Planes: From the Wright Brothers to the Supersonic Jet

Published in Midwest Flyer Magazine June/July 2021
Online Issue

Budding aviation fans will pore over every page of “Planes: From the Wright Brothers to the Supersonic Jet” by Jan van der Veken (3/9/21; ISBN 978-3791374413; Hardcover $19.95; Ages 8-12; 104 pages), a fascinating encyclopedic guide to the history and mechanics of flight, from the Wright Brothers to the Concorde.

How does a plane move through the air? What is turbulence? What do those lines on the runways mean? All these questions and many more are answered in this gorgeously illustrated history of planes and flight.

The book opens with a basic introduction to plane anatomy and shows how aircraft have developed over the ages. Readers will then learn about aerodynamics, the mechanics of wing shape and lift, and how ailerons, propellers, and flaps work. There is even a section on communications systems, runway design, and GPS.

Profiles of famous historic airplanes illustrate basic principles throughout the book. Readers will find out about record-breaking flights across continents and oceans; how “flying wings” evolved into the B-2 bomber; and where the world’s most treacherous runways are located. A section on experimental aircraft looks at zeppelins, flying cars, and the fate of the Concorde jet.

Jan van der Veken’s lushly colored, retro drawings detail everything from plane design to the physics of flight and provide the perfect companion to his engaging text. Budding aviators will linger over every detail of this information-packed book that serves both to demystify and celebrate the miracle of flight.

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