Review of Beyond Blue Skies

Beyond Blue Skies: The Rocket Plane Programs That Led to the Space Age by Chris Petty

My rating: 4.1 of 5 stars

Beyond Blue Skies is a superbly detailed collation and curation of the oral history of the American X-Plane programme. The author captures the individual experiences through interviews with participants and descendants as well as a trove of official documents. A truly magisterial presentation – the biggest challenge being the damned institutional pricing that means it’ll never be popularly distributed or appreciated.
This is an engaging and particularly valuable contribution to the scholarship. Petty relates a true adventure story – grounded in politics and administrative realities, and effectively captures the spirit of the times and the pushing of the envelope of human technical achievement. Not a quick read – but one that is truly rewarding.

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