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Airlines of the Jet Age

A History

R. E.G. Davies

Hardback
This book provides the first comprehensive history of the world's airline industries from the early 1960s to the present day. It begins with the advent of jet airliners, covers the 'second' jet age of wide-bodied aircraft such as the Boeing 747 and DC-10, and closes with the introduction of the 'third' jet age, which begins with the double-decked giant Airbus A380. This reference book, covering airlines around the globe, is the ultimate resource for information on modern air transport. The volume also includes an informative introductory chapter guiding readers from the infancy of flight, through the air-transport craft in use during the two World Wars, and into the jet age. « less more »
Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press
Pages: 480Size: 9 x 11 1/2
978-0-9788460-8-4 • Hardback • June 2011 • $49.95 • (£31.95)
R.E.G. Davies recently retired as the Curator of Air Transport at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum. He has authored or co-authored 21 books about aviation and airlines. He lives in England with his wife.
Foreword by Christopher H. Sterling

Preface
Acknowledgments
Image Credits

Part One: Piston-Engine Prelude
Chapter 1 Air Transport Infancy
Chapter 2 Airline Adolescence
Chapter 3 Wartime Hiatus—And Opportunity
Chapter 4 Post-War Recovery
Chapter 5 Worldwide Expansion

Part Two: The First Jet Age
Chapter 6 The First Jets and Turboprops
Chapter 7 Turboprop Ascendancy
Chapter 8 The First Big Jets
Chapter 9 The Short-Haul Jets
Chapter 10 Proliferation
Chapter 11 Emergence of the Middle East
Chapter 12 Development of a Second Line
Chapter 13 The Commuter Airlines
Chapter 14 Restoring the Balance

Part Three: The Second Jet Age
Chapter 15 Wide-Bodied Jets
Chapter 16 Supersonic Digression
Chapter 17 Development of the Breeds
Chapter 18 Redefining the U.S. Second Line
Chapter 19 Regional Airlines Worldwide

Part Four: Airline Deregulation
Chapter 20 The United States Sets the Pace
Chapter 21 The Airline World Deregulates
Chapter 22 Russian Metamorphosis
Chapter 23 Decline of the American Giants
Chapter 24 Birth of the Low-Fare Generation

Part Five: Transformation in Europe
Chapter 25 Low-Fare Revolution
Chapter 26 British Airways Ascendancy
Chapter 27 France Consolidates
Chapter 28 Germany Regains a Leading Role
Chapter 29 European Airline Attrition
Chapter 30 Jet Wings over the Mediterranean
Chapter 31 Farthest North with the Scandinavians
Chapter 32 Europe Unites

Part Six: Rise of Asia and the Pacific Rim
Chapter 33 The Growth of China
Chapter 34 India Awakes
Chapter 35 The Subcontinent Fragments
Chapter 36 Eastern Asia Emergent
Chapter 37 Budget Fares for Southeast Asia

Part Seven: The Commonwealth Adjusts
Chapter 38 Airlines of Australia
Chapter 39 New Zealand and the Pacific
Chapter 40 Canada Reorganizes

Part Eight: A Continent Made for Air Transport
Chapter 41 The Sleeping Giant Awakes
Chapter 42 Down Mexico Way
Chapter 43 Around the Caribbean
Chapter 44 Central America
Chapter 45 Airlines of the Andes
Chapter 46 Farthest South

Part Nine: Africa
Chapter 47 Across the Mediterranean
Chapter 48 Sub-Saharan Contradictions
Chapter 49 End of the Empire Airlines
Chapter 50 To the Cape and Beyond

Part Ten: Transitions
Chapter 51 The Third Jet Age Begins
Chapter 52 A New Competitor—High Speed Rail
Chapter 53 A New Age Beckons

Appendix 1: Selected Aircraft Specifications
Appendix 2: Notable Events and Facts
Appendix 3: Monetary Conversion from1940 to 2010
Appendix 4: The Five Freedoms of the Air
Appendix 5: The World's Largest Airlines

