High Hulls...

...Flying Boats of the 1930s and 1940s , from Fonthill Media

Title: High Hulls
Author: Charles R. G. Bain

Publisher: Fonthill Media
ISBN: 978-1-78155-691-7

 

A new hardback 319-page book from Fonthill Media and author Charles R G Bain.  The subject is a type of aircraft we see little of these days but one which has/had a valuable military role while also offering an elegance to an earlier age of civilian travel as well. This book tells us in detail about some well known flying boats and others maybe less well known, both large and small.

The flying boat offered a number of possibilities for the military but they also offered solutions for civilian purposes, such as passenger transport and distribution of postal services around the world for countries with overseas interests.  One of the advantages of a flying boat is simply that it doesn't need an expensive infrastructure such as that tied up in a land based airport.

Each of the 37 chapters tackles a particular aircraft, which vary from the small to the very largest, some well known and others less so. Manufacturers vary from Russian, French, German, American, Italian, Japanese and British.  Large flying boats include Howard Hughes huge H-4 Hercules, the so-called Spruce Goose, the 12 engine Dornier DO X, Boeing Clipper, Kawanishi H8K as well as famous military aircraft such as the Sunderland, Walrus, Martin Mariner and the Catalina.  Add smaller aircraft such as the Grumman HU-16 Albatross and the little Republic RC-3 Seabee we see the wide variety of size and style which existed in this class or aircraft.

The book is well illustrated throughout, with a mix of archive photos plus some modern colour images of some of the remainingexamples of some which are today housed as museum exhibits.

This is an interesting book to read, and offers insight to an interesting mix of aircraft that made up the various flying boats types that were built during the period.  Even today, a flying boat can off the chance to access areas that lack the support of extensive (and costly) airfield infrastructure.

Thanks to Fonthill Media for our review copy.

Robin