Pilot Pete England used to think there was nothing more exciting in the world than flying off into the wild blue yonder. But lately the blue yonder hasn’t been wild at all … it’s been downright dull. Pete’s like a jaded Clark Gable who’s hungry for adventure—and he’s about to get his fill.
Pete has fallen into a rut, flying the same route—New York to D.C.—with the same passengers, day after day after day. He might as well be driving a bus … until “her highness” climbs aboard. Apparently a princess, she’s the Carole Lombard to Pete’s Clark Gable, and for one flight, she’s bought up every ticket on the plane.
Once Pete gets her into the air, the action heats up fast. He learns that the lady is at the center of some international intrigue that could turn the tide of war … and now a mysterious plane is on their tail, bent on shooting them out of the sky. But that’s the least of Pete’s concerns. There’s more to this princess than meets the eye, and falling in love with her could turn out to be the greatest flight risk of all.
As a barnstorming pilot in the early days of aviation, Hubbard was dubbed “Flash” Hubbard by the aviation magazines of the day. Expanding his knowledge even more, he visited Boeing in Seattle where the president and chief engineer gave him an inside look at their test pilot program. His unique and pioneering insight of flight streaks across the page in novels like The Battling Pilot.
Format: Unabridged, Multicast, 2 CDs
Length: Approx. 2 hours
Cast list: Audio drama performed by Taron Lexton, Corey Burton, R.F. Daley, Shane Johnson, Jim Meskimen and Phil Proctor.
The Battling Pilot audiobook sample: Audiobook sample
The Battling Pilot Glossary
The Stories from the Golden Age series reflect the words and expressions used in the 1930s and 1940s, adding unique flavor and authenticity to the tales. While a character’s speech may often reflect regional origins, it also can convey attitudes common in the day. So that readers can better grasp such cultural and historical terms, uncommon words or expressions of the era, the following glossary has been provided.
aileron: a hinged flap on the trailing edge of an aircraft wing, used to control banking movements.
Alleghenies: Allegheny Mountains; a mountain range comprising the western part of the Appalachian Mountains. The range extends about 500 miles (805 km) from northern Pennsylvania to southwest Virginia.
Anacostia: a neighborhood located in the southeast area of Washington, DC. It is located east of the Anacostia River, which flows from Maryland into Washington, DC and joins the Potomac River. This area also contained a narrow plain along the river where the Navy’s Anacostia Naval Air Station and the Army’s Bolling Field resided originally established in 1917 and 1918.
beam: an early form of radio navigation using beacons to define navigational airways. A pilot flew for 100 miles guided by the beacon behind him and then tuned in the beacon ahead for the next 100 miles. The beacons transmitted two Morse code signals, the letter “A” and the letter “N.” When the aircraft was centered on the airway, these two signals merged into a steady, monotonous tone. If the aircraft drifted off course to one side, the Morse code for the letter “A” could be faintly heard. Straying to the opposite side produced the “N” Morse code signal.
Bolling: Bolling Field; established in 1918, and named in honor of the first high-ranking air service officer killed in World War I. The Army’s Bolling Field resided on east bank of the Anacostia River sharing an open plain with the Navy’s Anacostia Naval Air Station. Bolling served as a research and testing ground for new aviation equipment and its first mission provided aerial defense of the capital.
club: airplane propeller.
cowl: the removable metal housing of an aircraft engine, often designed as part of the airplane’s body, containing the cockpit, passenger seating and cargo but excluding the wings.
cowl gun: a gun installed inside the cowl (metal covering over the engine) of an airplane.
D of C or Department of Commerce: the department of the US federal government that promotes and administers domestic and foreign commerce. In 1926, Congress passed an Air Commerce Act that gave the US Department of commerce some regulation over air facilities, the authority to establish air traffic rules and the authority to issue licenses and certificates.
dihedral: the upward or downward inclination of an aircraft wing from true horizontal, which is a self-stabilizing feature in the wing design. As the plane rolls to one side, the lower part of the wing starts to get more lift and then brings itself back up.
fins: fixed vertical surfaces at the tail of an aircraft that give stability, and to which the rudders are attached.
.45 Colt: a .45-caliber automatic pistol manufactured by the Colt Firearms Company of Hartford, Connecticut. Colt was founded by Samuel Colt (1814–1862), who revolutionized the firearms industry.
gow up: to make sticky or mess something up. From gow, meaning opium or sap; the sticky brown resin harvested from poppies. Used figuratively.
ground loop: a sharp horizontal turn made by an aircraft on the ground when taxiing, landing or taking off.
key: a hand-operated device used to transmit Morse code messages.
kite: an airplane.
lady-in-waiting: a lady who is in attendance upon a queen or princess.
Luger: a German semiautomatic pistol introduced before World War I and named after German firearms expert George Luger (1849–1923).
minstrel show end man: a man at each end of the line of performers in a minstrel show who engages in comic banter with the master of ceremonies. A minstrel show is a comic variety show presenting jokes, songs, dances and skits, usually by white actors in blackface.
office: cockpit of an aircraft.
rudder: a device used to steer ships or aircraft. A rudder is a flat plane or sheet of material attached with hinges to the craft’s stern or tail. In typical aircraft, pedals operate rudders via mechanical linkages.
rumrunners: people or ships engaged in bringing prohibited liquor ashore or across a border.
sideslip: (of an aircraft when excessively banked) to slide sideways, toward the center of the curve while in turning.
slipstream: the airstream pushed back by a revolving aircraft propeller.
Split-S: one of the oldest air combat maneuvers used to disengage from combat. To execute a Split-S, the pilot rolls his aircraft inverted and then executes a half-loop, resulting in the aircraft flying level in the opposite direction.
stevedoring: loading or unloading of a vessel.
three points: three-point landing; an airplane landing in which the two main wheels and the nose wheel all touch the ground simultaneously.
tracer: a bullet or shell whose course is made visible by a trail of flames or smoke, used to assist in aiming.
Western Front: term used during World War I and II to describe the “contested armed frontier” (otherwise known as “the front”) between lands controlled by the Germans to the East and the Allies to the West in Europe. In World War I, both sides dug in along a meandering line of fortified trenches stretching from the coast of the North Sea, southward to the Swiss border that was the Western Front. This line remained essentially unchanged for most of the war. In 1918 the relentless advance of the Allied armies persuaded the German commanders that defeat was inevitable and the government was forced to request armistice.
wingover: also known as the Immelmann turn; an aerial maneuver named after World War I flying ace Max Immelmann. The pilot pulls the aircraft into a vertical climb, applying full rudder as the speed drops, then rolls the aircraft while pulling back slightly on the stick, causing the aircraft to dive back down in the opposite direction. It has become one of the most popular aerial maneuvers in the world.