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Chosen Ones Hardcover – Apr 1 2002

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre / Not Applicable; 1st edition (April 1 2002)
  • ISBN-10: 1550549308
  • ISBN-13: 978-1550549300
  • Parcel Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.5 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,630,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


Sean Rossiter's The Chosen Ones puts the reader in the cockpit of untried prototype aircraft with some of the most daring adventurers from the past century. This volume tells the stories of the test pilots who worked for the companies, such as Avro and de Haviland, that designed and built original aircraft in the golden era of Canadian aviation history in the years that followed the Second World War. Many test pilots logically proceeded into the industry after gaining valuable flying experience in the war. After the war the continuation of aircraft development coincided with the Cold War era that demanded the West keep up with changes in Soviet technology. Men who were bitten by the flying bug and had proven themselves by flying nearly every type of aircraft under a variety of circumstances were able to put their experience to work in peacetime.
Perhaps fighter pilot is the occupation closest to test pilot. Both occupations require the reflexes, instincts and judgment necessary in making split second decisions—with life or death consequences—at great speed, in an amazingly complicated mechanical contraption. Men who made those choices flying hundreds of hours against a skilled enemy were perhaps the best equipped, and with the experience and fortitude to take on the frontier that was unique to the profession of test pilots. These men were the explorers and the adventurers of the age, riding wonders of technology. In addition to being endowed with the physical and mental faculties necessary to accomplish their tasks they also needed to have a great deal of knowledge in order to permit them to interact successfully with the design engineers and other highly trained people who worked in their industry. Whether they were first flight pilots, did experimental work or development flight testing, they provided the intangible human insights that work groups needed in their quest to improve, refine and master the product.
Rossiter has organized his book into two parts. Part One: A.V. ROE CANADA and Part Two: DE HAVILLAND CANADA containing ten chapters. Nine of the chapters examine the individual careers, exploits, and incredible contributions of nine test pilots; Don Roger, Jimmy Orrell, Mike Cooper-Slipper, Bill Waterton, Peter Cope, Jan Zurakowski, Russ Bannock, George Neal and Bob Fowler. The tenth chapter is about a group of De Havilland test pilots. The result is a series of exciting well-written stories that provided riveting testimony to document not only the work these men accomplished but also portray the spirit of their industry with a splendid insider look at the people who ran it.
This book pays lavish attention to detail. In each chapter Rossiter begins by providing a kind of mini bio of his subject with personal and career information before recounting the essentials of the work that explains why they were included in this volume.
Rossiter is a real aviation enthusiast who lets the reader in on a great deal of information about different kinds of aircraft and prototypes and about the way they were tested and brought along. Here are the insider stories about a group of cool analytical men who braved the unknown in perhaps the world's most high stress occupation. Rossiter tells their stories with panache. In addition, he examines a myriad of details about the shifting nature of the aviation industry and the sometimes controversial nature of the relationships that fueled its advancement. The interesting Endnotes at the end of the book read like a dialogue between experts aided and abetted by Rossiter's excellent interviews with several of his subjects and his thorough job of research.
Sean Rossiter deserves a great deal of credit for producing a highly readable work about a group of largely unknown test pilots who made aviation history. This volume will undoubtedly be regarded by future readers as a seminal work that has brought to life an era in Canadian history that should never be forgotten.
Allan Safarik (Books in Canada) -- Books in Canada

About the Author

Sean Rossiter is the author of twelve books, including Otter and Twin Otter and the best-selling The Immortal Beaver. He lives in Vancouver, B.C.

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