Published to coincide with the centennial celebration of U.S. naval aviation, this book details the history of U.S. Navy aviation from its earliest days, before the Navy's first aircraft carrier joined the fleet, through the modern jet era marked by the introduction of the F-18 Hornet. It tells how naval aviation got its start, profiles its pioneers, and explains the early bureaucracy that fostered and sometimes inhibited its growth. The book then turns to the refinement of carrier aviation doctrine and tactics and the rapid development of aircraft and carriers, highlighting the transition from propeller-driven aircraft to swept-wing jets in the period after World War II. Land-based Navy aircraft, rotary-wing aircraft, rigid airships, and balloons are also considered in this sweeping tribute
"One Hundred Years of U.S. Navy Air Power is a rich history of the first century of naval aviation, and what a century it's been! Doug Smith takes us inside to witness in rich detail the evolution that has brought us from the first carrier landing in 1911 by Curtiss aircraft pilot Eugene Ely to today's remarkable U.S. naval forces. This is a must-read for aviation enthusiasts everywhere.
I have had the personal honor to have served with and led a number of these great Americans, U.S. Navy astronauts in our nation's space program. The spirit, quality of character, and professionalism of U.S. naval aviators cannot be overstated, and such traits are recognized immediately when one has the opportunity to serve with them. America should be extremely proud of what they have delivered for our freedom in these first hundred years and confident in even greater success in the next century of U.S. naval air power. Happy reading!" Colonel Charles J. Precourt. USAF (RET.) Former Chief of the Astronaut Office, National Aeronautics and Space Administration