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Book Review – Aircraft: The Definitive Visual History – WIN A COPY

Aircraft-Cover

This website gets pitched to review quite a few books and most of the time, we respectfully decline. But when I was asked to take a look at Aircraft: The Definitive Visual History, I was intrigued. SEE BELOW ON HOW YOU CAN WIN A COPY [it is easy and fun].

The book is an entertaining and light way to explore the history of aviation. People who are not too interested in aviation and those who are hardcore AvGeeks will be able to enjoy different aspects of the book.

Really, the book is more of an information starting point than an tell-all source. Although there is not much information for each aircraft, there are  tons and tons of aircraft and photos in the book. Keep a computer near, because there were more than a few times I become interested in wanting to learn more about a plane and did some additional research.

The book is divided into different decades and starts with zeppelins “Before 1920″ and goes to SpaceShipTwo in “After 2000.” There are about 300 pages of content and thousands of photos = tons of eye candy.

One of the page from the book.

One of the page from the book.

Worked among the pages are highlights of either a particular aircraft or aircraft manufacture that gives much more detail. The sections for aircraft share multiple photos from inside and out.

Although, I was overall very pleased with the book, there were two parts that made me do a double take. First, when talking about the MD-88, the book refers to Delta as “Delta Airlines,” versus “Delta Air Lines.” It is a common mistake, but still something to be noticed.

More of an issue was on a page talking about airlines developments in the 1990s and the A320. It says that the A320-200 came out in 1995 and that, “The A320-200 series is similar to the earlier -100 models, with the most obvious difference being the addition of enlarged winglets (sharklets).”

A few things wrong there. First, the A320-200 did not come out in 1995, but in 1988. Secondly, the first A320 with sharklets was delivered in 2012, well later than 1995. Also they used an image of the first A320 with sharklets (reg F-WWIQ) that was from 2012 versus an A320 from 1995. It seems odd that multiple people were able to overlook this information, but I don’t think it is enough to ruin the whole book experience for sure.

WIN A COPY OF AIRCRAFT: THE DEFINITIVE VISUAL HISTORY

The publisher of the book is willing to give out two free copies of the book to our readers. After thinking of a way to make this contest happen, I want to keep it as simple as possible. All you have to do is leave one comment stating your favorite aircraft ever [more than one will not increase your odds and if you try cheating, you will be disqualified].

When you leave your comment [there are no wrong answers], make sure to include a valid email address in the proper place [I will be the only one to see it and ONLY use it to email the winners]. You have until Thursday July 25th, 2013 at 5pm PST to leave your comment. At that time, I will run a random number generator twice to determine the two winners and the books will be mailed on over to you. Good luck!

CONGRATULATIONS to Steve Z and Micah E who won copies of the book. Thanks everyone for sharing! 

This story written by… David Parker Brown, Editor & Founder.David started AirlineReporter.com in the summer of 2008, but has had a passion for aviation since he was a kid. Born and raised in the Seattle area (where he is currently based) has surely had an influence and he couldn’t imagine living anywhere else in the world.

@ARdpb | Flickr | YouTube | david@airlinereporter.com

187 comments to Book Review – Aircraft: The Definitive Visual History – WIN A COPY

  • D. King

    My favorite aircraft: Skywest CRJ-700 N719SK. First plane my un-born baby flew on. Gotta start them early!

  • Roger

    Fokker F28 – flown by the Royal airline of the country I grew up in.

  • petten

    747 — still the most beautiful.

    I like this publisher’s visual books. I have a copy of their visual dictionary of orchestra. Needless to say, it tells you in pictures about the music instruments in a classic orchestra and how they (and the musicians) are laid out on the stage.

  • Michael

    Concorde! Do I really need to explain why?

  • Bryan

    The 737-900, since it’s the plane that I’m on for flights back home to visit family and friends.

  • Peter M.

    My favorite plane is the YS-11. The noisiest and most memorable flight I have ever been on (via long defunct Mid Pacific Air in Hawaii)

  • Paul Tucknott

    Any version of the Boeing 747. A beautiful aircraft by any standard!

  • Steve Mohan

    Mine is the Beech 1900D. Awesome plane, and awesome pilots tend to fly it.

