Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Airplane” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  45 ratings  ·  12 reviews
In this entertaining history of the jetliner, Jay Spenser traces aviation's challenges from the outset, and follows the flow of the simple yet powerful ideas that led us to defy gravity. Here are the pioneers--innovators such as Otto Lilienthal, Igor Sikorsky, Louis BlEriot, Hugo Junkers, and Jack Northrop--whose amazing contributions collectively solved the puzzle of flig ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published November 24th 2009 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published October 16th 2008)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Airplane, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Airplane

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 85)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Daniel L.
Even Piece by Piece, an Airplane Is More Than the Sum of Its Parts

"It's a bird, it's a plane..." We all know what an airplane is and take the shape of these ubiquitous flying machines for granted (not to mention getting from place to place on one). That was not only the case. For centuries, man has dreamed of flying, but what a machine capable of enabling people to "escape the surly bonds of the Earth" should look like, no one could know. It should come to no surprise that many people thought th
This book is an excellent overview of the earliest days of flight. The text is highly readable and accessible to a general audience. The jet age is not covered in as much depth but the text does go up to the present with a chapter on the 787 Dreamliner. Highly recommended!
Justin Bowen
If you enjoy aviation and history, this book is a near perfect blend. Each chapter breaks down the invention and development of the different parts of the airplane. Spenser does a great job explaining the aspects of a plane or the process of operating one that has always made you wonder how they came about. Written with enough anecdotes and useful detail, it kept me entertained the entire way through.

Recommended for any pilot or aviation enthusiast.
John Kubalak
If, like me, you're a serious aviation history geek then you will love this book. It breaks down the airplane literally piece by piece (wings, fuselage, engine, etc.) and examines the ideas and history behind how the airplane came together and became what we know today. It's well structured (see engine parts: above) and informative. And if you have an aviation jones (see above) then you will find it entertaining as well.
A historical discussion of the technical evolution of airplane, starting with George Cayley,an Englishman who worked on the theory and practice (with models) of flight in the late 1700s and 1800s, and ending with the Boeing dreamliner. Each chapter generally focuses one part (wing, fuselage, tail, etc) of an airplane.
This book was great, I loved the way it was written, I wish that all modern sciences had books like these, that provide a chronological, methodical progression from the early beginnings to current developments.
Michael Evans
Great aviation book containing history, a little bit of technical knowledge and a decent attempt to sequence and link different historical events in aviation.
Daniel Calderón
Entertaining history of the development of the aircraft and the people involved in it. Very good reference for enthusiasts and professionals of the industry.
Carrie Bowers
Jun 30, 2011 Carrie Bowers rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Carrie by: Ben Kristy
Is on page 234....creeping at a snail's pace, but now that I am reading about items in our collection, it is more interesting. Sorry Ben.
Peter M.
Interesting history of the airplane, from subsystem level to entire system
Ken St. Onge
Really good introduction the earlier history of aviation. Enjoyed it a lot.
a little slow in spots, but overall very informative.
Hk marked it as to-read
Nov 13, 2014
Marianka Campisi
Marianka Campisi marked it as to-read
Aug 09, 2014
Misty added it
Sep 12, 2014
Niko05 marked it as to-read
Apr 26, 2014
Jake Manlapaz
Jake Manlapaz marked it as to-read
Feb 15, 2014
Rob Springall
Rob Springall marked it as to-read
Jan 16, 2014
Jim Cunningham
Jim Cunningham marked it as to-read
Dec 02, 2013
Devin Vickers
Devin Vickers marked it as to-read
Nov 24, 2013
Annie marked it as to-read
Oct 03, 2013
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
747: Creating the World's First Jumbo Jet and Other Adventures from a Life in Aviation Focke-Wulf FW 190, Workhorse of the Luftwaffe The Sugar House Mystery: The Butternut Village Mystery Series Whirlybirds: A History of the U.S. Helicopter Pioneers Vertical Challenge: The Hiller Aircraft Story

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »