Supersonic Thunder: A Novel of the Jet Age. By Walter J. Boyne. New York: Forge (Tom Doherty Associates), 2006. Pp. 367. $25.95 ISBN: 0-765-30844-4
Walter Boyne has produced another novel concerning the romance of aircraft, the flying business, and those individuals who participate in the aviation industry. He is a proven authority on the general topic of aviation and the specific theme of flying. Boyne is a retired Air Force colonel with 5,000 flight hours and is the former Director of the National Air and Space Museum--two experiences which give him the needed credibility to write a book worthy of a reader's time. Adding to this technical aviation experience is his proven ability to write. Boyne is a prolific author with 500 articles and 30 books (fiction and nonfiction) which adds to the reasons why this book is worth the price. It directly follows an earlier fiction work, Dawn over Kitty Hawk, which addresses the dawn of manned flight. Supersonic Thunder then thrusts the reader into the dawn of jet flight through the lens of the fictional Shannon family whose members participate in all elements of American flight experience: aircraft design, company management, and jet flying.
Supersonic Thunder covers the waterfront of the dawn of the jet age. It offers a rather broad and fast-paced story of the early development of jet aircraft into American military and commercial aviation. Additionally, it speaks of the beginning of manned space flight as well as the application of jet airpower in Vietnam.
I was captured by three areas in this work. The first was the vehicle of using a fictional American family that was employed in the aviation industry. Through the lens of their experiences, the subsequent development of the aviation industry became self evident. Of course, this was not an...