In our last blog, we covered the top 5 aviation movies. We all know reading is better for you than watching movies, so we’re adding the top 5 aviation books. Like our aviation movie list, the aviation book list covers the gambit of genres. Obviously, this is a subject list, and we can’t say this is the definitive top 5, but these are certainly worth reading before or during flight school.

The Wright Brothers

Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner David McCullough is the author of this masterful retelling of the founders of aviation. The Wright Brothers takes readers on a journey of the courage and curiosity the fueled the ordinary bicycling-manufacturing brothers from Dayton, Ohio. McCullough is a masterful biographer and storyteller. The book unlayers the Wright Brothers’ unwavering support for one another during all the success and failures. This is a must-read for any aspiring or established pilot.

The Right Stuff

Tom Wolfe’s The Right Stuff chronicles the feats of an elite crew of seven United States military test pilots who are called by NASA to serve as the first astronauts for Project Mercury. The goal was to send a human into Earth’s orbit and return him and the spacecraft safely to the planet’s surface. The Mercury Seven eventually completes six space missions from 1961 to 1963.

Sled Driver

The SR-71 Blackbird was known as the fastest and highest-flying jet in the world. It flew so high that the pilots had to wear spacesuits. The jet was a top-secret from the moment it entered the service for the United States Air Force in 1966. In this must-read aviation adventure, Sled Driver author and retired Blackbird pilot Brian Shul takes readers on an exciting ride through the scientific leaps the aviation industry has made in recent decades.

Fate is the Hunter

Author Ernest K. Gann lets readers into the cockpit and takes them back in time when the air travel business was just beginning. He takes readers back to the early days when American Airlines was getting started in the 1930s to flying C-54s, C-87s, and Lockheed Lodestars during World War II. Gann walks readers through the challenges the aviation business faced as it transformed.

Wind, Sand, and Stars

From the same author who wrote the famous children’s book The Little Prince comes a memoir of his time as an airmail pilot for Aeropostale in the 1930s. Author, Antoine de Saint-Expery describes his adventures flying above the Sahara Desert and the Andes Mountains. He weaves themes of bravery, friendship, loss, and wisdom through this page-turning aviation classic.

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