Aviation author & outsize aircraft historian


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"The author’s own Preface leaves no doubts as to what he is and is not going to do, the scope of the work, the reasons for his choices, his qualifications and interests. Again, the reader is told what’s what and why it matters. And, again, full marks for full disclosure.

"Hats off to the publisher too for bringing such a niche book to market. It deserves a large audience, and Dean should proudly wear the writer’s hat and dip into his files for more books!"


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"This book, the subject of author Dean's lifelong accumulation of material, presents the fascinating and confusing background of Freddie Laker and other principals who carried out this program. Not only are the personalities interesting, but the idea of carrying cars for the rich and famous is also. It allowed them to take their vehicles long distances in relatively short times and presents a colorful look at the struggles of a niche airline to survive.  

"Fully three-quarters of the book is taken up by a meticulous accounting of the life history of each of the 21 Carvair aircraft. Those stories were the interesting part of the book to me, especially the birth and early life of each airframe and the final disposition. There is ample detail and statistics here, especially for the Douglas DC series buff."

American Aviation Historical Society

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"For a report on all 21 Carvairs, I would like to highly recommend Patrick Dean's book on the type - great reading."


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"No forensic aircraft history would be worth its salt without serial numbers and operational histories and all this and more is here too. If you have Dean’s Carvair book you know what to expect—and do re-read our review of it: that book was exemplary in scope and depth and polish. This one is too. Oh, and this is only the first of two volumes."


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“excellent...a serious aviation history...highly recommend”―Propliners

“detailed”―Aircraft Magazine

“well worth its purchase price...there is much previously unpublished data...a truly remarkable job”―Aviation World

“recommend[ed]...superb”―The Essex Hundred


“highly recommend...well researched”―Logbook

“a supremely well-presented book”―SpeedReaders

“fascinating...a meticulous accounting of the life history of each of the 21 Carvair aircraft...interesting...ample detail and statistics”―American Aviation Historical Society

“the definitive work on the Aviation Traders Carvair...fascinating...well illustrated, with good coverage of the total Carvair fleet through the years...highly recommended”―Irish Air Letter

“A great book, thoroughly researched and written, Mr Dean did a wonderful job interviewing all the key people who participated in the Guppy history, hence a book with a tons of historical facts and anecdotes that have never been published before, dealing of course on aviation history, but also the human side of that story as well, not to mention many exclusive photographs that had never been digitized or published before! Overall a fascinating book !" - Pierre C

“An easy read that is packed with information. The author has taken what could easily be a very dry subject and delved into and presented the details in a way that kept this reader engaged throughout the work. Each design is presented as a chapter and can easily be read as an independent article without losing context of the overall story. Definitely a book for your reference library.”

American Aviation Historical Society Flightline

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“This comprehensive history begins with corporate histories and profiles of key players, including William Patterson, Donald Douglas and Freddie Laker. Four chapters illustrate the evolution of the car-ferry as a viable aircraft, the history of Aviation Traders, engineering details incorporated into the Carvair's production, and major Carvair operators. Chapters on each of the fleet's 21 planes provides individual histories and anecdotes."


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"This work is an important contribution to the history of aviation and a fine treatment of these enormous, ungainly looking airplanes. A worthwhile read for all interested in transport aircraft and the history of aviation."


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“This high quality work is further buttressed by an extensive bibliography... recommended for anyone interested in aviation history and the complex relationships between aviation companies, the military, and various government agencies including Congress and other federal agencies with civilian aviation policymaking responsibilities."


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