AOPA Freedom To Fly 80th Anniversary Book

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Part# 13-21891
MFR Model# 9781940603131


In 1939, a small group of Philadelphia businessmen came together with a mission: to give a united voice to what was then called “miscellaneous aviation.” The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association was born.

Packed with photographs of pilots’ most beloved aircraft and inspiring stories of aviation pioneers, Freedom to Fly: AOPA and the History of General Aviation in America tells the story of general aviation through the lens of its biggest advocate. Learn about the triumphs and tragedies that defined generations of pilots from the editors who bring you AOPA Pilot and Flight Training each month.

For 80 years, AOPA has fought to keep pilots flying when war, technological advances, economic booms and busts, and politics threatened to access to the skies. Today, as the largest aviation community in the world, AOPA still works to make flying more affordable, safer, and more fun. Travel back in time through 288 glossy pages, full of the amazing photos you’ve come to expect from AOPA photographers and historic images from the archives.

This special commemorative edition is issued for AOPA’s 80th anniversary.


Foreword   7

Introduction   11

1. Setting the Stage   16
Through the Great Depression, the passion for aviation thrived.

2. An Idea Takes Flight   50
Being present at AOPA's creation.

3. A World in Turmoil   70
World War II transformed civilian flying in the United States.

4. Boom Times   92
High hopes in a postwar world.

5. Groth and Challenge   136
The 1960s and 1970s brough more pilots, more aircraft- and more conflict.

6. The Foremost Advocate   178
Into the 1980s with a sense of purpose.

7. Coming Out Swinging   200
Technology ascended as pilot numbers declined at the close of the century.

8. Higher Stakes   224
Flying in the new millennium.

9. On the Threshold   248
Today's initiative set the stage for the future of flying.


Wonderful book! As an AOPA member it is nice to have such a well done history of the organization. Highly recommend for anyone with an interest in aviation.

Ken K
March 28, 2020


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