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Buy The Book: Last Days Of The Concorde by Samme Chittum – BangShift Review

Buy The Book: Last Days Of The Concorde by Samme Chittum – BangShift Review

Being that we are heading into the holiday season, publishing companies are releasing a torrent of new material to capture some of those holiday spending bucks. If you have loved ones that are gearheaded bookworms, the next couple weeks should be good fodder for you here on BangShift. I’ve got a pile of books to read and review here. I’ll do my best to steer you in the right direction for good gearhead content for that readers your family.

Today we’re talking about an aviation book, “The Last Days of the Concorde: The Crash of Flight 4590 and the End of Supersonic Passenger Travel” by Samme Chittum. This book is a follow up to the episode of Air Disasters on the Smithsonian Channel featuring the crash that in some ways has been lost to history as it occurred a year before September 11th and while it had technical implications it had none of the nefarious terrorist connections that the September 11th horrors did.

Cutting to the chase, I enjoyed this book and I enjoyed it for more than a couple of reasons. For starters, it is not overly simplified. Chittum has done a spectacular job of gathering scads and scads of data both personal and technical regarding the Concorde aircraft itself, the people involved in this tremendously unfortunate disaster, and the circumstances surrounding its cause. I learned tons and tons about all of those elements and it made part of the work that may not have been as interesting due to their potentially dry nature, really riveting. From how investigators managed to figure out the insanely simple but improbable cause of the crash to the physics behind the world’s first supersonic passenger jet, the work covers all of those elements fully.

Details like the transcripts from the cockpit voice recorders and investigative reports put you front and center in the aftermath of the calamity.

This is a great and nicely encompassing look into just how something small can turn into an international disaster and change the course of aviation history. In many ways the way that the planes came out of service after the crash is a sad glimpse into the world we live in now. A world so afraid of corporate liability and appearances that innovation and risk are quietly pushed to the side.

Two big BangShifty thumbs up on this one.

Click here to score a copy of the book – gearheads and aviation buffs will love it 

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