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When the China Clipper shattered aviation records on its maiden six-day flight from California to the Orient in 1935, the flying boat became an instant celebrity. This lively history by Robert Gandt traces the development of the great flying boats as both a triumph of technology and a stirring human drama. He examines the political, military, and economic forces that drove its development and explains the aeronautical advances that made the aircraft possible. To fully document the story he includes interviews with flying boat pioneers and a dynamic collection of photographs, charts, and cutaway illustrations.