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Flight of the Old Dog

(Patrick McLanahan #1)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  16,753 ratings  ·  162 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
Paperback, 416 pages
Published August 5th 2003 by Berkley Publishing Group (first published June 1st 1987)
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Jim A It's not free, but I bought it yesterday off Amazon for .99 cents. Still priced at that price point.…moreIt's not free, but I bought it yesterday off Amazon for .99 cents. Still priced at that price point.(less)

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Average rating 4.12  · 
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 ·  16,753 ratings  ·  162 reviews

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Sep 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: paper, re-read
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
Aug 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
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. ...more
Jared W.
Sep 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book has 416 pages, and it was published by Berkley Books. I decided to read this book because it is heavily based on aircraft, which I appreciate because my father, who was a sergeant in the Air Force, recommended this book to me. This work was a New York Times Bestseller.
The main character of this book is Captain Patrick McLanahan, a B-52 navigator; however, General Elliot of the Dreamland projects can be classified as the other main character. Both men work together on the critical miss
David Williamson
May 31, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Jun 03, 2008 rated it did not like it
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
Jim A
Sep 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A reread after 30 years or so. Still an exciting air force thriller. As it's been over 30 years since Brown wrote this, some of the technology is dated. But it still makes for a thrilling read.

Recommend to anyone who hasn't read this.
John Boettcher
Nov 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Cody Jensen
Sep 06, 2011 rated it it was ok

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
Sep 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
I loved this book as a kid, most of my mates would be reading sciFi or Fantasy books but I would always look for something else. Stumbled across this book one day and it was a quick read. An old recondition bomber, an awesome crew and a mission from hell. The plot keeps you tense all the way to the end, throughout the story I was constantly blown away that the bomber and crew kept taking a beating and yet were still going. A good fun adventure, might have to re-read one day.
May 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Summary: Interesting adventure story in the same vein as James Bond or Jack Ryan. Set in the Cold War with Star Wars military programs and a healthy dose of science fiction. Good story from first time author Dale Brown. Overall it's a good book, but probably a step below the many works of Clancy.

Background: One of the first computer games I bought as a kid was Megafortress. After playing through the tutorials and simple missions I attempted to play "Flight of the Old Dog". After my bomber was in
Karen Siddall
Jul 25, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-cds
I read this book relatively soon after it was originally published and LOVED it. I kept my copy of the book all these years but rather than just pull that copy out of the box it is in I purchased this audiobook copy so I could listen to it on an upcoming car trip. I was so disappointed when I received it to discover it was an abridgement of the original. But it was what I had and I was leaving the next day so on we went.

I hated it. Loved the reader and will look for more performances by him. Bu
Joseph Spuckler
Oct 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a Cold War novel I started but didn’t finish in the late 1980s. Too many things were going on in my life and I always meant to get back to this book. I did this week with the audio version from I listened through the six and a half hours straight though.

The Old Dog was a B-52 that had been upgraded with all the best technology of the late 1980s and some that were imagined like like the X-ray laser Star Wars project. The twist in this book is that the Soviets had gotten ahe
Drew Thomson
Oct 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read a number of Dale Brown's books with Brad McLanahan as the central character and his father, Patrick McLanahan included. I decided that I wanted to read the first Patrick McLanahan book. I was not disappointed with Flight of the Old Dog. The Old Dog is the name given to a battle[scarred B-52 bomber which was fully renovated with modern hardware and equipped with the deadliest star-of-the-art armaments. I fully agree with Clive Cussler's assessment that it was "Suspenseful and spellbin ...more
Apr 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
I have read several novels in the Dreamland series by Dale Brown. “Flight of the Old Dog” is the foundational book in the series, and it sets the tone of adrenaline pumping action and intense military suspense. Despite its name, Old Dog is not old, but a newly refurbished, super high-tech B-52 bomber on steroids. And the hero of the saga is not the pilot, but the navigator as was the author. The Cold War plot pits Russia’s Star Wars-like satellite defense system against the U.S. Air Force. It is ...more
James D.
Feb 12, 2020 rated it liked it
I did enjoy this book, fundamentally. I read a later book of Brown's first, years ago, and I was drawn to the content. He has a very specific perspective, which is highly educated on the subject matter, so his books are very detailed. Probably overly so at times, which is my one issue. He gets better with ensuing publications by not getting so wrapped up in military language, and the proverbial Acronym Hell, with which that whole world lives. Too much breaks up the rhythm of the story at times i ...more
Daniel Coyne
Jul 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
I liked the book. Having been in the military and grew up right outside SAC headquarters in Omaha, Ne. I can relate to the story of military personnel. I liked the way the story followed a B-52 navigator and his struggles with his love for the military and his personal life. The story is a little far fetched and is something that could only happen in a novel but it was fun to imagine the story of an old refurbished B-52 saving the day. It was a little hard to follow as the crew set out on a miss ...more
Daniel Bratell
Feb 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Always interesting to read slightly old books that try to predict the future. This book is written in the mid 80s and have the story take place some five years later.

