Monday, July 21, 2008

Review: Last of the Flying Clippers: The Boeing B-314 Story by M.D. Klaas

This is another entry in the Schiffer Library of big, glossy but fairly high priced books. In this case the price is well justified. The author, who native language is apparently not English, tells the complete story of the Boeing B-314 Flying Clipper. There is just a marvelous amount of detail about the original concept for the aircraft, the actions by Pan-Am to fund construction, the headaches of international diplomacy to negotiate landing rights overseas, and so on and so forth. An entire chapter is devoted to a walk-through of the aircraft, while another details the training and career progression of the Clipper crews. The book covers the pre-war flights by Pan-Am and then in even more detail relates the wartime activities of the aircraft when they were operated by Pan-Am for the military and also by the British government. Finally the short post war lives of the various aircraft are followed, till they were either lost in accidents or broken up for scrap. And in the middle of all this there are the odd chapters just describing what it was like to fly across the ocean on a clipper. Most definitely recommended. And one bit of trivia for you. The Boeing B-314 Flying Clipper was the only aircraft known to have included a stand up urinal!

Link to LibraryThing entry for this book

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