Being hurried out the door of yet another used book store, I picked this book up for a quarter- or free- without looking closely at it, thinking it might be a personal history of a B17 pilot or something similar. But no, its better than that!
Published in 1941 as the equivalent of the bodice-ripper for depression-era technology-craving 14 year old males, the story features a futuristic secret fighter plane capable of making a mockery of all other current planes, (pick 'em out from the illustrations!)
As you might expect, the designer has a secret mountain hideaway to build his miracle planes (a la John Galt in Atlas Shrugged) and is actually engaged in developing a real flying fortress, complete with machine guns, mega bombload, "helicopters" in the wings to hover in the air out of antiaircraft fire range while shelling enemy positions with an 8 inch cannon and protected by a super bulletproof alloy to keep it safe from enemy fighters! Whew! it's all too much!
Naturally, our heros are resourceful, capable and of exceptional courage and character, excellent role models for us all.
Lots of fun. The story, from what I could determine by not reading it, is remarkably predictable despite having not one but two noted authors Oskar Lebeck and Gaylord Du Bois who both made names for themselves in the comic strip world. But really the best part is the illustration work by Alden McWilliams,
If I had found this book as a kid I would have loved it.
Alas, now I'm just a bit too jaded and cynical...
The paper in the book is showing its age.