Loop the Loop is a story of rivalry set in the time when flight began, a rivalry between fliers, between companies and between men and women.
Herkimer Dawes is the heir to a successful soapmaking company. But, after seeing the famous Lincoln Beachey fly under the bridge and up through the Niagara Falls, he is consumed by the thought of learning to fly. Although never with the support of his businessman father, he becomes part of the famous Curtiss Flying Team. He is a meticulous, talented flier who is able to find his niche on the team but he is forever trying to reach the fame and glory of his inspiration, the trick flier Beachey. As flier after flier dies trying to imitate Beachey’s stunts, Herk maintains his cool, non attention-getting style. While coping with his on-again, off-again career as a flier, Herk is also dealing with his “I want to be in flickers” girlfriend who stays in Los Angles while he travels the flying circuit.
Through thorough research, Dan Spencer takes the reader into the exciting era when man took to the sky. By creating a strong main character the author is able to give a voice and eyes into the period, the development and the fighting that went into the progress of the aviation industry. The story of Wrights Brothers eternal lawsuits, especially against the Curtiss Company will not be well known to many readers. His use of a first person narrator who is not the main character provides a means to step outside and comment on the plot. He combines real people such as Beachey, Glen Curtiss and the Wright Brothers with fictional creations to tell this historical tale.
Dan Spencer’s background as a writer for television shows through in his style for this book. It is a fascinating book that is worth reading to the end for its aviation history accuracy and as a testament to our nation’s early passion with flight.