In the Cockpit Inside 50 History-Making Aircraft

Author: Dana Bell  


Hardcover: 144 pages

Publisher: Harper Design; 1st edition (May 1, 2007)

Language: English

Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 1 x 10.3 inches

1. Introduction

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum holds the country's premier collection of historic aircrafts, but visitors must view these impressive structures at a distance.

In the Cockpit captures the feeling of helming these historic craft with big, gorgeous four–color photographs that will give flight enthusiasts a true pilot's eye view of many of history's most important domestic and military airplanes, jets, and helicopters. Each entry includes archival images of the craft and authoritative text that places each one in the context of the development of aviation technology and world history.

About the Author

Dana Bell is a leading expert on the history of aviation. Now retired after thirty years with the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, he was formerly Technical Information Specialist at the NASM Archives and also worked at the U.S. Air Force Still Photo Depository. He is the author of more than twenty books on aviation subjects, including "At the Controls"; "Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Directory of Airplanes"; and "One Hundred Years of World Military Aircraft".

2. Comment

1) By David W. Straight on March 5, 2009

Format: Hardcover

There are some wonderful flight sims out there. You can sit at your PC and fly all sorts of aircraft. Not too bad, huh? With most of these sims you can see the controls. Sometimes the controls are rendered quite faithfully, at other times you get a generic rendition. In this book, however, you'll find that other than for WW I craft, interiors get very complex indeed.

50 aircraft interiors are covered here--lots of well-done full-color photographs. With the Halberstadt CL IV in 1917 you get a spartan cockpit--about a half-dozen gauges and a handful of switches and levers. It shouldn't be too hard remembering which is which. Taking off, flying, and landing, well, that's different. The 1937 Piper Cub--still quite simple. The 1927 Lockheed Vega--maybe 15 gauges, and 20 levers. The Hurricane of WW II begins to look quite a bit more intimidating: the Corsair takes another jump in complexity. The MIG-15 begins to look despairingly difficult (yet pilots regularly flew it). The Concorde looks as if it might require its own 250-page section in a flight sim manual. Leave the actual flying to others--while you browse this delightful book!

2) By David Palermo on May 2, 2007

Format: Hardcover

This book is beautiful! I saw it at Borders today. Even if you are not interested in cockpits you should pick up this book. Cockpits are interesting and these are some of the most famous aircraft of all time.

BEAUTIFUL photography. In addition to the photos I really enjoyed the nostalgic look and feel to the book. A very cool book indeed by two of the world's best aircraft photographers. No wonder they work at the Smithsonian...

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