The Aviation Pioneers of McCook Field: Candid Interviews with American Aeronautical Visionaries of the 1920s (Hardcover)
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McCook Field was a small air base in Dayton, Ohio, that was active only from 1917 to 1927. McCook was exceptional because it was designated by the US Signal Corps / Army Air Corps as an aeronautical research facility. As the center of prototype testing of new aircraft, McCook was a magnet for the leading aviators and engineers of the time. This work contains unpublished interviews with 20 of those aviation pioneers. Interviewees include WWII hero Jimmy Doolittle; test pilot Harold R. Harris (the first man to fly in a pressurized cockpit, first to bail out with a free fall parachute); WWII Tenth Air Force commander Howard Davidson; Major General Franklin O. Carroll, who oversaw the development of the first American military jet aircraft; Oakley Kelley, who made the first nonstop flight across the United States in 1923; the first SAC (Strategic Air Command) commander, George C. Kenney; Consolidated Aircraft Company founder Rueben Fleet; and Alexander Seversky, who created the Norden bombsight and founded the Republic Aviation Corporation. The majority of the interviews were conducted by the author in-person, with the remainder being drawn from audio-recorded interviews by a personal friend, General George W. Goddard.