It's clear Coonts has a passion for flight, which can be appreciated by all those who love the genre. Some of the most entertaining parts of the book occur when he introduces the next excerpt; he speaks wonderfully and weaves fantastic images to express a longing for flight. Overall, though, I have to say this book was really only so-so.
It's made up of several excerpts from books Coonts has decided are the most intriguing regarding flight (written in the past 100-150 years or so). They cover a wide range of concepts (reflecting the time period they were written in), ranging from hot air ballooning across oceans to a dogfight in outer space with the Soviet Union (obviously, techno-thriller 80s stuff). You're likely to recognize a few of the authors, such as Poe and Dale Brown.
In many ways, this book can be seen as a demo disc. I ended up reading it less like a collection, and more like a sampler for other books/authors I'd like to read. Personally, I found some of the excerpts to be rather boring. I did, however, especially enjoy "The War in 2020," even as short as it was. And that brings up another point- the excerpts can be rather short. Of course, I understand Coonts was merely looking for the best parts of great novels. However, I still feel that some excerpts could have gone on a little longer, or have been replaced completely by other more flight-indulging ones. I have looked over all the excerpts, but have really only been interested in three or so. All others have more or less failed to capture my imagination.
In the end, this truly is only a so-so book. If you are interested in collecting books of the flight genre, I recommend you buy the actual novels then this brief preview of them. I must say, I'm partial to "The War in 2020." If you're interested in near-future air tech I highly suggest you look into that book! But back to Coonts. If you're trying to decide between this or something else, I'd say to pass this one up for now.