This series represents a high watermark in terms of high quality colour shots of rare and interesting aircraft from the 1950s and 60s. They are based around the photographic collections of George W. Hamlin himself and Mel Lawrence. The latter's slide collection especially is the cornerstone of the books as he travelled widely in the era taking photos from the numerous observation areas around at the time.
There are three books in the series organised geographically as follows:
Skyliners - Mainliners, Falcons and Flagships - Volume 1: North America
Skyliners 2: Europe & South America
Skyliners 3: A Journey to Asia
All three volumes were published between 1991 and 1995 by World Transport Press (who also published the much missed Airliners magazine) and follow the same format. Each has 120 pages with each page having a wonderful colour print. Typically there is some general text about the airport or airline plus a more detailed history about the exact airframe represented.
Often almost more interesting than the aircraft is the GSE and airport architecture shown in the backgrounds from places like Chicago, Dallas, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco etc. There is a great spread of airlines from the trunks, local service airlines and even Canada and Hawaii.
It is hard to fault such a great set of books, if only all photo essay books were of such high quality in terms of both text, photos and reproduction. Despite their age these books still appear quite easily available from eBay so there's really no excuse not to own them. I'd recommend picking them up ASAP for a wonderful insight into an age when air travel still had a sense of wonder.
I'm Richard Stretton, an aviation enthusiast and major collector of 400 scale model aircraft. This blog discusses ongoing events in the world of 400 scale.
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