Conquerors of the Sky

Written by Thomas Fleming
Review by Kathy King

A hundred years ago Orville and Wilbur Wright invented the airplane and discovered the wonders of flight. Thomas Fleming’s novel combines the history of aviation with the struggles of a fictional aircraft company, Buchanan Aircraft. The chief airplane designer, Frank Buchanan, takes the story from the biplane all the way to the Stealth fighters of today. Frank is a World War I flying ace but realizes that designing airplanes is his dream in life.

The story is not only about the evolution of the airplane but also the desires and sorrows of the people associated with Buchanan Aircraft. The airplane executives and their families go through many joys and heartaches of love and family. Fleming’s characters are vivid and complex, showing the harsh reality of the corporate world.

Fleming’s story is interesting and enjoyable, even for those not knowing much about aviation. I highly recommend Conquerors of the Sky, for it exhibits how dreams can be sacrificed for ambition; it is also a celebration of the centennial anniversary of flight.