It’s just a bloody plane!

Whether it’s loyalty or emotional immaturity that led me to keep my boyhood obsession with aeroplanes I can’t tell you. I loved the aeroplane books I read as a child. Now, 35 odd years later I am making my own. I’ve had a lot of time to think about it. This is it.

Since I started my aviation site Hushkit.net in 2012 I have had the chance to do so many things that would impress my seven-year-old self. I’ve spoken to fighter pilots, many fighters pilots, and asked them the questions I want answered with no fear of the questions being too childish, or cheeky or technical. Collecting these stories has been a thrill. In particular speaking to perhaps the greatest living ace, an Iranian F-14 Tomcat pilot, and sharing his extreme tales of the excitement and brutality of jet combat in the 1980s.

Creating top 10s with experts was fascinating. I already loved the top 10 format but saw how frequently they were created by poorly informed generalist ‘content creators’ on a small budget…what would happen if articles like that were done properly? Who doesn’t want to know what would win in a fight, a F-16 or a MiG-29? I asked the people who knew the real answers.

I’ve also taken great pleasure in exploring the culture around the aeroplanes. Cinema, toys, art and the weird psychology of the aviation fan. I was also interested in what happens if you write about aeroplanes in a way that does not share the political outlook or style that all other books of this nature share. Many of the articles are funny as I see no reason why non-fiction should be serious all the time, and this has led Hush-Kit in a different direction.

The site exists because of a shared madness, and I am delighted that so many talented writers have contributed to making the site the success it is today. All of which is very good, but a big beautiful coffee table book is a hell of lot more pleasing than a website. I’m amazed and delighted by how many people read the site and I hope they’re willing to give up a little shelfspace for The Hush-Kit Book of Warplanes.

I promise it will deliver things that no other aviation book has done so far.

Announcement: to celebrate the first flight of the Vulcan (30/08/52) we are aiming for 100% funding for the Hush-Kit Book of Warplanes by 30 August 2020. It’s ambitious but I have faith we can get there! Support us here.  

Yours waiting to publish,

Joe

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