Book review: Winging It by Stuart Logie

winging it by Stuart LogieGroup member Stuart Logie's excellent book "Winging It" the story of the Canadair Challenger 600 has been re-released for Kindle devices.

The book is about the planning, manufacturing and certification of the Canadair Challenger 600 business jet, an aviation engineering marvel and a story of determined perseverance by the key players in this saga. It begins with a short and very insightful history of Canadair and the Canadian aerospace industry, the remainder of the book deeply explores the complex story of developing the Canadair Challenger 600.

The author weaves together an engrossing tale that involves a potent mixture of personalities and egos. "Bill Lear the designer of the world’s most successful business jet; Jim Taylor, the business aircraft industry's top salesman; Harry Halston, an aviation engineer at the top of his game;" and a who's who of players in the fledgling business aviation industry.

From inception to certification the Challenger project teetered on the brink of collapse. The program was beset with “corporate infighting, regulatory stubbornness, lying suppliers, public cynicism, the worst recession in memory, fickle customers, a dead test pilot, a maniacal genius, ruthless competitors, a multibillion dollar debt, angry bureaucrats, investigative journalist, shady Arab traders, and plain bad luck."

From a technical point of view the book is very accurate, the author does a good job of explaining complicated technical problems in a manner that is clear and easy to understand even for the average reader.

Where this book really shines is when coping with the various characters involved in the planning and production of the challenger. The author shows great respect for the people he talks about, that translates into an accurate, tactful descriptions of people, and the way they behaved, without any undue bashing, or gratuitous flattery. All in all an outstanding must read book for the Business aviation history buff. Available on

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