Thomas Reilly presents the first complete account of one of America's aviation pioneers. Tony Jannus was a barnstormer, a test pilot, and a youthful, magnetic personality in aviation's early days of daredevils and adventurers. Reilly follows Jannus's exploits from his early flights at College Park, Maryland, in 1910, through the first tests of airborne machine guns and parachutes, his record-setting flight from Omaha to New Orleans, to his role in the world's first airline, his career as a test pilot, and his premature death in Russia's Black Sea while delivering bombers to the Romanov government. Figuring prominently in the story are Jannus's relationships with fellow pioneers of the aviation industry such as Glenn Curtiss, Thomas Benoist, and Katherine Stinson. Beyond the headlines and records, Reilly introduces us to Jannus the man. Though others might have owned or designed the planes, Jannus was always the center of attention. His personality, good looks, and talent as a speaker made him a popular figure. He dated movie actresses, and women idolized him, though his gifts as the epitome of the romantic flyer led to a bitter break with Tom Benoist and eventually to his "banishment" to Russia by Glenn Curtiss. Drawing on decades of articles and books about the early aviators as well as FBI files, court cases against the Curtiss Company, hundreds of letters between Jannus and his contemporaries, and materials in the Russian archives, Reilly has composed a fascinating portrait of compelling, romantic figure from the dawn of American aviation.