The Dive Bomber by L. Ron Hubbard
Lucky Martin is a daredevil test pilot who’s perfected the design for a new bomber plane that the Navy is sure to buy. What makes the plane unique is its ability to dive straight down at seven miles a minute and suddenly level off—stressing the wings at nine times the plane’s weight—without breaking apart.
Unfortunately for Lucky, hostile foreign powers are determined to see him fail so they can scoop up the plane’s design for their own use. Following a string of “accidents” which nearly kill him, Lucky Martin becomes “Unlucky” Martin, making his future look very luckless indeed, unless he can stay alive to outwit the enemy.
When I received the first batch of L. Ron Hubbard audiobooks to review from LibraryThing, they came with awesome background fact sheets about each of the stories. For The Dive Bomber, the sheet included a quick anecdote from the man himself about how he could have sued the movie production company for the Dive Bomber movie. He was on his way to a deployment when he received a call from the production company’s lawyer. They wanted to give him a settlement to rest any legal action because someone had forgotten to ask the author for his permission and rights to the story to make it into a movie. Hubbard accepted the money, only asking that the money be transferred to his account. The lawyer was surprised and wanted to take him out to lunch but Hubbard was in too much of a rush and didn’t care. He used the money towards a nice vacation after the war was finally over.
I read all that before starting to listen to the story. So perhaps I imagined it as a movie or maybe it was the story itself, but it was perhaps one of the more straightforward stories I have listened to thus far of this Hubbard collection. It was more of a traditional story and perhaps a little less ‘pulpy’. Unfortunately, Netflix does not have this movie available for streaming yet.
It took a while to understand that ‘ships’ meant ‘airplanes’ but I’m not really known for my technical expertise or for my knowledge of lingo. As to be expected, the good characters are definitely good while there are little redeeming qualities in those that are working against the good ones. I really enjoyed the imagery of when Lucky was flying over D.C.—having lived in this area my entire life, it was cool to imagine what it might have looked like from the air in the 1930s. I definitely enjoyed this story more than some of the other stories and it sits apart from them for its straightforward conclusion and traditional ending.
My rating: 4/5