great affection by many of its crews.
    • £11.99
    • RRP £14.99
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  • Race the Atlantic Wind

    Oisin McGann

    Product Code: BXYHJ
    Paperback
    In the spring of 1919, after the end of the First World War, teams of pilots and navigators begin to gather on the North American island of Newfoundland. They are attempting what many believe to be impossible - to fly non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean. Equipped with machines made mostly from wood, fabric and wire, they intend to fly the 1,800 miles to Ireland, in the face of the merciless North Atlantic weather. John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown are late to arrive. Competing against some of Europe's most famous pilots, these two British war veterans are considered rank outsiders. Maggie McRory is a sixteen-year-old girl who sees the gathering of all these aircraft and their crews as a chance to escape her narrow existence. Her war-scarred uncle, however, views them as a threat to the island and his way of life. This absurdly dangerous contest is going to change the world . . .
    • £6.39
    • RRP £7.99
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  • Zeppelin Hindenburg

    Dan Grossman

    Product Code: BXLTB
    Paperback
    ON 6 MAY 1937 the pioneering Zeppelin Hindenburg, LZ-129, ended its career in flames when its hydrogen lifting gas ignited while landing at Lakehurst, New Jersey. But the airship had already completed sixty-two successful flights before this fateful day, catering to Nazi officials, socialites and the well-heeled. Hindenburg offered cutting-edge transport technology with luxury and style, making it a spectacle to behold on both sides of the Atlantic, and was expected to be just the first of many giant passenger Zeppelins. In this revised edition with additional material, three world-renowned experts have collaborated to create the definitive history of the Zeppelin Hindenburg. Using stunning black-and-white and colour photographs, diagrams and new information, this detailed book highlights the sheer style of this mammoth lighter-than-air craft and explains the shocking disaster that signalled the end of airship travel.
    • £20.00
    • RRP £25.00
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  • Chasing the Demon

    Dan Hampton

    Product Code: BXJEO
    Paperback
    NATIONAL BESTSELLER * At the end of World War II, a band of aces gathered in the Mojave Desert on a Top Secret quest to break the sound barrier-nicknamed "The Demon" by pilots. The true story of what happened in those skies has never been told. Speed. In 1947, it represented the difference between victory and annihilation. After Hiroshima, the ability to deliver a nuclear device to its target faster than one's enemy became the singular obsession of American war planners. And so, in the earliest days of the Cold War, a highly classified program was conducted on a desolate air base in California's Mojave Desert. Its aim: to push the envelope of flight to new frontiers. There gathered an extraordinary band of pilots, including Second World War aces Chuck Yeager and George Welch, who risked their lives flying experimental aircraft to reach Mach 1, the so-called sound barrier, which pilots called "the demon." Shrouding the program in secrecy, the US military reluctantly revealed that the "barrier" had been broken two months later, after the story was leaked to the press. The full truth has never been fully revealed-until now. Chasing the Demon, from decorated fighter pilot and acclaimed aviation historian Dan Hampton, tells, for the first time, the extraordinary true story of mankind's quest for Mach 1. Here, of course, is twenty-four-year-old Captain Chuck Yeager, who made history flying the futuristic Bell X-1 faster than the speed of sound on October 14, 1947. Officially Yeager was the first to achieve supersonic flight, but drawing on new interviews with survivors of the program, including Yeager's former commander, as well as declassified files, Hampton presents evidence that a fellow American-George Welch, a daring fighter pilot who shot down a remarkable sixteen enemy aircraft during the Pacific War-met the demon first, though he was not favored to wear the laurels, as he was now a civilian test pilot and was not flying the Bell X-1. Chasing the Demon sets the race between Yeager and Welch in the context of aviation history, so that the reader can learn and appreciate their accomplishments as never before.
    • £8.79
    • RRP £10.99
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  • The F-14 Tomcat

    Terry C. Treadwell

    Product Code: BXIZN
    Paperback
    The ideas behind the Grumman F-14 Tomcat first began to take shape back in the late 1950s when it was discovered that the Soviet Union was quickly developing an increasingly accurate airborne missile system that would pose a major threat to the US Navy's warships. Entering service in 1974 with VF-1 and VF-2 on USS Enterprise, the F-14 was one of the most sophisticated, reliable and deadly aircraft of its day. In this book, author Terry Treadwell looks at the development and evolution of the F-14 and its subsequent operational history with the US Navy, including encounters with Soviet-made Libyan MiG fighters over the Mediterranean as well as the 1991 Gulf War, the war in Afghanistan and the 2003 Iraq war. The book also looks at the sale of the F-14 to the Shah of Iran. Including more than 100 photos covering the F-14 from development through to the final stages of its career, this book will give the reader an insight into one of the most iconic aircraft of its day.
    • £11.99
    • RRP £14.99
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  • The Great War Display Team

