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Flight of the Old Dog (Patrick McLanahan #1)

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4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  10,751 ratings  ·  86 reviews
FLIGHT OF THE OLD DOG is the runaway bestseller that launched the phenomenal career of Dale Brown. It is the riveting story of America's race for technology, overtaken by our greatest enemy's mastery of "Star Wars." The U.S. arsenal of nuclear missiles has been neutralized. America's only hope: The Old Dog Zero One, a battle-scarred bomber fully renovated with modern hardw ...more
Hardcover, 347 pages
Published June 1st 1987 by Donald I. Fine, Inc
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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heidi
It's interesting to me to read books set in the cold war, now that my kids are old enough that I have tried to explain the cold war.

This is a band-of-misfits book with a healthy dose of improbable circumstances, but for all that, it's exactly the kind of book I keep going back to, because it is exactly what it claims to be. It's about men and women working together to accomplish an impossible mission.

Read if: you like can-do, derring-do, and awesome little character moments, like the Soviet base
...more
Lee
First book I read by Dale Brown. An incredibly engrossing story. The characters are interesting and identifiable (you truly find yourself caring about them), the narration is first rate (you'll actually feel as if you're in the old B-52), and the pace is breathless.
John Boettcher
I believe I read this book while I was in 7th grade, after I had finished up with everything that Clancy had put out at that point, and was looking for something to fill the void.

Well, Flight Of The Old Dog was it.

Absolutely blew me away. I am pretty sure that I recommended this book through high school to anyone who would listen, and I doubt many did, about how fantastic this book is.

The story was written and still takes place during the cold war, which unfortunately, I am JUST old enough to
...more
David Williamson
What happens next to Patrick Mclanahan and his crew? Such a question rarely entered my mind. While this book was filled with copious amounts of tech specs and enough aeronautic jargon to make one feel like you are taking an aerospace engineering course. There is so much that it feels the actual story and characters are muddied down with it. It's always good to give enough information for the reader (especially one unfamiliar with the science) something to go on to understand what’s happening and ...more
murph
The story of a stealth B-52. Yeah. It's exactly that stupid.

What begins as just this author's pet "what if..." scenario just slides off a cliff as the book progresses. Apparently Dale Brown decided that anyone addled enough to accept the books premise would accept anything he threw at them.

Brown throws plenty.

For reasons known only to the author - a government project makes a stealth aircraft out of an airframe designed and built in the 1950's.

Then the entire universe conspires to create a scena
...more
Dave Edlund
Dale Brown takes the reader back 30 years to the Cold War when tensions between the US and the USSR were high. Yes, the USSR. Certain aspects of the plot are dated, but in a strange twist tensions between the US and Russia have once again peaked. Some of the technology is also dated--the Star Wars missile defense initiative that was so favored by President Ronald Reagan, not to mention the aged B52 strategic bomber. As a child living in Sacramento, CA, I recall seeing B52s take off and land at t ...more
David S.
Finished reading the debut novel of Dale Brown early in the morning. Very exciting action scenes, and because it is set in the cold war era, you can't help but do a little stroll down memory lane with the Americans taking on the evil Ruskies!!!

I know for a fact that I would have enjoyed reading this novel so much more 25 yeara ago. But, it still stands up nowadays.

The one unique aspect of this book is that Brown literally places his readers square in the cockpit of a B-52 bomber. By the end of
...more
Vince
I had always heard friends rave about Dale Brown and I finally got around to reading his first book. I should not have waited so long to read this. Somewhat like Tom Clancy in the detail of hardware and such. Kepp me on edge and this book is highly recommended.
John
I re-read this book for the first time in several years. It held up fairly well . Certainly not Clancy-level plot development but the action is really good.

The big bad Russians built a laser capable of shooting down satellites , missiles, planes, etc. and started using it. Brown never explains WHY this happens, but it does. Brad Elliot and Patrick Mclanahan are the only ones who can stop it, flying an incredible mission into Russia with a heavily modified B-52 bomber.

The technology and the mil
...more
Paul
Fair, just fair. The plot is decent, as is the storyline, but there are many improbable or even impossible situations. Weapons, locations, etc. are mostly fictitious but use some real elements to portray an air of realism for those who don't know any better.
For readers that value realism and accuracy, this book will be lacking. If you just want a read which entertains with much artistic license, you will probably enjoy it.
Proofing of this book is some of the poorest I have ever seen, with many e
...more
Bob Conner
The bait to trap you into reading Dale Brown's works - a deeply enthralling flight for anyone who enjoys military action.
Frank Lambdin
A little hard at first to follow due to lack of knowledge of planes however very well written and enjoyed
Eric Lazarian
I read and older paperback edition of this while I was going through my Tom Clancy/Jack Ryan phase. I have always loved military history and science fiction and this book sort of combined the two worlds. If you are a pilot or a veteran of the cold war era you will also enjoy this work. Imagine a souped up B-52 with stealth-era retrofitting combining power with stealth and a critical mission and you'll pretty much get the gist of this one. The plane turns out to be the real hero in this one. Whil ...more
Denise
I read this ages ago, and loved it! I think it deserves a re-read!
Joe Duboulay
This was the book that made me a Dale Brown fan.
Cody Jensen
Meh.

