Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Roaring Thunder

Roaring Thunder

A Novel of the Jet Age

Novels of the Jet Age

Walter J. Boyne

Forge Books




The story of the jet age of aviation revolves around remarkable geniuses--including Sir Frank Whittle, the British inventor of the jet engine; Hans von Ohain, a German jet engine designer who comes to work for the U.S.; famed aeronautical engineer Kelly Johnson; the daring test pilot Tex Johnston, and many more--brilliant men who conceived these early extraordinary airplanes and had the courage to fly them to new horizons.

Roaring Thunder blends real life adventures of the industry giants with the fictional Vance Shannon and his aviation family. Shannon, a prototypical American test pilot, sees and guides the birth of American jet aviation, while his sons, Tom and Harry fly the new jets in combat. Their aviation careers are blessed by their skill and courage, and they help usher in the greatest advance in aviation history with the birth of the jet transport. The Shannons serve as counterparts to the real-life heroes, creating continuity and explaining the intricacies, successes, and setbacks of a brand new industry.

The dramatic, totally accurate story of the beginning of the jet age is presented against a background of personalities, real and fictional who bring the story to life, and represent the first stage in the first ever fiction trilogy about the history of the aerospace industry.

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.


Chapter One

August 27, 1939, Marienehe, Germany

The turgid waters of the Warnow River lapped at the stone-covered beach, the gentle gurgling muffled by the dense fog spreading its tendrils deep over the grassy flying field. A...


Praise for Roaring Thunder

“The saga isn't a new genre, but the aviation saga is--and Walter Boyne invented it. Here's a first-rate story of the dawn of the jet age from our foremost aviation writer.” —Stephen Coonts on Roaring Thunder

“Entertainingly presented . . . Boyne does the novelist's job well--turning the iconic brothers into appealingly quirky humans.” —Kirkus Reviews on Dawn Over Kitty Hawk

“A fascinating account from a respected authority. Boyne captures the passions of the people in aviation's earliest days who risked--and sometimes lost --everything to accomplish the impossible.” —W. E. B. Griffin on Dawn Over Kitty Hawk

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Walter J. Boyne

WALTER J. BOYNE is the former director of the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, he retired in 1986 to pursue a career as a novelist and consultant. He is one of a select few authors whose books have made both the fiction and the nonfiction bestseller lists of The New York Times. His recent books include Dawn Over Kitty Hawk and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Walter J. Boyne lives in Ashburn, Virginia

Walter J. Boyne

Jan Carson

From the Publisher

Forge Books

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