  • Ernesto

    The Boeing 747. As a teen I always marveled at this aircraft. It was and still is a beauty to me. Queen of the skies as someone coined the phrase.

  • Definitely fokker f 28,i work in aerolíneas argentinas since 1989,many planes,one life.

  • Jeff

    Vought F4U Corsair, beautiful gull wing carrier plane

  • Nick Brown

    My favorite aircraft is the Cessna 172. It isn’t fancy but most of the world’s pilots grew up flying these!

  • Jackson

    Cliche but the Boeing 747 takes the cake. Grew up watching this giant grace the skies over my hometown. Still excites me when I see the odd one coming in for a landing.

  • Allen

    My favorite is the Boeing 707-320. My first flight was on one operated by Cathay Pacific many, many moons ago. It got me hooked on planes!

  • Stacy Gallagher

    Hard to beat the 747. Beautiful to see but also how it evokes an epic journey.

  • Ben

    I think I’d have to go with the 757-300. So ungainly, yet so graceful.

  • Brandon

    Boeing C-17. Beauty and functionality.

  • Paul R Minton

    My favorite is the Boeing 777. I watched the Public TV series of its conception and manufacture on VCR tapes while exercising dozens of times. First aircraft built from computer blueprints and even got to sit in captain’s chair around 1997. Amazing safety record.

  • Maineguy

    The DC-3 has always been one of my favorites for so many reasons. Then again I have a strong affinity to the PBY. Flew in the right hand seat of a DC-3 once, still hope to one day hop a ride in a PBY.

  • Benno

    Its gotta be the 777 with the GE90 engines. What an absolute beast!

  • Jacob

    I have to go with the DC-10-30, When I was little I used to fly on it to Gatwick from MSP on good old Northwest Airlines.

  • Laura Laster

    The B747-100 – classic and a leap forward in shrinking the globe. Plus, Pan Am was a launch customer!

  • jay

    My favorite plane. The 737. Changed the way the world.flew. From launch customer lufthansa to the owners of the newest versions, the B737 made it pissible for people to fly, cutting short the distances and the prices. For the rich
    , There will always be the B747 and the DC-10’s, but for the common man, the B737 classic gave them their first taste of flight.

  • sudheer

    Concord – without an ‘e’ :)…I like it for its speed…its the first and the last aircraft to take commercial passengers to the edge of space.

  • Matt

    737-200 I just think the plane and engines really look good together also the sound cant beat the sound of it taking off.

  • MattK

    Boeing 727. Always liked the look of the triple engine configuration, especially the intake over the rear fuselage.

  • Rick

    Boeing 707…a beautifully proportioned aircraft. A game-changer for sure!

  • Rob

    For me , it’s always been the Airbus A340-600. ^^

  • Jose L. Henriquez

    My favorite is the Boeing 777. Although my first ever ride was on a 737, my favorite airline flights A320.

  • Scott Garner

    My all-time favorite: Boeing 747-400, plane :) and simple.

  • Boris Buzan

    B-727-200 N405BN “The Snake” the Calder painted Spirit of 76 Braniff jet that had a snake on the #1 nacelle. I was a new hire FE at Braniff in 1977, and “The Snake” would always show up for me in Mexico City in the summer, it was the heaviest EOW 727 in the fleet and the only one with JT9D-7 engines rather than the -9’s all the other -200’s had. Had to watch the weights in MEX or else “The Snake” would bit you on TO.p

  • Daniel

    Airbus a380

  • Kaigan

    727-200. I’m 20 and I wasn’t a avgeek when I was a kid so I don’t know if I have ever flown on a 727 but I think it’s a beautiful plane. I get to see a 727 two or three times a year at Embry-Riddle when Roush Fenway comes around for races in Daytona. Favorite modern plane is the 777-300ER though.

  • Blaine

    DC10- first wide body I ever flew!

  • Jose

    Who can beat the BAC 1-11. The noisiest twin jet I have ever flown. And the DC-3 — classic.

  • Michael Shie

    My favourite aircraft that I have flown is the DC-10. I flew on The Japan Airlines DC-10 to Canada at the age of 4. It was my first memory of flying and It made start to like airplanes and airlines more.

  • Andrew Vane

    My favorite would have to be the versatile workhorse of the jet age, the Boeing 727, for its short field capabilities, range, and legacy.

