How Airliners Fly: A Passengers Guide is a book written by a retired airline pilot who flew the Boeing 737, 757 and 767 for over 36 years. In addition, he was an instructor on these types of airplanes. Mr. Julien Evans has also published over eight books.
How Airliners Fly is a superb example of an instructive book, in every sense of the word. I am struck by the need for this book, for it is easy to embrace the motivation of the book’s writer and publisher in creating such a work. The premise behind the creation of this and other books of this kind is simple: How much does the commercial-flying public know about how airplanes fly? The answer is clear – next to nothing. Yet people trust their lives to machines and, in the case of airplanes, the people who fly them safely to their destination.
The book addresses questions that are central to our technological age and the way we live today. Surrounded by machines – airplanes are complex, sensitive machines – today, human beings have come to expect that airplanes deliver a level of comfort, safety and security that has no precedent in human history. But why should they? And, who makes them work so efficiently, and seemingly effortless, that the general public ever has cause to notice it?
How Airliners Fly is not just a book for passengers of commercial airliners, even though, thoughtful and mechanically curious readers will be enlightened by this book. The book is a gem for anyone who has ever marveled at aviation and how these massive human creations operate and fly. Being practical and having a healthy level of interest in the world around us is also a good reason to read Mr. Evans’ book.
Given the complexity and sophistication of the science of commercial air travel, a book like How Airliners Fly essentially serves several purposes. One of these is to educate readers about the science of flight, in addition to how this science has evolved to a hitherto unimaginable level. Not only the nature of flight, but also the science of meteorology, radio and satellite communication make this book a valuable reading experience.
The author also lets the reader in on the stresses that airplanes and their pilots undergo. Flight is demanding on man and machine. How many people appreciate the level of training that commercial airline pilots must undergo? Their dedication and professionalism are worthy of attention by the general public, once in a while. And, how often does the commercial traveler realize or truly understand the immense work that goes into safe and efficient commercial flying?
If the author can get thoughtful readers to embrace some of these questions, then the book can be considered a success, and, How Airliners Fly is just that, a success. Mr. Evans is meticulous and clear in his exposition, leading to the convincing execution of his message as a pilot.