    Ernie Hoblyn

    Product Code: BXHPJ
    Paperback
    The Great War Display Team was founded in 1988 and has since gone on to become one of Britain's premier display teams, with a wealth of talented pilots passing through its ranks and amazing crowds with a variety of recreated aircraft including Fokker Dr1s, Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5s, a Sopwith Triplane and an Avro 504. Having built a replica Sopwith Triplane and flown it for more than a decade as part of the team, taking part in choreographed dog fight routines, Ernie Hoblyn is uniquely positioned to offer a fascinating insight into the construction of these aircraft and the realities of flying in the First World War - including the vast differences between the handling of modern aircraft and that of machines used during the war. With unprecedented access and a range of interesting photography, this is a fascinating look at what it takes to construct, pilot and display a vintage flying machine.
    • £11.99
    • RRP £14.99
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  • Project Apollo

    Norman Ferguson

    Product Code: BXGCG
    Hardback
    The Apollo missions to the Moon are some of the most successful and well-remembered manned spaceflights that NASA has ever accomplished, taking place in the heyday of space travel. Indeed, the programme was the only one to achieve the ultimate goal of placing humankind on the Moon, which it did no less than six times between 1969 and 1972. Here aviation author Norman Ferguson reveals fascinating facts and figures, and recounts amazing stories about the astronauts, their spacecraft and their missions whose achievements have never been surpassed.
    • £8.79
    • RRP £10.99
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  • Aircraft of the Cold War

    Thomas Newdick

    Product Code: BWWDW
    Hardback
    Illustrated with detailed artworks of combat aircraft and their markings, The Essential Aircraft Identification Guide: Aircraft of the Cold War is a comprehensive study of the planes in service with NATO and the Warsaw Pact and their respective units from the end of World War II until the reunification of Germany. Arranged chronologically by theatre, the book gives a complete organisational breakdown of the units of both sides, including the units and aircraft used in the proxy wars fought in Korea, Vietnam, the Middle East and elsewhere as well as the`front-line' in Germany. Each section includes a compact history of the role and impact of aircraft on the course of the Cold War, as well as orders of battle, lists of commanders and aces such as Nikolai Sutyagin, Randall "Duke" Cunningham, Giora Epstein, and Majid Zugbi. Every type of aircraft is featured, including the numerous variations and types of well-known models, such as the MiG-15, the McDonnell Douglas F-15 and the Harrier, through to lesser-known aircraft, such as the Lockheed P-80, and the Myasishchev M-4 Bison. Each aircraft profile is accompanied by exhaustive specifications, as well as details of individual and unit markings. Packed with 250 colour profiles of every major type of combat aircraft from the era, The Essential Aircraft Identification Guide: Aircraft of the Cold War is an essential reference guide for modellers, military historians and aircraft enthusiasts.
    • £15.99
    • RRP £19.99
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  • Consolidated B24 Vol.2

    David Doyle

    Product Code: BWVGJ
    Hardback
    The B-24 Liberator remains to this day the world's most produced heavy bomber and multi-engine aircraft, and the most-produced military aircraft in US history, with almost 19,000 examples leaving the assembly lines of five plants. Through a broad range of photos gathered from around the world, this book, the second of two volumes on the B-24, chronicles the design, development, and wartime use of the iconic late-production aircraft, featuring gun turrets on the nose. The story of these iconic WWII aircraft is told through carefully researched photos, many never before published, which are reproduced in remarkable clarity. Large, clear images, coupled with descriptive and informative captions, unlock the secrets of this aircraft. Part of the Legends of Warfare series.
    • £18.99
    • RRP £19.99
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Great aviation books that cover a variety of the finest vehicles

We have a huge selection of aircraft books that cover everything from the very first flying machines all the way to modern fighter planes and space shuttles. Whether you’re interested in aircraft design, maintenance or history, you’re sure to find a fascinating read.

Incredible stories and tales of piloting feats and events

Relive some of the most terrifying and impressive experiences in piloting history. Grab a new book detailing the countless disasters involved with attempts to land on the moon, life-saving landings and even wartime dogfights!