Bibliography
Index
About the Author
In this comprehensive reference, the retired curator of air transport at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum describes the jet age as a series of stages beginning in 1952. He also discusses the huge changes wrought by these innovations: the first Comet aircraft could not cross oceans, for example, but today’s A380s fly halfway round the world nonstop. While few tourists could afford those early flights, today air travel is commonplace. Also covered are economic aspects of the industry, such as the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, which led to price wars and continued fights for survival. Davies’s coverage of lesser-known airlines from India to the Andes is exceptional. Appendixes of selected aircraft specifications and notable events and a bibliography follow.
Library Journal Best Reference Review


Value is one thing that the important and unique Airlines of the Jet Age will never loose. Together with the late Ron Davies's numerous other valuable writings, this tome will stand in enduring tribute to the zestful life and career of its illustrious and unforgettable author.
Airways


Delta: The Illustrated History of a Major U.S. Airline and the People Who Made It) divides the industry’s rise into ten segments and 53 chapters, covering the evolution of planes through the industry’s advance across continents and into the contemporary era’s complications. The book functions as a highly detailed and engaging chronology that also highlights industry figures and government regulations in subdivided chapters. Studded with photographs and charts comparing historical circumstances, the history closes with several valuable appendixes that include tables relating aircraft specs by nation and manufacturer. An excellent, accessible cover-to-cover read for nonspecialists interested in airline history.

Library Journal


Sadly, Ron Davies passed away just as his latest blockbuster was published - but this book is a fitting memorial to an author whose works will continue to be standard references on the history of airlines and airliners. It started with A History of the World’s Airlines, now a rare collectors item, and continued with his series for Putnam. The story is now brought up to date with the modern era from 1952. It is primarily arranged as a chronological history, but it takes the focus also onto geographical areas and air carrier segments.
Air-Britain


Sadly, Ron Davies passed away just as his latest blockbuster was published - but this book is a fitting memorial to an author whose works will continue to be standard references on the history of airlines and airliners. It started with A History of the World’s Airlines, now a rare collectors item, and continued with his series for Putnam. The story is now brought up to date with the modern era from 1952. It is primarily arranged as a chronological history, but it takes the focus also onto geographical areas and air carrier segments. Consequently, there are chapters on the development of the US commuter airlines, emergence of low-cost carriers, the supersonic question and competition from high speed rail. The histories of individual airlines are covered in considerable detail and the reasons for their rise and fall are positioned in the context of surrounding market circumstances. This book is not just a dry catalogue of facts and there are numerous anecdotes and tiny details which make the text enjoyable to read and as hard to put down as a classic novel. Scattered throughout the book are the wonderful hand-drawn maps for which Ron Davies was famous and there are numerous tables with details as obscure as listings of Mexican regional airlines and the break-up of the Chinese CAAC. One wonderfully simple by descriptive chart shows the cross sections of the Comet, Boeing 707, Boeing 747 and A380 - and explains that the A380 can carry the equivalent of ten Comets, five ‘707s and two ‘747s. Undoubtedly, this is not a cheap book, but we can guarantee that no serious airline historian can realistically manage without it. Buy now while stocks last!
Aviation World


From the foreword: This well-balanced history melds elements of technology (improving aircraft and systems), economics (as in trying to fly airplanes as full as possible), government regulation (largely limited to safety concerns after about 1980), and foreign affairs (obtaining landing rights, or dealing with fluctuating oil costs that often parallel political crises in the Middle East). More important, this is a history concerning people (those who work for the aircraft manufacturers or airlines and the millions who regularly fly); labor relations (including unions of pilots, flight attendants, and aircraft controllers, among others); culture (for example, the reversal of business versus leisure shares of the total market); and daily management decision-making. Here and there, anecdotes remind us of the lighter human aspects of an intensely serious business. All of these elements have created the modern air transport system, efficient and impersonal, without which much of the world’s commerce and life styles would grind to a halt. To better understand how the airline world we know came to be, pack this volume in your carry-on next time you fly.
Christopher H. Sterling, George Washington University


• chronicles the causes and effects or political and social influences that have generated the worldwide expansion of airlines

• notes the geographical change in the world’s balance of traffic: the First and Second Jet Ages were launched across the North Atlantic and the Third Jet Age was inaugurated from Europe to Asia

• Winner, Library Journal Best Reference Book for 2011 (Library Journal, 2011)
• Winner, CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title (2012)
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