Flying Warbirds: an illustrated profile of the Flying Heritage Collection’s rare WWII-era aircraft, Cory Graff, 2014, ISBN 9780760346495, 240 pp., 195 color & 59 b/w photos
Flying Warbirds is a book fitting comfortably into the coffee table book category with its somewhat large format and photographs with image quality almost beyond belief. It is also a heartfelt story told of a one percenter who is not only giving back but keeping a significant thread of history alive. Flying Warbirds is obviously centered on the collection’s World War II era aircraft, which regularly return to the air, in Paul G. Allen’s* Flying Heritage Collection (FHC) though this book’s story is so much richer and enlightening than a coffee table book may suggest. Allen’s father served as a combatant in the U.S. Army during World War II and his son honors his memory with the preservation of these aircraft so that we can see and hear these machines take flight and recall in someway what those exacting days of Word War II must have been like for those who lived them. More, Cory Graff’s writing is enlightening beginning with a delightfully thought provoking essay regarding technology and time which best explains how events which occur today have their roots in the past and that history is not a linear unfolding of time but a skein knit from many threads which run in parallel and perpendicularly as well as becoming knotted — all at the same time.
Graff continues with a description of the flying World War II era aircraft in the FHC — there are more aircraft displayed at the FHC as well as other vehicles and these are briefly addressed by Graff — with photographs taken by the best of air-to-air photographers as well as museum quality aircraft portraiture. These images show these aircraft as they live and breathe, often showing details so intimate that only a few of the FHC’s mechanics must have known them before Graff’s present book. Graff also relates the individual history of each aircraft as well as the history of the type — again with an intimacy showing respect and deep awareness of the niche each aircraft occupies in history. Graff’s writing is so good that even a person not inspired by aircraft will come to love these Flying Warbirds, and all readers will learn from as well as admire the book’s outstanding images.
Aircraft in Flying Warbirds
|Curtiss JN-4D Jenny||Polikarpov U-2 (PO-2)||Polikarpov I-16 Type 24 “Rata”|
|Hawker Hurricane Mk XII||Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3||Supermarine Spitfire F.Mk.VC|
|Curtiss P-40C Tomahawk||Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-5 Würger||Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-13 Würger|
|North American P-51D Mustang||Ilyushin Il 2M3 Shturmmovik||Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat|
|Mitsubishi A6M3-22 Reisen “Zero”||Messerschmitt Me 163B-1 Komet||Fiesler Fi 156C-2 Storch|
|North American B-25J Mitchell||Republic P-47D Thunderbolt|
|Nakajima Ki 43 Hayabusa “Oscar” Type 1|
|Messerschmitt Me 262A-1A Schwalbe|
|Plus many additional interesting images of other exhibits in the Flying Heritage Collection|
* Paul G. Allen is one of the co-founders of Microsoft Corporation and has used much of his vast resources in philanthropic pursuits.
As is the publishing business custom, Zenith Press and On-line Bookstore provided a copy of this book for an objective review.