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Empire of the Clouds



999 books

In 1945, Britain was the world's leading aircraft designer and builder—a status that it achieved through innovation and extraordinary skill. The sleek Comet, the first jet airliner; the Vulcan, an intercontinental bomber that could be thrown about the sky like a fighter; and the Hawker Hunter, the most beautiful fighter jet ever built: All these British aircraft were graceful feats of design and engineering. 

 The Lightning, which could zoom 10 miles above the clouds in only a couple of minutes, was also part of this world-class achievement. Pilots rated flying it as better than sex. This moment in history was marvelous. What became of the great industry of de Havilland or Handley Page? And what was it like to be alive at that moment when innovative new British aircraft made their debut?

Golden Age of British Aviation

Empire of the Clouds by James Hamilton-Paterson takes you on a journey through the golden age of British aviation. It's a fascinating look into the era when Britain led the world in aircraft design and innovation.

Intriguing Personalities

The book introduces you to a host of intriguing personalities. From engineers to pilots, you get to know the people who were at the forefront of the aviation industry. Their stories are as captivating as they are inspiring.

Detailed Research

Hamilton-Paterson's research is meticulous. He digs deep into the history of British aviation, providing a wealth of information that's both educational and entertaining. You'll find yourself immersed in a world of technological advancements and daring feats.

Impact of Politics and Economics

The book also explores the impact of politics and economics on the aviation industry. It shows how these factors played a crucial role in the rise and fall of Britain's dominance in the field. It's a thought-provoking look into the complexities of progress and decline.

Nostalgic and Poignant

Empire of the Clouds is not just a historical account. It's a nostalgic and poignant tribute to a bygone era. The author's passion for the subject shines through, making it a compelling read for anyone interested in aviation or history.

Quotes 5

A mesmerizing journey into the heart of the British aviation industry, Empire of the Clouds is a must-read.

John le CarréJohn le Carré - British Author, Espionage

Hamilton-Paterson's Empire of the Clouds is a captivating exploration of Britain's golden age of aviation.

Martin AmisMartin Amis - Novelist, Essayist

Empire of the Clouds is a compelling narrative that captures the spirit of a bygone era in British aviation.

Ian McEwanIan McEwan - Contemporary Fiction Writer

Hamilton-Paterson's Empire of the Clouds is a fascinating chronicle of Britain's aviation history.

J.G. BallardJ.G. Ballard - Science Fiction Author

Empire of the Clouds is a riveting account of the rise and fall of the British aviation industry.

Tom WolfeTom Wolfe - Journalist, Novelist
John le CarréMartin AmisIan McEwanJ.G. BallardTom Wolfe


authorBrian Cox

Brian Cox