Yes, we know. Top Gear and caravans… Two things that don’t naturally go together, unless one is being blown up or otherwise destroyed. Nonetheless, our selection of the best car and transportation new books this month features both. From titles about aviation (mentioning Richard Pearse and Richard De Crespigny), to Top Gear’s coolest 500 cars and an homage to caravans, here are our latest picks of the new transportation books!
A passion for flight : New Zealand aviation before the Great War. Volume 1, Ideas, first flight attempts and the aeronauts 1868-1909 / Errol W. Martyn.
“Not only is the Richard Pearse controversy finally put to rest here, but readers will also be surprised to learn just how many New Zelanders were activley engaged in one field or another of aeronautical activity. By 1914 they had filed some 70 patents, built or begun the construction of over 30 gliders or aeroplanes, worked with airships or learned to fly, here and abroad, and even invented and operated (for entertainment ourposes) a prototype equlivalent of today’s virtual reality flight simulator.” (Book jacket)
Top Gear : the cool 500 : the coolest cars ever made / Matt Master.
“Ever since Karl Benz first powered up his Patent-Motorwagen in 1885, man has salivated and swooned over automobiles. And none more so than the motoring fanatics at Top Gear Magazine, who have test-driven, critiqued and worshipped some of the finest cars in motoring history.” (Library Catalogue)
Engineers : from the great pyramids to the pioneers of space travel / [editor-in-chief Adam Hart-Davis].
“An epic visual guide to the great engineers who have built our world. Full of great tales of achievement and ingenuity. Engineers celebrates 80 of the greatest engineers that ever lived and the stamp they have left on the world.” (Library Catalogue)
My cool caravan : an inspirational guide to retro-style caravans / Jane Field-Lewis + Chris Haddon ; photography by Hilary Walker.
“A weekend away in a stylish caravan provides the perfect antidote to 21st-century living, and more and more people are now breathing fresh “retro” vibes into the humble recreational vehicle. Old-style campers also tap into the nostalgia/retro market and the desire for a simpler lifestyle. “My Cool Caravan” aims to inspire a new generation of camper owners and provide an idiosyncratic sourcebook for the design conscious. The inspiration for the styling can come from many different sources–this book looks at 30 styled campers in detail, covering themes such as Country Cottage, Rustic, Romany, Funky 1970s, Airstream, Trailer Park Treasures, and Recycled.” (Syndetics summary)
QF32 / Richard De Crespigny [with Mark Abernathy].
“On 4 November 2010, a flight from Singapore to Sydney came within a knife edge of being one of the world’s worst air disasters. Shortly after leaving Changi Airport, an explosion shattered Engine 2 of Qantas flight QF32 – an Airbus A380, the largest and most advanced passenger plane ever built. Hundreds of pieces of shrapnel ripped through the wing and fuselage, creating chaos as vital flight systems and back-ups were destroyed or degraded. In other hands, the plane might have been lost with all 469 people on board, but a supremely experienced flight crew, led by Captain Richard Champion de Crespigny, managed to land the crippled aircraft and safely disembark the passengers after hours of nerve-racking effort. Tracing Richard’s life and career up until that fateful flight, QF32 shows exactly what goes into the making of a top-level airline pilot, and the extraordinary skills and training needed to keep us safe in the air. Fascinating in its detail and vividly compelling in its narrative, QF32 is the riveting, blow-by-blow story of just what happens when things go badly wrong in the air, told by the captain himself.” (Library Catalogue)
Mechanics of flight / A.C. Kermode.
“ Mechanics of flight is an ideal introduction to the basic principles of flight for students embarking on courses in aerospace engineering, student pilots, apprentices in the industry and anyone who is simply interested in aircraft and space flight. Written in a straightforward and jargon-free style, this popular classic text makes the fascinating topic of aircraft flight engaging and easy to understand. Starting with an overview of the relevant asoects of mechanics, this book goes on to cover topics such as air and airflow, aerofoils, thrust, level flight, gliding, landing, performance, manoeuvres, stabilty and control” (Book jacket)
Test pilot : my extraordinary life in flight / Tony Blackman ; with a foreword by Sir Charles Masefield.
“Tony Blackman – Test Pilot covers Tony’s captivating career, from the RAF, national service and learning to fly, to squadron flying and testing aircraft at Boscombe Down. Tony gives great insight into the world of the aerospace industry and what it takes to be a test pilot. The book is testament to his fascinating life in aviation during which he flew with the legendary Howard Hughes and tested hundreds of aircraft, including Avros, Shackletons, Victors and all three Vulcan bombers – an almost unique experience.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
The A303 : highway to the sun / Tom Fort.
“The A303 can take the adventurer from cosy, cummuter-belt Hampshire to the threshold of another land entirly, one of rocky headlnads and sandy beaches and the surging sea. It is a road of magical properties…” (Book jacket)
1001 cars to dream of driving before you die / general editor, Simon Heptinsall ; preface by Nick Mason.
“Prepare to be absorbed by this comprehensive, visual catalogue of the 1001 most important cars ever created. Drool over the sumptuous full-colour photographs, marvel at the carefully compiled technical specifications and enjoy the authoritative but entertaining reviews written by a panel of motoring experts. From Karl Benz through Bruce McClaren to the “Smart car” – welcome to the definitive guide to the greatest cars you can possibly drive on Earth.” (Book jacket)
Mighty moves : heavy haulage and house moving in New Zealand / Bee Dawson.
“Although the Board of the New Zealand Heavy Haulage Association decided in 1999 that it was timely to record the history of oversize movements in New Zealand, little happened until Christchurch heavy haulage pioneer Norm Durham passed away in February 2008” (Back cover)