You see the coolest things on CSPAN sometimes. One night I woke up and turned
it on, and saw a Sikorsky SkyCrane lifting the statue off the top of the
Another time I woke up, and saw Jeff Bezos of amazon.com giving a lecture about
his online bookstore. He happened to mention that they have an associates
program where people on the web can list books related to their web site
topic. I checked out amazon.com to see whether they would have any of the
books I normally recommend to students, and I was totally blown away that they
list a bunch of books that I usually recommend, but are sometimes hard to
I've only listed the books that I've read and can recommend. There are many
other books out there on helicopters, you can just go to amazon.com and do
a web search to find them all, but here is a list of the books I've read and
think are the best:
- Chickenhawk A must have for anyone interested in helicopters.
The book was written by Robert Mason about his experiences as
a Vietnam helicopter pilot. I first read this while I was
working on my private pilot license, and probably learned as
much about subtle helicopter techniques from this book as from
any of the FAA books. It also provides a lot of insight into
what it was like to fight and fly in that war, but I would
strongly recommend this book even to people who have no
interest in learning about the Vietnam war.
I've probably re-read this book a dozen times now, and when
I'm trying to get a heavilly loaded helicopter in or out of
a confined area, or other such challenges, I'll
think of one of the many lessons Mason learned from Leese,
and then I'll fly the maneuver the same way Mason did...
I can't say it enough: get this book!
- Basic Helicopter Handbook
When a person first starts helicopter training, this is the
first book we usually start them with. It's written for a
high school level reader, so if you're just trying to find
out some basic information about how helicopters are flown,
this is a good starting book.
- Helicopter Aerodynamics
This is the first in the 3 part series by Ray Prouty. He
writes a monthly column for Rotor & Wing magazine. It's a
collection of past articles. It's required reading for my
students who are going on to get their Flight Instructor
rating. This is the best book for learning about detailed
helicopter aerodynamics without having to read a lot of
mathmatical equations. Ray Prouty wrote these articles for
pilots to be able to read. However, if you don't know anything
about aerodynamics, these books might be a little tough to
start with, but someone who has read the "Rotory Wing Flight"
ASA reprint, or the aerodynamics section of my web site,
will probably enjoy these books. The other two books in the
series are More Helicopter Aerodynamics and
Even More Helicopter Aerodynamics
- Helicopter Pilot Manual This is a book that Jeppesen
Sanderson ("Jepp") had written for airplane pilots who want
to transition to helicopters. In many ways it's a better
than the Basic Helicopter Handbook. It has a lot more
information, is better written, and has better photographs.
But, it's hard cover, so it's more expensive than the BHH.
If you have read the Basic Helicopter Handbook, and want to
get more of the same level of information, this would be a
- Aerodynamics for Naval Aviators This is the book on
aerodynamics. If some math doesn't scare you, and you want the
book that everybody goes to when you need the final answer,
this is it. It has chapters like Development of Aerodynamic
Pitching Moments, Planform Effects and Airplane
Drag, Turbojet Operating Characteristics, High
Speed Aerodynamics - Concepts and Supersonic Flow Patterns,
Stability and Control.
Keep in mind that it is an extremly technical
book, and is not for the casual reader... It's a college level
text, and facinating if you want to understand the real
details of aerodynamics.
Amazon.com is pleased to have Paul Cantrell's Helicopter Aviation in the
family of Amazon.com associates. We've agreed to ship books and
provide customer service for orders we receive through special
links on Helicopter Aviation.
Amazon.com associates list selected books in an editorial context
that helps you choose the right books. We encourage you to visit
Helicopter Aviation often to see what new books they've
selected for you.
Thank you for shopping with an Amazon.com associate.
P.S. We guarantee you the same high level of customer service
you would receive at Amazon.com. If you have a question about
an order you've placed, please don't hesitate to contact us.
paul at copters.com
(replace " at " with "@" to email me - this avoids SPAMMERS I hope)