“Pioneer Mechanics in Aviation,” a new book by Giacinta Bradley Koontz that chronicles the exploits of airplane mechanics up to the start of World War II, is set to be released March 1.
Each of the book’s 24 chapters tells the stories of the men and women who kept Wright Flyers, Blériots, Curtiss Pushers, and other wood-and-fabric aircraft flying. Beginning with the Wright brothers’ mechanic, Charles Taylor, Koontz reveals the life stories and contributions of these unsung heroes of aviation.
“This book captured my interest because it includes women pilots, like Katherine Stinson and Willa Brown, who were also good mechanics,” says Sue Hughes, owner of Powder Puff Pilot, a Denver-based web retailer that specializes in gear and accessories for women pilots. “Men have always outnumbered women pilots, but before World War II, a woman who knew how to use a wrench was especially rare.” Powder Puff Pilot is now taking orders for the book.
Koontz has written aviation history columns for several magazines since 2006. Her first book was a biography of America’s first female licensed pilot, Harriet Quimby.
Pioneer Mechanics in Aviation includes dozens of vintage photographs and illustrations, and well as an index of aircraft, engines, and people. Price: $34.95. For more information: PowderPuffPilot.com