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Norm Weis is a 55-year-old physics teacher in Casper, Wyoming, who decided to satisfy a deep itch to build and fly his own Starduster biplane. At a cost of about $4,000, he spent three years assembling his old-fashioned dream plane, then taught himself to fly it, and later devised some aerobatic maneuvers that got him invited to various air shows to display his beautiful craft. His writing about his long haul as a builder and recent years of aerial adventure is kind of a homebuilt affair too, with nothing to propound but the joys of skylarking. Wife Jay is shown as a patient helpmate, ready to show up with a flatbed truck to haul Stardust home when it loses its prop three times in one week. The real spunk is Weis' determination to break out of his high-school teaching routine and live out his pipedreams. Lo, he decides to fly coast to coast and border to border one summer; since the plane has only a three-hour flight potential, this means a lot of stops for gas. On the jaunt he takes in several air shows, competes in aerobatics and races, and is even invited to the Mexicali International Air Race where he really flowers--flying ""a hundred moves you've dreamed of."" Lots of transmitter chitchat, some lyric and other dangerous moments, and a great deal of descriptive engineering.

Pub Date: June 9th, 1980
Publisher: Prentice-Hall