  • adam

    The 747, definitely, especially when seated upstairs. It’s such a classic design.

  • Steve

    Concorde. Also P-51

  • Jonathan

    The Boeing 747. Looks fantastic and defined long-haul aviation for many years.

  • The L1011. It has been a favorite since I was a kid, long before I was an avgeekn

  • Rainman

    My favorite plane is the KC-10A / DC-10-30. I flew on the KC-10A for 10 years in the USAF and then went on to fly the DC-10-30 and -30F for 6 years. A fantastic machine.

  • Alfred

    Concorde – the most sleek, elegant, sophisticated airliner ever built

  • Steve Rabin

    The Connie…I’m too young to have flown on one, but it was a thrill seeing the one on the ground that lives in Basel, Switzerland. Such clean lines and an elegance of a bygone era. Really a beautiful bird.

  • Christopher

    This looks like it will be a good read, and addition to my aviation library. Thanks for sharing.
    My all time favorite aircraft is the Lockheed L-188 Electra. It’s development and production was overshadowed by the advent of jet commercial transports. But the Lockheed qualities and performance were phenomenal. It did go on to contribute to the advancement of commercial aviation around the world, and plow the skies for many decades.
    Again thanks for offering this opportunity.

  • Haziq

    My favorite aircraft is ATR72-500 series. I amazed with the propellers spinning beside both seats and I like the small body aircraft that can carries many passengers and loads. Although the engine sounds can be heard throughout the flight inside the cabin, I found it not distracting me at all. I have flown with the aircraft quite frequent since it connects my place of study to my hometown.

  • Daniel

    Kind of a difficult question, since each plane has a fascination of its own. But atm I would also choose the Super Connie. Saw her fly recently and she was so graceful.

  • My favorite plane is the Airbus A380 because it is the biggest commercial jet in the world and you don’t see a lot of women at the controls of it. Despite female Airline Pilots being a minority many women are now flying the A380 such as Kerstin Felser and Mirijana Ivanovic. These women are role models to me because they shattered all assumptions and went on to become 2 out of a handful of women flying the biggest plane in the world. The A380 is my favourite plane because not only is it the biggest plane in the world but because it represents a myriad of accomplishments for the human race.

  • matt

    There is something about the sleek look of the 727 that really thrills me and makes it my favorite.

  • Kevin

    My favorite would have to be the Boeing 747. Such a fantastic looking aircraft.

  • Derrick

    Most definitely the Boeing 747. She truly is the Queen of the Skies!

  • Vijay Dwivedi

    Dreamliner 787 is my choice as it is spacious, low noise …

  • GJGalik

    As a kid growing up with Pan Am pilot Dad in the 60s – hands down favorite aircraft is the Boeing 707-320B! No greater memories of air travel as it was then…

  • Paulo

    My favorite airliner is the Boeing 747-8. I love this evolution of this most beautiful aircraft. I LOVE IT!

  • Stuart H

    For me it’s got to be the Avro RJ100, fantastic little aircraft that will be missed in a few years.

  • Devin Durant

    Nothing like the overpowered 757 out of SNA.

  • Sam C

    747: Amazingly graceful for its size. (Though the 787 really does have the most comfortable cruising environment I’ve experienced. Haven’t been able to get in a 787-8, yet. Hoping Boeing can offer the best of both worlds.)

  • Sam C

    Meant 747-8 back there. Oops!

  • Alex Y

    My favourite is the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser. The original double-decker.

  • My favorite aircraft is B777-300ER.

  • Shane

    I’ve got a very special place in my heart for a certain 1929 Bellanca CH-300 Pacemaker. NC251M…It was Hawaiian Airlines very first aircraft and also a very early Alaska Airlines craft. My father’s friend’s family owned it for a number of decades and the whole family has been up in her numerous times…on floats and on wheels. In fact, I helped spot weld the Edo floats when I was about 10. She’s the only flying example of the type, and I was just too young to realize just how awesome of a craft it was. Haven’t seen the craft for about 10-15 years sadly.

    It now is owned by Hawaiian Airlines and believe it’s stationed in Honolulu

  • Rowan O

    Really hard question, but I have managed to narrow it down to a Fokker F27. Back in the 70’s my Dad picked one up from Amsterdam and ferried it halfway around the world. I then worked on this fine bird as a ramp rat in the 80’s.

