Although the above two titles may suggest just another new book on the history of aviation, this is not exactly true. In fact these two titles are no new books, but books published in 1935!

ENCYPLOPEDIA OF AVIATION was compiled and edited by squadron leader C.G. Burge, the editor of the periodicals ‘Air Annual of the British Empire’ and the ‘Royal Air Force Quarterly‘. The book was published by Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons Ltd, London-UK.

Encyclopedia of Aviation and The Complete Book of AviationA somewhat more luxury ‘Daily Mail’ edition was published under the title COMPLETE BOOK OF AVIATION, but contents are exactly the same. Except from a different title, this version has a nicely embossed hard front cover where the other title just has a hard cover with only the title on it.

What can you expect from this book printed more than seventy years ago? Well, it is and heavy book , printed on for that time an excellent quality of glossy paper, that does not or hardly stain over the years. The fact that both the copy I purchased for myself and the other one I purchased for our No.1 are in pristine condition just says enough!

The book contains some 600 (yes, six hundred!!) pages starting with a pictorial overview of heavier-than-air early contraptions and 47 pages with aircraft photos from that particular period. Next, the book gives a many hundred pages A to Z encyclopaedia explaining both in text and picture the aviation terms. In particular for historians researching the early period of aviation, is very useful to see things explained that are not used any longer! The book concludes with some dozens of pages with biographies of all relevant persons active in aviation until that time.

For such a book, only available in specialized antiquarian bookshops, you would expect very high prices. However, since it was printed in large numbers and sold on a large scale as a very popular book it is even now far from rare.

On it could be easily found at a number of UK, US and European bookshops at prices ranging from a very modest five British pound up to 28 pounds. Other offers are for EURO 25 and US $35. We may conclude that these prices are for such a book even now very affordable! Because it is a heavyweight, an additional EURO 10 for shipping costs must be accounted for!!

My copy (and also the copy admin of this site has) just costed  a modest EURO 10 in the second hand bookshop of the Aviodrome aviation-theme  museum at Lelystad airport-The Netherlands.

Nico Braas