Amazing Australians in their Flying Machines – Review

Cover Image for Amazing Animals and their Flying Machines

Amazing Animals and their Flying Machines by Prue & Kerry Mason with illustrations by Tom Jellett.

This book was Shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book of the Year Awards – Eve Pownall Award for Information Books

Author and licensed pilot Prue Mason shares how a handful of early aviators helped Australia reach beyond its borders to lands far away. Imagine what it was like to travel to far-off places before there were aeroplanes. For early 20th-century Australians, it could take days, weeks, or months just to get where they were going. Amazing Australians and Their Flying Machines tells the stories of ten brave Australians, including the youngest licensed woman pilot Nancy Bird, who took to the skies and changed the face of aviation forever.

How much do you know about Australian aviation history?

I remember a little – Charles Kingsford Smith mainly but I know we had an interesting aviation history even if I don’t remember much.

I did not know that an ex-convict (he was pardoned) invented an airship that was powered by a balloon in the 1800s.
I did not know that Australia’s first airline was from WA – Western Australian Airways. (Qantas was the first registered airline).
I did not know that there was a Great Race flight from London to Darwin and the winner took 27 days to make the journey. Which takes some of the shine off being annoyed at being stuck in a plane for the flight to London now. As does the fact that the first passenger flying service from London to Brisbane took 12.5 days.

Each page in this book deals with a different person, giving us a section told from that person’s perspective, amazing facts, a did you know section, and some interesting information about the achievements of these individuals.

At the end there is also some general information about Australia and flying.

You can tell this book was written by someone who loves to fly, the feeling comes out of the book which I always find nice from a non-fiction book. I found the book very interesting and it made me want to find out more about some of these people. The information is not very detailed but it does give a good overview and is both an easy read and informative. I would recommend this to anyone who has a love of aviation but I would also recommend this to parents and children coming in for information for projects. I think this is a great place to start, a good refresher, and a lovely book about some amazing Australians and their flying machines.