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The Electra Story: The Dramatic History of Aviation's Most Controversial Airliner

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The Electra Story: The Dramatic History of Aviation
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Product Details

Format:Kindle eBook
Release Date:2017-06-22
Number of Pages:165
Category:Kindle Edition
Label/Manufacturer:Endeavour Press

Product Description

At 11:08 P.M. on the humid night of September 29, 1959, Braniff Flight 542 crashed on a farm near Buffalo, Texas.

Less than six months later, Northwest Flight 710 crashed in a soybean field near Tell City, Indiana. Both planes were Lockheed Electras, and both, for no apparent reason, had lost a wing in mid-air.

The combined toll of the two crashes was 97 lives. There were no survivors. Early the following October, during take-off from Boston’s Logan Airport, there was another Electra disaster, and the plane that had been supposedly foolproof became the object of the ugliest controversy in the history of commercial aviation.

The Electra Story is an illuminating and incomparably thorough study of the plane’s entire career. From design through construction, rigorous testing, and brilliant initial performance, to the minute-by-minute record of the fatal flights, the scenes of wreckage, and then the painstaking efforts to solve the mystery.

While the search for a “probable cause” went on, there was a crucial decision to be made: whether or not to let the Electras go on flying. Elwood R. Quesada, then Administrator of the Federal Aviation Agency, had to make that decision, and how he coped with this frightening responsibility is a remarkable tale in itself.

The plane that had been a dream, then became a nightmare, is still flying today, and out of tragedy has come an important advance in man’s knowledge. Robert Serling’s evaluation of The Electra Story is an enlightening, vivid, unbiased and rare documented account. It is a human story of suspense, with dedication and courage. And as a story of how government, industry, technology, science and the public were all trapped in one intricate web, it is both revealing and significant.

Praise for Robert Serling



‘High level of suspense and excitement.’ - De Moines Sunday Register

‘Serling has spun another winner’ – Publisher’s Weekly

‘…keeps you guessing til the end’ - Arizona Daily Star

‘Aviation buffs will revel in this thoroughgoing chronicle’ – Kirkus


Robert J. Serling (1918-2010) was aviation editor of United Press International and won the annual TWA Best Aviation News Reporting Award for four years running.

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