FLYING STORIES by Marvin Arnold


What was it like to be a part of the generation born in the 1930s was too late to fly dirigibles or be barnstormers. They were too young to fly the B-17s and P-51s or design the new post war aircraft like the P-80 jet and Bell X-1 rocket, but they picked up where the aviation pioneers left off and established the United States as the unchallenged world leader in the aviation industry.

Flying Stories, the author's second book, is about one of those kids, too young to go to the last big war, but who grew up in the midst of it. One of the faceless thousands of young engineers who helped make air travel safer than riding a bus. These are stories about the golden age of civil aviation and the forgotten aircraft engineers and pilots of the 1960s and 70s.


Flying Stories is about those pilots that learned to fly for the light. When an airplane lifts off on an overcast day, it climbs into the air trailing small vortices of moisture behind it as it enters the clouds. The plane climbs higher and higher, flying for the light, until the clouds turn an ever-lighter shade of gray. When the plane nears the top of the cloud layer, a bright silver glow engulfs everything. Then suddenly, like an explosion, it is a beautiful sunshiny day. The plane is suspended, hanging as a stone does not, high above a white cotton blanket that oft times stretches from horizon to horizon.

The page book is somewhat biographical in nature, but because of the eclectic way it is written, it might best be described as a memoir. Thus, you are not about to read the great American novel. Flying Stories is a compilation of stories that the author felt just needed to be told. The book begins with some of the author's boyhood experiences and what it was like growing up during World War II. It is a brief look at the external forces that might work on any young person to cause them to grow up wanting to be a pilot or an engineer.

Hopefully, the book will give the reader an insight into the American aerospace industries' coming of age in the 60s and 70s. The author resists the temptation to burden the reader with a lot of techno-babble and tells stories of his learning to fly and his nearly half a century of flying experiences the way he remembers them. Most of the stories are written with a keen sense of humor and viewed from the mundane and less important side of the event. All of the stories in this book are true. Only some of the names have been omitted to protect the guilty and those who might possibly still be alive.

As the sailor is home from the sea
and the hunter home from the hill,
the flyer is home from the sky.


First edition 2002/2003 324-page glossy softback (1stBooks)... out/of/print
Second edition 2007 revised 372-page hardcover w/dust jacket (AuthorHouse) out/of/print
Second edition 2007 revised 372-page glossy softback (AuthorHouse)... out/of/print
Second edition 2011 revised 372-page glossy softback (SamcoPub)... out/of/print

2012 revised expanded 3rd edition 384-page w/glossy softback (SamcoPub)... $19.95

Flying Stories II - New expanded 2014 edition 400-page softback (SamcoPub)... $19.95

For books signed by the author, add $10 and who to, if desired.

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