Lords of the Sky: Fighter Pilots and Air Combat, from the Red Baron to the F-16 [NOOK Book]

Overview

By the USAF F-16 legend behind the bestselling memoir Viper Pilot, this is the first comprehensive history of fighter pilots and air combat—a unique, riveting look at the aces of the sky, their machines, their most daring missions, and the epic conflicts they shaped, from the trailblazing aviators of World War I to today's supersonic jets

Lords of the Sky is a thrilling history of the fighter pilot, masterfully written by one of the most decorated aviators in American history. A...

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Lords of the Sky: Fighter Pilots and Air Combat, from the Red Baron to the F-16

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Overview

By the USAF F-16 legend behind the bestselling memoir Viper Pilot, this is the first comprehensive history of fighter pilots and air combat—a unique, riveting look at the aces of the sky, their machines, their most daring missions, and the epic conflicts they shaped, from the trailblazing aviators of World War I to today's supersonic jets

Lords of the Sky is a thrilling history of the fighter pilot, masterfully written by one of the most decorated aviators in American history. A twenty-year USAF veteran who flew more than 150 combat missions and received four Distinguished Flying Crosses, Lt. Colonel Dan Hampton draws on his singular firsthand knowledge, as well as groundbreaking research in aviation archives and rare personal interviews with little-known heroes, including veterans of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. In a seamless, sweeping narrative, Lords of the Sky tells the extraordinary stories behind the most famous fighter planes and the brave and daring heroes who made them legend.

In the Great War, aces such as Manfred von Richthofen ("The Red Baron"), Eddie Rickenbacker, and Roland Garros faced horrific survival rates and became romantic heroes. The Second World War saw the RAF locked in a struggle for the fate of civilization during the Battle of Britain; on the Eastern Front, the German Luftwaffe and Soviet Air Force grappled in some of the fiercest and bloodiest air battles in history. In the Pacific, Japanese pilots terrorized Asia, culminating in their attack on Pearl Harbor. American flyboys quickly became instrumental to the Allies' ultimate victory, ravaging the enemy's navy, providing life-saving air support for ground troops, escorting bombers, and dogfighting with Japanese Zeros and Nazi Messerschmitts. During the Cold War, conflicts in Korea and Vietnam featured the dawn of the jet age, in which American pilots battled Soviet-made MiGs and increasingly sophisticated anti-aircraft weaponry. Hampton then draws on his own experience as an F-16 pilot who fought in the 1991 and 2003 wars against Iraq to bring to life the dangers and demands of today's modern fighter pilot.

Here are the stories behind history's most iconic aircraft and the aviators who piloted them: from the Sopwith Camel and Fokker Triplane to the Mitsubishi Zero, Supermarine Spitfire, Nazi Bf 109, P-51 Mustang, Grumman Hellcat, F-4 Phantom, F-105 Thunderchief, F-16 Falcon, F/A-18 SuperHornet, and beyond. Here, too, are the Lafayette Escadrille, Flying Tigers, RAF Eagles, Wild Weasels, and other legendary units. Throughout this definitive history, Hampton clarifies the astonishing debt we owe to these daring Lords of the Sky who have ruled the air for more than a century.

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Editorial Reviews

STEPHEN COONTS
“An excellent, well-researched, literate overview of 20th century warfare and the development of the fighter plane. Lords of the Sky will captivate history and aviation buffs alike.”
CHRISTINA OLDS
“Meticulously researched and beautifully written, this must-read chronological history of fighter pilots reads like a great literary novel. Dan Hampton has crafted an important work that is sure to become a classic within the historic lore of military aviation.”
New York Post
Praise for Viper Pilot: “Hampton’s one of the most decorated pilots in Air Force history.... We may never see his like again.”
MICHAEL KORDA
“Dramatic, fast-paced, and definitive — a pleasure for everyone who loves reading about aviation, and the life-and-death drama of air combat.”
Major General DON SHEPPERD (USAF Ret.)
“An epic history of the fighter pilot world by a gifted author and historian with the trained eye of a combat pilot. This will be an enduring work of aviation literature. Experience the thrill, hear the wind, encounter the danger: Read this book!”
Colonel WALTER BOYNE (USAF
“Superbly written. Paints a vivid picture of the skills, scares, scars, and science of air combat brilliantly, weaving them into a fascinating historical fabric that embraces technology, history, and politics. Buffs and the general public will agree that this is a first in the field!”
Library Journal
10/01/2013
Winner of four Distinguished Flying Crosses during 20 years' service with the U.S. Air Force, as recounted in his New York Times best-selling Viper Pilot, Hampton starts with the Red Baron's World War I triplane to clarify the history of famous fighting planes and how they changed warfare. Expect flash; with a 75,000-copy first printing.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062262103
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/24/2014
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 640
  • Sales rank: 24,234
  • File size: 18 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