In the book the old B 52 bombers are obsolete which makes it spectacular that they are still in active duty 30 years later. In the book one of them is turned into a missile platform for testing purposes. This is the old dog which suddenly finds itself in an active situation.

The genre military thrillers is not abundant with good book
Xsabian Ortiz
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Never a dull moment!

It's been a while since I picked up a book by Dale Brown and I dont know why! Flight of the old dog was perfect. Dale's writing keeps you on the edge of your seat and waiting to turn the page. The vivid description and suspenseful dialogue makes his writing stand out from others. I enjoyed the technical descriptions and story telling of combining new age tech with an old but flighty ready aircraft. Must read for sure and on to the next Dale Brown novel for me.
Bill Conrad
Jul 05, 2020 rated it liked it
As a teenager, I read this book when it first came out, and I recently picked it up again. Dale set the story at the height of the cold war, and it pits old proven technology against groundbreaking space weapons. Dale does an exciting job of leading the reader through a B52 bombing run in USSR airspace.
This story is an intriguing cold war story that is still relevant. I liked the style and characters. It is also the first book in a vast well-written series. It is still a good read, and I enjoye
Tom Dinen
May 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I Love Dale Brown books

I’ve always liked the action, lingo and suspense of the Dale Brown books. The only criticism I have is the time line of the two man refueling and the fact that getting up on the wings of a B-52 in the freezing cold with no scissor lift is impossible. So many turns at the end was not only nerve racking, but exhausting as a reader.
It is funny how you can have a different experience when reading a book at various times in your life. I remember when I first read this book [back when it first came out], I liked some of it but overall I was not impressed with the book. My appreciation and enjoyment of the book has steadily increased with each reading. It was probably a good five to ten years between the first and second time I read it; this is my fourth or fifth time reading it. It moves at a good pace. It does take time to b ...more
A reasonably good debut effort for this series. The story offers enough drama and the characters are interesting for the most part. Occasionally the author gets carried away with mind numbing techno babble but the reader can easily bypass these parts.
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: military-fiction
Really solid Military fiction book in the vein of Tom Clancy. If your into Aircraft and intrigue its a solid book. It's straight forward and doesn't have a ton of complexity but its an enjoyable read. ...more
M.A. Stern
Mar 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This isn’t a particularly deep book and it is very much a product of the Cold War era. However, overall, as far as ‘airport novels’ in the techno-thriller genre go, it’s a pretty solid book and is a fun, quick read.
Glenn Banks
Jul 02, 2020 rated it liked it
maybe I need to know or appreciate airplanes more. I this is differently a book/story that comes from the 1980's big bad USSR and a small unlikely group of Americans that overcome challenges to defeat/win ...more
Oct 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Wow. This book took me back a ways. I felt like I was back in the cold war and the Russians were an enemy again. It was such a typical 80s action movie script. Cheesy, but I couldn't stop watching. Some swear words. ...more
James Hasskarl
May 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Old Dogs Never Give It Up Without a Fight

This book is difficult to put down. The action will keep you reading. Enjoy the story, characters and think about those who protect us from things we would call impossible.
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent... enjoyed this book immensely
Craig Thomas
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The first and Best McClanahan novel
Sándor Szabó
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the best part of the McLanhan series, I read it many times, the others not, only the Day of the Cheetah, but it was much more sci-fi like to me.
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Modified B-52 on Secret Mission [s] 6 28 May 09, 2013 04:13PM  

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Former U.S. Air Force captain Dale Brown is the superstar author of 25 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), TH ...more

Other books in the series

Patrick McLanahan (1 - 10 of 24 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)

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