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My Other Books

747 Creating the World's First Jumbo Jet and Other Adventures from a Life in Aviation by Jay Spenser and Joe Sutter

I collaborated with legendary U.S. aeronautical engineer Joe Sutter to put his amazing life story into words.  Telling his life story, Sutter takes us behind the scenes to show how he and his Boeing engineering team actually developed the world-transforming 747.


Sugar House by Jay Spenser

This huge tome took me eight years to write, but I knew that if I didn’t record the history of the helicopter, nobody ever would because that industry’s pioneers were getting well along in years.  It is the definitive work in its field and I’m proud of it.

The Day I Owned the Sky

More than two decades ago, I ghostwrote this wonderful memoir for General Scott, the U.S. WWII fighter ace who wrote God Is My Copilot (that book was ghostwritten too).  It was an enjoyable collaboration and makes for highly entertaining reading.

Vertical Challenge: The Hiller Aircraft Story

In 1944, Stanley Hiller, Jr.—a 19-year-old prodigy in San Francisco—built and flew the first successful U.S. helicopter designed anywhere west of the Mississippi River.  Hiller’s innovative company built thousands of helicopters over the next two decades.



Moskito: The Focke Wulf Ta 154

In World War II, the German High Command was so impressed with Britain’s “wooden wonder,” the de Havilland Mosquito, that they built one of their own.  The Moskito, as this Teutonic twin was known, served as a Luftwaffe night fighter.

Focke-Wulf FW 190: Workhorse of the Luftwaffe

Focke-Wulf FW 190: Workhorse of the Luftwaffe
(Famous Aircraft of the National Air and Space Museum Series, Vol. 9)

One of World War II’s best fighters, the legendary
FW 190 also flew in the ground-attack role.  This volume examines this lesser-known use, traces the history of the Smithsonian’s FW 190 F8, and describes this exquisite machine’s painstaking restoration.


Bellanca C.F.: The Emergence of the Cabin Monoplane in the United States

In the biplane era, the Bellanca C.F. combined a single wing with an enclosed passenger cabin.  Although just one C.F. was built, it sired the globe-spanning Bellanca Pacemakers and Skyrockets, whose golden-age exploits this book also describes.

Aeronca C-2: The Story of the Flying Bathtub

The Aeronca C-2 of 1929 was the first safe, affordable light airplane sold in the United States.  Marking the emergence of U.S. general aviation, this diminutive single-seater paved the way for the Piper Cub and all the other privately owned light planes that followed.


Sugar House by Jay Spenser

The Sugar House Mystery: The Butternut Village Mystery Series

Just for fun, I wrote this mystery for young readers. Girls and boys aged 8 to 12 absolutely love it and so might the children in your life.  I have ideas for at least a dozen more “Butternut Village Mysteries,” as I call this proposed series, so more to come….

747 Creating the World's First Jumbo Jet and Other Adventures from a Life in Aviation by Jay Spenser and Joe Sutter
“As magnificent
and soaring as the
big bird itself.”

 — Homer Hickam, author of Rocket Boys/October Sky


Words on Wings