Purely speculative military fiction makes a pretty interesting novel, if not entirely believable. Characters were cookie cutters, and the ending line made me want to vomit. Actually the ending line made me knock off one star.

You cannot end a book on a happy romantic note between two characters that only showed mild interest in one another throughout the whole story. Perhaps 40 words were dedicated to their relationship in the whole 300ish pages. Sorry, the ending just kind of ruined it for m
...more
Steve Doherty
A great read. I was one of Dale's navigator flight instructors when he was in navigator training. When I read this book in 2003, I was blown away with the ingenuity of reinventing the B-52 bomber into an ultramodern stealthy and sophisticated weapon system. Highly recommended.
Tom Knapp
I enjoyed the read but thought it was a bit too detailed and technical in parts.
Phillip Mager
It's a decent story that has lots of action. I'd recommend it.
Michael Burhans
I'd read a couple Dale Brown books and enjoyed them. Found a bunch at a used book sale and am catching up on the rest. Despite some situational absurdities this was a fun and exciting book. One forgets today just how scared we were as a nation of the USSR. This brought back some of those feelings. Of course they never would have sent a manned plane in for this mission when cruise missiles would have done the job just as well, but there is no excitement in that now is there!
Ryan Balazi
Great story of what could have happend during the cold war era. Also touches on the spy era and secrecy of government conspiracies in an essence of what the government may or may not be doing. Elements in the story relates to technological secrecy and is placed in the end of the cold war era and is quite descriptive of aviation which it is centered around. Also resembles a tale of something out of the 1950 and 60's with its adventure style antics. Great book
Tarun
Somehow no one pointed out that technobabble and aerospace jargon aren't a substitute for an actual plot and interesting characters.
Doug
The first of the McLanahan series does not disappoint. Here we learn of his meager beginnings (I've read his space-plane books) in a B-52 called the Old Dog.

Great story: fast-paced, technically believable, and just enough backstory to be useful but not boring.

Brown knows his stuff and knows how to spiff up the seemingly not-so-glamorous mundane aspects of flight and Air Force routine.
Sally Witt
Well done, glad he kept writing after this first successful book. Love his work.
Amy
I think I will go back and read the book. The abridgement to audio kept a lot of the suspenseful detail as it related to the mission, but they seemed to run out of CD space to adequately do the wrap up from the other perspectives. I was on the edge of my seat, but I know that there was a lot missing that would only have added to the story!
Dennis
This was my first Dale Brown book but it certainly won't be my last. This was really a page-turner. I had a hard time putting it down once it got rolling. I'm planning to read Brown's other books in chronological order and would recommend this book to anyone who wants a fun and intense read.
Tim
Really enjoyed this book. It's really the first in a string (not exactly a series) of Brown's books that have some of the same characters appearing. Other titles allude to the events in this one. Good to have read it but not essential.
James Lassiter
This book hooked me on Dale Brown. In this book I felt like I knew the actual systems being employed and that I knew the people evolved. Dale Brown is one of my favorite writers. Found for 65 cents in a Goodwill in Bremerton WA.
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What's The Name o...: Modified B-52 on Secret Mission (Solved) [s] 6 21 May 09, 2013 04:13PM  
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Former U.S. Air Force captain Dale Brown is the superstar author of eleven consecutive New York Times best-selling military-action-aviation adventure novels: FLIGHT OF THE OLD DOG (1987), SILVER TOWER (1988), DAY OF THE CHEETAH (1989), HAMMERHEADS (1990), SKY MASTERS (1991), NIGHT OF THE HAWK (1992), CHAINS OF COMMAND (1993), STORMING HEAVEN (1994), SHADOWS OF STEEL (1996) and FATAL TERRAIN (1997) ...more
More about Dale Brown...

Other Books in the Series

Patrick McLanahan (1 - 10 of 18 books)
  • Night of the Hawk (Patrick McLanahan, #2)
  • Sky Masters (Patrick McLanahan, #3)
  • Day of the Cheetah (Patrick McLanahan, #4)
  • Shadows of Steel (Patrick McLanahan, #5)
  • Fatal Terrain (Patrick McLanahan, #6)
  • The Tin Man (Patrick McLanahan, #7)
  • Battle Born (Patrick McLanahan, #8)
  • Warrior Class (Patrick McLanahan, #9)
  • Wings of Fire (Patrick McLanahan, #10)
  • Air Battle Force (Patrick McLanahan, #11)
Day of the Cheetah (Patrick McLanahan, #4) The Tin Man (Patrick McLanahan, #7) Sky Masters (Patrick McLanahan, #3) Hammer Heads Fatal Terrain (Patrick McLanahan, #6)

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