  • Sachin Sanghai

    Undoubtedly it has to be 747

  • Stefan T

    Well, I love Douglas Planes and the DC9 series in all variations is my favourite type of plane.

  • Tough question, has to be Boeing, ( although Dassault makes beautiful a/c also!), I’ll go 727, versatile ( combi), gravel ops, Executive configuration for Sports Teams, all economy for Charter, flew them all. Reliable, fast, strong and good looking!

  • Joe

    My favourite aircraft is the Junkers Ju 52. It’s body panels inspired Rimow’s line of metal luggage

  • Alex H

    The L-1049 Super Constellation. Nothing more needs to be said.

  • Chris

    My favorite would be the 777- a fantastically durable aircraft first launched by legacy United.

  • Anthony PoLichetti

    My favorite aircraft is the B747SP.

  • CK Tai

    B747 hands down! (although the 787-9 is close behind!)

  • F Bergh

    B747. Remember my family traveling to LAX just to see a JAL 747-100 arrive.

  • Corey White

    My favorite aircraft has to be the Boeing 777-300ER. Such an amazing machine.

  • Jim M.

    My favorite aircraft would be the DC-7C. With the wider wingspan and the taller vertical stabilizer, it was the best looking Douglas piston engine product.

  • Antonio T.

    My favorite aircraft is, hands down, the Avro 698 Vulcan.

  • Brad

    My personal is the B52, it really goes to show you how an airframe can be updated over 60 years, and still be a viable aircraft!

  • Phillip Z.

    My favorite plane is US Air A330.

  • Francesco favazza

    My favorite aircraft is the sud aviation caravelle, the first plane I ever flew in.

  • Keith

    I’m a 757 kind of guy. Long-haul, short domestic, you name it, the 757 is your gal!

  • laurent

    Airbus A380

  • John Dovishaw

    Favorite airplane is the A10 Warthog.

  • Scott

    My favorite aircraft was the L1011.

  • Kachun Louie

    Without a doubt the Boeing 777! (especially with the Emirates livery! :D)

  • Juan Duarte

    I love the dolphin shaped Boeing 757.

  • TJ

    The E190 is spacious, smooth, and just flat out great.

  • Kush Chawla

    My favourite has to be a B – 747 which over the years has changed the way we see commercial aviation whether it is freight or passenger being carried great distances. Not only is it elegant it has been a viable choice for operators which has made ordinary sit up and look up at future with great expectation and hope.

  • Steve Z

    I love the DHC-300 (Twin Otter)– amazing STOL ability!

  • Shindig

    Favorite? That’s easy-the Boeing 707-320C in Pan Am livery-the plane that brought me back to “the world” from Vietnam after a year as an army helicopter pilot.

  • Nirann

    Mine is A310 and DC-3

  • David409

    So many choices. But I will have to go with the F-14 Tomcat. Carrier based, ready at a moments notice, and can bring a lot of different toys to the party.

  • shanan

    It’s hard to look past the B747. Always a jaw-dropper in scale and shape.

  • Neil Gaunt

    My favorite aircraft is the Short Sandringham flying boat – the speed of an (old!) aircraft and the space and comfort of an ocean liner. We flew in one.

  • Peter

    As a small child, I remember being mesmorized at the sight, and the whining turboprop sounds of the Vickers Viscount. At the age of 16, I had the great experience of being a passenger… With my nose print firmly planted on the large, circular window, as we approached Seatac airport!

  • Jack

    Consolidated PBY Catalina……..just something about an old war bird that fly’s and floats!

  • Dennis

    My favorite the DC-3 or C47 Military version was such an historic plane and still flies today in many parts of the world.

  • Travis

    Vought F4U Corsair, such a beautiful aircraft with its gull-wing design

  • Anthony Bozzi

    Boeing 747

  • John

    The Continental DC9, the Proud Bird with the Golden Tail

  • being a brazilian, gotta be the MD11 that good ol’ Varig used on most of their long haul flights. It was a really nice jet.

  • Nick

    N747001 the “City of Everett” – the plane that changed EVERYTHING! Born, raised and bred in the Pacific NW.

