I've written three books focusing on various topics from the fascinating history of aviation. Each was a labor of love. If you're interested, you can read more about them below. If you have any questions or comments, click on the button below and write me a note.
The Lafayette Escadrille: A Photo History of the First American Fighter Squadron
Published in 2016 by Casemate
The Lafayette Escadrille was an all-volunteer squadron of Americans who flew for France during World War I. One hundred years later, it is still arguably the best-known fighter squadron ever to take to the skies. In this work the entire history of these gallant volunteers, who named their squadron after the young French nobleman, the Marquis de Lafayette, who came to America's aid during its Revolution, is laid out in both text and pictorial form. This book, which arrived in time for the squadron's 2016 centennial, not only tells the fascinating story of the Lafayette Escadrille, it shows it -- in dozens of then-and-now photographs.
"Of all the books I have looked at trying to find photos and information about the Lafayette Escadrille, this is by far the most focused and complete. Mr. Ruffin has done a wonderful service to the memory of the squadron by his in-depth research...."
William P. MacMonagle
"Possibly the best book on this subject! I bought several."
"One of the best books I have read in a long time! Then and now photos add a great perspective. Highly recommend this to anyone who likes military history."
"Ruffin’s book obviously is a labor of love that will be appreciated by Great War aerophiles for years to come."
"...offers a complete and candid history of the Lafayette Escadrille based on new archival evidence as well as a pictorial work that further brings to life these daring men’s experiences...will be of great interest to those who are new to the subject as well as to those who for decades have avidly followed the story of the celebrated squadron."
The Lafayette Escadrille
Before and After Photos
The Lafayette Escadrille
Before and After Photos
"...the finest book on the subject of World War one aviation history I've read. It covers every facet of this notable unit's service. The selection of photos provided is outstanding, and I particularly enjoyed the modern photos, unmistakably showing the scenes of these century old events as they look today."
"Amazing detail of personal reflections that make you feel during the read that you are there! If you are a WW1 history buff with the Aircraft and the men who fly them, then this is a read for you."
Flights of No Return: Aviation History's Most Infamous One-Way Tickets to Immortality
Published in 2015 by Zenith
The history of aviation is full of accounts of history's most spectacular flights. But what about the ones from which someone failed to return?
- A celebrated millionaire--who also happened to be the world's foremost aviator--lifted off in a small plane one clear morning in 2007 and disappeared.
- The glamorous son of a beloved fallen president took off on a hazy summer night in 1999 and plunged himself and two others into the Atlantic Ocean.
- A US Navy blimp landed one Sunday morning in 1942 in the middle of a city street in California with no one aboard.
Discover the mysterious, controversial, and sometimes downright eerie history of flights that didn't end as planned.
"The history of aviation is full of mysteries and legends, but the variety in Steven Ruffin's book will surprise even some long-time students of the genre.... In all, an entertaining and informative anthology for buffs and historians alike." (Barrett Tillman, Aviation Author)
"Flights of No Return should become a handy first reference for anyone interested in these enduring mysteries of aviation, but the quality of the storytelling is guaranteed to keep you reading whether you have a lifelong fascination with the subject or are approaching it for the first time." (Chuck Oldham, Defense Media Network)
"A well-researched collection of narratives about more than 20 aviation mysteries..." (Air & Space Smithsonian)
"Steve Ruffin's Flights of No Return is a fascinating page turner that will keep you riveted all the way to touchdown." (Aviation Week)
"Get Flights of No Return for its honest assessment of known, as well as less known, flights into aviation’s history. Each made aviation safer and seen as a whole this book concisely encapsulates a significant span of aviation history." (Joseph May, Seattle PI)
Aviation's Most Wanted: The Top 10 Book of Winged Wonders, Lucky Landings, and Other Aerial Oddities
Published in 2005 by Potomac Books
With dozens of top-ten lists focusing on notable flights, memorable planes, famous and infamous aviators, aircraft combat, air travel—even space travel—and so much more, this book provides a treasure trove of fun facts and amazing anecdotes celebrating the world’s love affair with flight. You’ll read about the first and worst of flight, aces and races, and everything from crimes, sex, and controversy to planes so fast they can outrun the sun. With Aviation’s Most Wanted™ you’ll get the history of flight from the early balloon adventures of the eighteenth century until the present, laid out with trivia and tales to amuse and amaze.
"This book is absolutely a must read for aviation enthusiasts and non, alike. There is something interesting for people of all ages and walks of life. I bought this book for my research project and after I got the Amelia Earhart information I needed, I kept reading for fun and eventually finished the whole book in a few days! Highly recommend!"
"This is a perfect mixture of fact, humor, mystery, and excitement. It seems to accurately portray the history of aviation and those who lived it. I definitely recommend it as a great read!"