Pan Am: an Airline and Its Aircraft
Pan Am: an Airlines and Its Aircraft, R.E.G. Davies (Mike Machat, illustrator), 1987, ISBN o-517-56639-7, 90 pp.
Davies and Machat have, in only 90 pages, created a treasure chest of Pan Am’s history. Davies has assembled lessor know though significant facts, as well as insight, in superbly written text and well-directed tables. Machat has illustrated each of the 36 specifically covered aircraft superbly, including special silver-grey ink representing bare aluminum, with the line drawing of a Boeing 747 as background for spectacular effect and comprehension of airline advancement through the years. What years they were! All 64 of Pan Am as an airline with Juan Trippe as the force of evolution which resulted in milestones we take for granted today (wide body airliners, affordable passenger travel, a complete logistics network, long haul overseas flights and the concept of flight crews as passenger ship crews).
Davies did not choose to write the easy part of the history. He instead chose to write the history objectively and without the temptation to cheer. This objectivity and completeness of research are what makes this book a must for any library or reader of aviation’s history. Thankfully, the author is gifted with reducing facts to an accurate synthesis — for example, noting that Pan Am purchased 982 aircraft (plus 20 with the dissolution of (SCADTA) with 103 being their famed flying boats (though providing tables in each aircraft type of the construction number, registration number and name). The perspective on flying boats is exceptional as are Machat’s illustrations of routes and heritage. Images from the archives of Pan Am’s and the National Air & Space Museum complete the Pan Am: an Airlines and Its Aircraft.