The New York Times bestselling author of Viper Pilot, U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Dan Hampton flew 151 combat missions during his twenty years in the USAF (1986–2006). For his service in the Iraq War, Kosovo conflict, and first Gulf War, Col. Hampton received four Distinguished Flying Crosses with Valor, a Purple Heart, eight Air Medals with Valor, five Meritorious Service Medals, and numerous other citations. He has published in Aviation History, Airpower, Air Force Magazine, and the Journal of Electronic Defense, and he is also the author of a novel, The Mercenary.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 15 )
Rating Distribution

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(9)

4 Star

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3 Star

(4)

2 Star

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 14 of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 3, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    If you are a fan of fighter pilots, vintage aircraft or just an

    If you are a fan of fighter pilots, vintage aircraft or just an all around military/history buff from World War I and II, Vietnam, Korean, and even our most recent military campaigns that involve aircraft, then trust me, you'll definitely want to get your hands on the latest book from Dan Hampton. Lords of the Sky takes readers into the history of aviation from the very first planes designed and attempted to be flown by such legends as the Wright Bros and to Etienne Montgofier who piloted the first balloon air reconnaissance in 1783. The books really takes to heart every conceivable well known plane, engines, and pilots and showcases them in a great chronological order that even a woman can understand and truly enjoy.

    The book isn't just about aviation either, is illustrates the reason for needing air support and just what is required before you simply attach a machine gun on to the top of your barn storming bi-plane. The details of flight from thrust, lift, drag and weight are critical components we take for granted when we board our commercial airlines and head for our tropical vacation destination. We learn how weaponry was added to this planes, and what the limitations of getting them to work entailed. From learning how not to shoot your propeller off, the dealing with the elements inside an open cockpit and what to do when you are wits end in the midst of a dog fight.

    It is hard to realize that in the years leading up to World War I, no one really gave serious thought to armed aircraft. In fact, the U.S. War Department turned the Wright brothers down on three occasions for a military version of their contraption, and the British secretary of war stated in 1910, "We do not consider that aeroplanes will be of any possible use for war purposes." We have certainly come a long way since that day. From fighting air battles with low visibility, freezing cold temperatures and your only weapon being a carefully aimed brick were just the things that pilots had to contend with. In fact in WWI, most pilots average life span was only 2 weeks.

    From the Red Baron, to the Royal Air Force, to the Mitsubishi Zero to Supermarine Spitfire, to the P-51 Mustang to the Grumman Hellcat all the way to the F-16 and F-18 SuperHornets, the aviation lover is bound to find something in this 600+ page hardcover book. "The Lords of the Sky is about the fighter pilot. It begins with the Great War, as World War I was originally known because the sky over the trenches was the birthplace of the fighter pilot. The development of fighter aircraft and the combat pilot was more closely tied to ground actions during the Great War than was the case in subsequent conflict. Aviation services were a fledgling military branch and closely attached to their parent armies. So the ground situation is explained in some detail to give the reader an explanation of why fighter development occurred as it did." (author note).

    I received Lords of the Sky by Dan Hampton compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own, unless otherwise notated. Even though as a woman book reviewer, I love the way Dan wrote this book. It wasn't so over the top with airplane jargon and detailed descriptions that I would find myself completely lost. In fact, it was just the opposite. I felt myself drawn into the background of the military campaigns and didn't realize how difficult winning a war was and what some of the overwhelming odds faced our armed forces. It gave me a greater appreciation not only for our service men and women but for fighter pilots who are often faced with solo survival in the midst of high altitude flying over enemy lines. Well worth the money to invest in this book for fans of military, fighter pilots, and war heroes alike who are looking for something completely different. I rate this book a 4.5 out of 5 stars. Not since the invention of the encyclopedia, do you have so much information packed into one book!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2014

    This exceptional author writes a thrilling history of the parall

    This exceptional author writes a thrilling history of the parallel development of fighter aircraft and their brave and intrepid pilots as nations
    raced to adapt the ever-changing aviation technology to their war fighting arsenals.  The author includes vivid stories of  some of the
    lesser known fighter pilots whose valor and courage in combat have not previously been adequately reported.  As a former fighter
    pilot, I read this great book in total awe of those who flew before and after me and of the author.       James Daniels

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 26, 2014

    A superb picture of an elite collection of warriors bound togeth

    A superb picture of an elite collection of warriors bound together by the adventure and fascination of flight in the wild, blue yonder from the hand of a gifted author and historian, written in a creative style that can be appreciated by any reader.

    Biddie Bartlett

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2015

    Fighter pilots are a breed apart!

