Thursday, December 6, 2012

Float Planes and Flying Boats

9781612511078 By Capt. Robert B Workman USCG (Ret'd) Naval Institute Press 2012

With nearly 300 vintage photographs and close to 300 pages of text, retired U.S. Coast Guard aviator Capt. Robert Workman presents a complete picture of naval aviation’s rapid development between 1911 and 1938.  Frustrated by the lack of information specifically about the Coast Guard’s aviation heritage, the author undertook research of his own.  The result is a balanced look at early naval aviation that, for the first time, gives full credit to the important contributions made by Coast Guardsmen.  He shows that it was thanks to their creativity, skill, and determination, along with efforts by the other sea services, that such great strides were possible.  Several chapters are devoted to the inventions of the float plane and flying boat and why the flying boat was considered more seaworthy and reliable.
This book contains an excellent collection of photos and research but lacks focus on what it wants to be. Not sure if it was to be a biography of first USCG aviator Elmer Stone, a history of events or a history of the aircraft involved. Author Workman would have done well to split this into separate projects. The end result was a big disappointment.

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