FABULOUS FLYING BOATS 

 

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"The fascinating story of the flying boat era told in 300 pages, containing 136 images and 512 aircraft (flying boats and floatplanes) noted within its Appendix. A superb read, well researched, full of anecdotes; a quality publication which will make a lovely present for anyone remotely interested in flying boats"
Seawings

"Fabulous Flying Boats illustrates so much, for just a small example. The production standards for the book are quite high, more than the normal..and is an excellent gift. Dawson writes history like a person who loves what he is talking about. One can hardly imagine a better book or a better written book. Perhaps there will be a Fabulous Flying Boats II in the near future? We can only be so lucky."
Seattle Pi: Travel for Aircraft
"This 320-page hardback - despite its staggeringly comprehensive factual content - is no dry textbook...It is packed with funny, tragic, whimsical and wistful first-hand anecdotes of those who flew - or were flown in - flying boats. It is a labour of love and reflects the feelings that flying boat pilots had for their craft."
Dorset Life

"This is not a technical history bristling with specs and data but a lively narrative of the origins and operational use of flying boats in airline service.  The unusually long Acknowledgments shows just how many people offered input and source material, and how good a time Dawson had researching the subject . Told in great detail, both from the crew's and the passengers' perspective. From getting your ticket punched to running up the engines, from the chill in the cabin to settling down for a smoke, from radio transmissions to ports of call-it's like being there! Even the seasoned reader will find snippets of detail here that have not been strung together in this way before. This is a very nicely written book, fun to read, and offering many useful details" 
Speedreaders.info

Fabulous Flying Boats
A History of the World's Passenger Flying Boats
First published in Great Britain in 2013 by
Pen and Sword Aviation

The history of the development and operations of flying boats in the early twentieth century is a vibrant one, full of colourful characters and experimentation. In 'Fabulous Flying Boats', Leslie Dawson captures this spirit of dynamism, reminding us of the most successful early pioneers of the seaplanes development, including a little known and oft-overlooked rival to the Wright Brothers, working to put their mutual successes in context. He goes on to describe, in clear and vivid detail, and using first hand-accounts, what it was like to be aboard one of the resulting huge passenger flying boats, as air crew and as a passenger. He also recounts the part played by the military boats inevitably seconded to such use.

Incredibly well researched, the narrative embraces the globe-trotting air routes, from Europe to the Far East and to the Americas, and is well supported with evocative images from private and corporate collections, and the worlds aviation museums. The in-depth Appendix is virtually a book in itself.

This book is sure to be a welcome addition to any Aviation enthusiasts library as it covers a particularly important period of Aviation development which formed a fertile environment for a host of young experimenters. The process of development continues to this day.

Appearances
 
BBC Radio Two
Wings Over Dorset review recorded  BBC Broadcasting House
with John Dunn for his evening show.
 
 
TV South West
Airships & The Battle of Britain: location filming.
 
BBC TV South
Flyingboats & Flight Refuelling Southampton Studio.
 
Training for Life
RAF pre-service training shown by Network TV.
2 day location filming RAF Old Sarum.
Gliding sequences, direction, script assistance.
 
Cleared for Take Off
BBC for TVS. Location filming for producer Jane French.
Bournemouth International Airport
 
Two Counties Talk Radio
Easy Listening music presenter with live phone in for director John Piper.
Feature two hour Battle of Britain special with phone-in
 
BBC Radio Solent
Instructor for recorded glider flight at Thruxton for Sally Taylor.
 
Illustrated Flying Boat talks
Poole Flying Boats Celebration, Harbour Heights Hotel, Royal Motor Yacht Club.
Poole Maritime Trust, RMYC; Bournemouth & Poole Medical Society, Haven Hotel
Wimborne Historical Society, Allendale Centre; Parkstone Yacht Club, Lilliput
South Hampshire Historic Aviation Society, Rumsey 
Society of Poole Men H.P. Smith Memorial Lecture
Royal  Aeronautical Society, Bournemouth University
.
Articles
Bournemouth Echo; Dorset County Magazine; Dorset Life;
Golden Days; Waterline Magazine; Guild of Air Traffic Control Officers.
  
Air Show commentator: Vintage Military Aircraft Display Team.