    If you enjoy flight and the evolution of the fighter in war this book belongs on your bookshelf. Dan Hampton has created a well written and researched book that traces the plane as recon in WW! through several wars and conflicts to become the supersonic hi-tech beast of today. The focus is on the driver of that beast and what makes them such champions and often hero's.

    Events are documented and personalized which helps the reader better understand the psyche of the pilot. I found it an excellent read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 24, 2015

    Dan Hampton is heralded as a great writer and noted for technica

    Dan Hampton is heralded as a great writer and noted for technical expertise; however,
    I barely made it through 1/4 of the way in this book and noted several glaring errors. In one instance, Hampton describes the British RE8 as a 'pusher' type aircraft (engine in rear) when in fact the RE8 is a 'tractor' type craft (engine in front). In another chapter he describes undoubtedly the most famous WWI aerial battle ever to occur between German Ace -Werner Voss, and the flight of 56 squadron led by British Ace James McCudden. In this account Hampton describes Voss's Fokker Triplane as bearing Voss' famous insignia of a "skull & crossed bones" - holy smokes!! Voss' personal insignia was a blazing red heart. The French Ace - Charles Nungesser's Nieuports 17 & 24 bore the famous skull & cross bones insignia with a black heart - not Voss. Needless to say these are pretty basic errors and I began to seriously doubt the historical accuracy of the accounts throughout the rest of the book accordingly.
    I would have rated the book a 1-star if it were not for the general reading enjoyment. So I guess I would say that if you enjoy reading books like this for the pleasure of it and are not really interested in historical accuracy, then you are probably good to go. I read these though for the historical truths - not fiction.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 26, 2015

    I have read many books on the history of flight and air combat.

    I have read many books on the history of flight and air combat. Dan Hampton has crated a riveting history of the fighter pilots. Well written and researched. I couldn't put it down. Hampton adds just enough of his voice to provide the feel of a writer who has lived the life. If you have limited time to read or research this is the book to start with. Great read, I can hardly wait for his next work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2015

    O.k.

    Just finished this book. Luckily I checked it out at the library. Don't waste yiour money! Tomany times the author goes off topic and gives his one sided personal take on things. He definately sees the world through his eyes.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2014

    MATE REQUEST

    Anycat looking for a mate can post here.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 27, 2014

    The author is an excellent writer and evidenced exceptional kno


    The author is an excellent writer and evidenced exceptional knowledge combined
     with diligent research. Unfortunately, too often he flies off-course with material
    unrelated or barely related to the focus of the book: "Fighter Pilots and Air
    Combat From The Red Baron to the F-16." We learn a lot we need not know 
    about the World War I ground war but when he get to WW II he mentions but one
    American fighter pilot, Robert Olds. Nothing about Americas' outstanding 
    fighter pilots, the Marine Pappy Boyington, awarded a Medal of Honor. Or those
     great  P-47 pilots, Gabreski, Bob Johnson, and Hub Zemke. And Richard Bong in
     the Pacific, a P-38 pilot also. awarded a MOH and  the P-51 pilot, George
     Preddy. I could name many others but that I'll leave to readers. Every
     historian must decide what to include and what  not to include. But why,
     I must ask, did the author go into great detail about the German Ju-87 Stuka
     and its pilots. The Stuka is not a fighter aircraft but a dive-bomber and one
     incapable of defending itself against enemy fighters. In the Battle of Britain,
     for example, it had to be escorted by Me-109s to and from a mission.

    Yes, a very well-written and very interesting book. Unfortunately, he lost his focus
    thus the book is not what it ought to have been.















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  • Posted July 18, 2014

    Highly recommended if you like reading about fighter combat.

    An excellent look into the history and evolution of fighter combat from its inception in WWI to the present day. The author is a highly decorated American F-16 Viper Pilot, and very capably tackles this project. An excellent read. All the big name fighter pilots are in here-Boelcke, Von Richtofen, Hartmann, Galland, Olds, etc. The only one he didn't have in here that I thought was a glaring omission was Richard Ira Bong (WWII P-38 pilot, highest scoring American fighter pilot in WWII with 40 confirmed kills). I can forgive this, because of the sheer volume of information and aces he highlights. He does not just do the German and American aces, but include overviews of Russian and Japanese aces. The bibliography is a treasure trove of further reading! Read this book!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    Fighter pilots really interest me, so I found this book to be re

    Fighter pilots really interest me, so I found this book to be really interesting. Dan Hampton certainly knows his material and presents it in a very interesting fashion. I highly recommend Lords of the Sky for any aviation enthusiast.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2014

    Warriorden to Firedew

    Cat res at 4 want a new den? (Meow) hahahahaa cant stop the cats from doing reviews!

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2015

    No text was provided for this review.

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