The Royal Air Force is synonymous with its heroic achievements in the summer of 1940, when Winston Churchill's 'famous few' held Goering's Luftwaffe at bay in the Battle of Britain, thereby changing the course of the war. For much of the 20th century, warplanes were fixed in the world's imagination, a symbol of the perils and excitements of the modern era. Aviators have always seemed different to soldiers and sailors--more adventurous and imaginative. Their stories gripped the public and in both wars and air aces dominated each side's propaganda, capturing hearts and dreams. Writing with the verve, passion and the sheer narrative aplomb familiar to many thousands of readers from his bestselling World War II aerial histories, "Fighter Boys" and "Bomber Boys," Patrick Bishop's "Wings" is a rich and compelling account of military flying from its heroic early days to the present.