Volume 1 of Larry Milberry's 100th Anniversary tribute to Canadian aviation (1909-2009) will be a treasure for all with an interest in Canada's wonderful heritage in the air. This will be a book that you'll be spending a lot of time with and ... if you're in the aviation biz, a premier gift item when it comes to impressing the heck out of aviation-minded employees, customers, suppliers, retirees and other VIPs.
Aviation in Canada: The Pioneer Decades, Volume 1 covers various eras from ballooning in the 1850s on to powered airplane flight culminating in Baddeck. All the efforts of Alexander Graham Bell and the Aerial Experiment Association are reviewed, e.g. Baldwin's first powered flight at Hammondsport, NY in 1908, and McCurdy's historic flight in the Silver Dart at Baddeck in 1909. Then comes a flood of developments. Baldwin and McCurdy demonstrate their airplanes to the military at Camp Petawawa, other Canadians get "the flying bug", the first great aviation meets take place at Montreal and Toronto in 1910, then the airplane gradually makes its way to cities and towns all across Canada.
The wartime chapters (1914-18) deliver in-depth coverage of the rapid advances engendered by world conflict at the dawn of modern aviation. They also emphasize the carnage wrought in and from the air, and the raw heroism that became frighteningly "normal" (Canada's three iconic Victoria Cross airmen are testimony to this). Special emphases are given to the great Royal Flying Corps (Canada) air training plan of 1917-18, and to Canada's nascent aeronautical industry which, with exactly zero experience, would produce nearly 3000 airplanes for the war effort in less than 2 years.