  • Mike Callaway

    C-141B Starlifter, the workhorse of the USAF for many years.

  • Richard

    The Boeing 727-200 is my all time choice.

  • Dave

    The Boeing 747-200 ….. my Dad flew it for 20 years – and flew aboard it with him often.

  • James

    my favorite aircraft is the 777

  • Mike

    The Boeing 727-200 – my first airline job was S/O with Braniff International.

  • Bryan

    My favorite aircraft is the MD-11.

  • Michael

    “All you have to do is leave one comment stating your favorite aircraft ever…”

    *ALL* you have to do?!?! That’s an impossible question!

    Limiting the choices to favourite airliners I can shorten the list to: Douglas DC-3 and Boeing 727.

    I’m nostalgic at heart so it’s gotta be the DC-3. The plane that started it all…

  • Bruce

    My favorite aircraft is the NASA T-38N. It’s played a supporting role in every space mission since NASA acquired them in the 1960’s

  • Paul

    C-130 — The four fans of freedom!

  • As a child, forever etched in my memory, is going to the old Albuquerque Sunport (now an art deco classic), and welcoming my grandparents arriving(hands held tightly over my ears)from San Francisco on the glorious TWA Connies-beautiful and foreboding, particularly to a ten year old boy. My love for everything flying, airlines especially, supplanted an addiction to trains.I spent many hours as a teenager on the observation deck watching the prop age evolve into jets.

  • Andrew L

    I think my overall favorite aircraft has to be Concorde.

  • Andy S.

    The Boeing 747-400 is my favorite aircraft of all time. I remember seeing a TWA “jumbo jet” at Lambert St. Louis International Airport for the first time in my life and I was jus in complete awe at the size of the aircraft.

  • T. Owens

    Sounds like a great book!

  • My favourite aircraft is antonov 225

  • Nasir

    The MiG 25 Foxbat

  • Dhairya Yadav

    My Favorites are Boeing 777-300ER and Boeing 737-900ER

  • Denzel Chung

    The Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental – the true Queen of the Skies…

  • Grzegorz Jastrzebski

    Boeing 747-8F

  • Paul Lewis

    Boeing 777

  • Concorde s/n 216 (G-BOAF, the last to be built, the last to fly, the one I had flown)!

  • L_R_S

    An-2 ;) Not that it has many chances to be in such a book…

  • Jim Spesock

    If its not Boeing, I’m not going!

  • Kevin

    Boeing 747 all the way. The true queen in the sky. Forget the A380.

  • David Smith

    Republic Rainbow, the fasted four engine piston plane ever. Unfortunately, it was not a commercial success because of cost.

  • Mark of OKC

    My Favorite is baby Boeing 737.

  • Favorite aircraft is the 777.

  • Aaron

    Beech Bonanza

  • The Triple-7 because it took me to many places that stay in my memory forever.

  • Neil

    I’ll go with the 747.

  • Kerry

    Cessna 152 – took an introductory flight lesson on one and was hooked!

  • Bogdan

    Boeing 757-300!!!! Foreover!

  • Andrew

    By far my favorite is the North American F-86 Sabre

  • Chip

    Wow…too many to list. Ok…SR-71 Blackbird!

  • My favorite plane was the Dassault-Mercure. An airliner with performances of a Dassault-fighter.

  • Liz

    Supermarine Spitfire ;)

  • I really don’t know why, but I can’t get over the “fork-tailed devil” — the P-38 Lightning. Twin booms, huge engines, the pilot presiding from the middle. It could do everything!

  • Dave Stevenson

    Toss up between the DC-10-30 and the B747-400. But for this entry, I’ll go with the DC-10-30.

    Thanks,
    Dave

  • Simon Goldsmith

    The Airbus A340-600 such a magnificent airliner, a true beauty in the sky.

  • Simon Allardice

    Concorde, that thing was a thing of beauty! Failing that, I’d say the A340-600.

  • Brandon M.

    My favorite plane is the 777-300ER. A beautiful and powerful accurate.

  • Michael R.

    My all time favorite is the 727-200. Classic, stylish, and the best of the early jets!!!

