Home Book Reviews 10 New Essential Spotting Books

10 New Essential Spotting Books

by Matt Falcus

As part of our series on improving your spotting productivity, here is a selection of new book titles that you shouldn’t be without. They offer productivity, fantastic reference, and lots of inspiration to take you forwards.

1. JP Airline Fleets 2012/13, BUCHair

If you don’t use a database, then in my opinion the best book you can buy for listing the fleets of airlines, government transport units, FBO’s and charter companies worldwide is JP Airline Fleets. This most recent update is available, and packed full of information, with handy tick boxes for you to mark off aircraft seen.
Buy from Amazon UK | Buy from Amazon USA

2. JP Bizjet & Tubroprops 2012, BUCHair
The full, authoritative register of biz jets, biz turboprops, and very light jets (VLJ’s) around the world. Listed by country and registration, with tick boxes for you to mark them off when seen. The best annual publication on the subject.
Buy from Amazon UK | Buy from Amazon USA 


3. abc Civil Aircraft Markings 2012, Ian Allan
The long-running annual series covering the full UK civil register of aircraft, including airliners, light aircraft, helicopters, microlights and gliders. It also lists the main fleets of airlines around the world. Has a notes section for you to mark off aircraft that you’ve seen.
Buy on Amazon UK | Buy on Amazon USA 


4. Eighties Ringway 1980-84 (Manchester Airport)
Part of the Ringway Through the Decades series. If you’re from the UK, chances are you spent time spotting at Manchester Airport in the past. It used to have excellent viewing terraces along the terminal roof, and many an exotic charter airline. This book has full movement logs for the decade, some fantastic photos, and lots of information about the airport. More for nostalgia than anything. A second volume, 1985-1989 is due soon.
Buy from Amazon UK | Buy from Amazon USA 

5. Wrecks & Relics, by Ken Ellis
This book, by Ken Ellis, has been fully updated for 2012 and lists stored, preserved, displayed and wrecked aircraft around the UK, and details of how to see them. Covers both civil and military aircraft. Perfect to have with you for reference on any journey.
Buy from Amazon UK | Buy from Amazon USA


6. Propliners of the World Part 1, and Part 2,  by Gerry Manning
Two large volumes covering propliners around the world, including a huge reference section on the DC-3, and sections on propliners in South America and Alaska.
Propliners 1: Buy from Amazon UK | Buy from Amazon USA
Propliners 2: Buy from Amazon UK | Buy from Amazon USA


7. Landing in Las Vegas: Commercial Aviation and the Making of a Tourist City, by Daniel K Bubb
When commercial flights first arrived in Las Vegas in the mid-1920s, they were carrying mail between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles. Las Vegas was an old railroad refueling stop and not much more. The mail planes just needed an airstrip and a place to refuel so they could be on their way again. When the airlines began to take paying passengers aboard, enterprising Las Vegans realized they could sell these visitors more than fuel and a few beers. Hotel resorts started going up, replacing the rougher hotels that were little more than saloons. The new hotels had restaurants, live music, swamp coolers (a kind of air conditioning), and slot machines. People began to make Las Vegas their destination rather than just an unavoidable overnight stop. Landing in Las Vegas is a short book at 124 pages of text and photos. There’s plenty of documentation, footnotes, and sources. In addition to an original interpretation of the rise of Las Vegas, Bubb includes many intriguing details, such as the story of the first woman passenger to arrive in Las Vegas by air and Senator Pat McCarran’s successes in getting federal funds for expanding the airport and establishing an Air Force base in Las Vegas.
Buy from Amazon UK | Buy from Amazon USA 

8. Above and Beyond: Inspiring Adventures into the Blue, by Heather McKeown
True and fascinating tales from the life of a flight attendant criss-crossing the globe. Heather McKeown welcomes you into the world of the airline service industry, and offers up hope to all who step onto the jetway. From stories of the sick and invalid, to those whose hopes and dreams are a flight away, you’ll see the world from a whole new perspective–from take-off to landing, and beyond.
Buy from Amazon UK | Buy from Amazon USA | Buy on Kindle 

9. China Airborne, by James Fallows
A fascinating account of China’s plans to rival America in the air, with aircraft manufacturing, huge airlines and route networks, and countless modern airports across the country. Fallows chronicles life in the city of Xi’an, home to 250,000 aerospace engineers and assembly-line workers, and introduces us to some of the hucksters, visionaries, entrepreneurs, and dreamers who seek to benefit from China’s pursuit of aeronautical supremacy.
Buy from Amazon UK | Buy from Amazon USA 

Learn to fly in 21 days10. Learn to Fly in 21 Days, by Phil Stone
Have you been putting off learning to fly? Maybe now’s the time to bite the bullet and go for it. Speaking from personal experience, I can tell you how rewarding and thrilling it is. This book claims to take you there in a very short period of time, and it’s cheap so why not give it a read?
Buy from Amazon UK | Buy from Amazon USA | Buy on Kindle

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