Die-cut flaps offer glimpses inside eight 20th-century fliers, from Louis Bleriot’s 1909 Type XI to the space shuttle.
Biesty’s exactingly detailed painted portraits are the stars of the show—each presenting a type of passenger liner or freight hauler (most of them big and bulky) poised in flight, viewed from slightly above or below. Each also features four or so inconspicuous flaps that lift to reveal neatly drawn seats and storage spaces, internal bracing, fuel tanks, toilets, and other points of interest. Along with very brief accounts of each craft’s career, Graham adds surrounding captions that point out ailerons and cockpits, engines, exhaust ducts, and other physical features. Small human figures, most but not all light-skinned, impart a sense of scale. Where space permits, pertinent spot images of related items of interest—the Wrights’ Flyer, Harriet Quimby, a zeppelin, or other side subject—are tucked in. Only two aircraft covered, the U.S. Boeing 747 and the Russian Mil Mi-8 helicopter, are still in common use, so this album may appeal more to fans of aviation’s past than its present or future.
Like its series mates from Giant Vehicles (2014) on, a pleaser for fans of big rigs. (Informational novelty. 6-8)