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

Lords of the Sky: Fighter Pilots and Air Combat, from the Red Baron to the F-16 Audiobook, by Dan Hampton Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Dan Hampton Narrator: John Pruden Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2014 ISBN: 9780062308788
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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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Quotes & Awards

  • “An excellent, well-researched, literate overview of twentieth-century warfare and the development of the fighter plane. Lords of the Sky will captivate history and aviation buffs alike.”

    Stephen Coonts, New York Times bestselling author of Flight of the Intruder

  • “It is perhaps ironic that Dan Hampton’s excellent and very readable history of fighter pilots is appearing just as the use of drones seems likely to supplant them, but his book brings back to vivid life the unique and romantic role of the fighter pilot in all the wars of the past hundred years. Hampton writes with the verve, dash, and crisp authority of a man who has been a fighter pilot himself, and the result is a book that is at once dramatic, fast-paced, and definitive, a pleasure for everyone who loves reading about aviation, and the life-and-death drama of air combat.”

    Michael Korda, New York Times bestselling author of With Wings like Eagles

  • “In a unique concept never before attempted, Dan Hampton breaks new ground—a fighter pilot telling the history of fighter pilots! Lords of the Sky is superbly written, and Hampton’s personal experience is backed up by excellent research. He 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. Aviation buffs and the general public will agree that this is a first in the field!”

    Colonel Walter Boyne (USAF, Ret.), New York Times bestselling coauthor of The Wild Blue

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About the Author

Dan Hampton (US Air Force, Ret.) flew more than 150 combat missions during his twenty years as a Wild Weasel fighter pilot. For his service in the Iraq War, Kosovo conflict, first Gulf War, and elsewhere, 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 is a graduate of the USAF and USN Fighter Weapons Schools and the USAF Special Operations School. A recipient of several awards for tactical innovation, Hampton pioneered air-combat tactics that are now standard and was named his squadron’s Instructor Pilot of the Year six times. A graduate of Texas A&M University, he has published articles in the Journal of Electronic Defense, Air Force Magazine, and Airpower, as well as several classified tactical works for the USAF Fighter Weapons Review.

About the Narrator

John Pruden is an Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator. His exposure to many people, places, and experiences throughout his life provides a deep creative well from which he draws his narrative and vocal characterizations. His narration of The Killing of Crazy Horse by Thomas Powers was chosen by the Washington Post as a Best Audiobook of 2010.