  • Rob Ibey

    I must be a generation or three older than most respondents ’cause I can’t feel any “love” for a kerosene-burner. I’ll go with the Lockheed Constellation series – passenger transport (civil and mil.), SAR, freighter, AEW, crop sprayer, hurricane hunter…

  • Ray Jessen

    Aeronca Champ, the plane I learned to fly.

  • Stacey Colon

    My favorite aircraft is the 767-400. Although, I had a chance to fly on one of Delta’s L-1011s before they were retired. Nice bird too.

  • Tom Corum

    My favorite aircraft is the B747-200 in TWA livery.

  • My favourite aircraft is the 777-200LR. The first time I flew in one was with Air Canada from Toronto to Hong Kong. It was in economy class but I didn’t mind too much as it was very smooth flying, and the sights on the polar route were simply amazing. Since then I have flown many more long haul flights in all flavours of 777s and enjoyed everyone of them.

  • Constant Reyerse

    My favorite airplane is the Lockheed Super Constellation “Connie” (also my nickname) . I flew across the Atlantic ocean in one (on KLM) in August of 1959 when I was 8 years old. A trip I still remember to this very day. I remember my younger brother getting airsick after having had too much orange juice for the first time in his life. And my fathers concern to the stewardess that he thought the engines were on fire, from the hot exhaust gas coming out at night from those wonderful recip engines. I remember the turbulence over the Atlantic from a Late Summer Storm, what a wonderful flight, and my first.

  • Zaim

    DHC 6 Twin Otter.. FTW.

  • Matthew James

    Boeing 747-400

  • Murray Connor

    de Havilland Australia DHA-3 Drover

  • Chris Miller

    Beech D-18s. A twin radial affordable airliner for everyone

  • LI Jia

    Boeing 747

  • Bernard

    Boeing 747 SP !

  • Nitish

    747-8 Intercontinental

  • Paul

    I always thrilled by Pan Am Clippers.

  • I thought you were going to make this ‘easy’….I’m going to say 747-400.

  • David J

    Beach Staggerwing

  • Lauren

    I’m smitten for the A380

  • I am going to go with the B767. Remember AC showing off the first one in their YYZ hanger and then flying on one shortly after Gimli (30th anniversary today).

  • Ryan B.

    Boeing B-17

  • Adrian

    B25-Mitchell

  • Vlad F.

    Boeing 747-8

  • Mark K.

    Boeing 707!

    I started my career flying for TWA in 1978 and the 707 along with the 727 was one of the primary aircraft on which I worked out of Chicago. Why? It was noisy, smokey and when you walked from first class to the back you went through about three different climate zones.

    But we had lots of space in which to work with auxiliary bars at both ends, a cushy jump seat that could be pulled out into “recline” mode and the leg room was amazing for the coach passengers. I missed the mid cabin lounges at that point as it was removed by the time I started.

    Think about it… if you look at a seat map of a TWA or American 707 and count the seats, look at the length of the plane (707-320B was 147ft) and then compare to what I fly today, (and dearly love), the 737-800,(130 ft) the seat count is almost identical!

    Add to that two lavs in the front and three in the back and you can surely say that was the golden age of flying!

    Of course, memories are selective and I don’t mind that fact. I still enjoy my flying today and really appreciate all of the modern amenities and technology that I have at my disposal as a crew member on the 737 and the 777 too!

  • Javier C.

    Boeing 757-200

  • Bob

    707-320B/C After all these years, still the most beautifully proportioned ever.

  • Paul L

    the 727 series of airplanes. They remind me of my childhood and flying on them in the 1960s.

  • Tommy

    Commenting to win a book. I have no shame.

  • Mark T.

    777. Which is weird, because I fly VS almost exclusively now, and they have none.

  • Chris Ashley

    The A330 is the sexiest aircraft ever…fighters not included.

  • Matthias Knobloch

    Airbus A300 – the world’s first twin-engined wide body airliner. Good to see it in the Condor livery :)

  • Leighton Matthews

    Without question, the 747. Groundbreaking, iconic and still the most beautiful aircraft in the skies!

  • The Boeing 747. The most beautiful, iconic, easily recognizable aircraft ever made. It revolutionized air travel and, after so many years, still takes my breath away.

  • Lee Z

    Lockheed L-1011!

  • Philip

    Boeing 777 200/300 – beautiful aircraft

  • Roberto S.

    The B777, without a doubt!