In the waning days of the 19th century and on the eve of a new technological era, French, English, and American inventors (as well as a host of charlatans, stuntmen, and profiteers) were racing to be the first to achieve powered, heavier-than-air flight. At the center of this activity were two little-known bicycle mechanics from Dayton, Ohio -- Wilbur and Orville Wright.
This highly regarded volume, considered by many to be the definitive study of the Wrights, tells the full story of the brothers' lives and works: from their early childhood and initial fascination with flight, through the years of experimentation with gliders on the sand dunes of Indiana, to the exhilarating days on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where they perfected the design for the initial flyer, culminating in the historic first flight in December, 1903, at Kitty Hawk. The book also relates in detail the bitter patent fight and exhausting legal battles that followed as well as Wilbur's untimely death and Orville's later years.
Author Fred Howard, an expert on early aviation technology and member of the team that edited a multi-volume edition of the Wright brothers' papers for the Library of Congress, is uniquely qualified to tell this story. He not only provides a remarkable account of the brothers' enormous achievements, but has also captured the spirit of an extraordinary era, paying tribute to the contributions of such legendary aviation pioneers as Octave Chanute, Samuel Pierpont Langley, Glenn Curtiss, Alberto Santos-Dumont, Louis Bl riot, and many others.
Unparalleled in its scope and colorful depiction of the Wright brothers and their times, this authoritative and thoroughly entertaining work will thrill and delight aviation buffs, students of American history, and anyone fascinated by the early days of flight.
Amelia Earhart (1897-1937) captured the hearts of the enitre nation after becoming the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean in 1928. She was a social worker, author, lecturer, businesswoman, educator, and tireless promoter of women's rights. Yet, over half a century after her mysterious disappearance, many questions remain unanswered. East to the Dawn finally sets the record straight, providing the most comprehensive account to date of Earhart's extraordinary life. Based on ten years of research through archives, letters, and diaries, and on interviews with friends and relatives, this book includes intricate details about Earhart's career and her fateful last flight, with excerpts from letters written during the journey by her navigator Fred Noonan. The author also traces Earhart's personal life: her early years with her grandparents; her experiences as a nurse, premed student at Columbia University, and social worker; her famous marriage to publisher George Putnam; and her secret affair with Gene Vidal. This biography presents a revealing picture of Earhart in all her complexity, and is sure to be the last word on her incredible flying record.
This collection of magnificent original full-color paintings by John Batchelor accurately depicts 100 amazing ships--from the royal barge of the Egyptian pharaoh Cheops (2657 b.c.), the Greek trireme of 500 b.c., and the Viking ships that visited North America around a.d. 1001 to Columbus' flagship,
First published in 1996, Mastering the Sky received acclaim as one of the best one-volume histories of aviation ever written. Beginning with ancient myths and man's aspiration to soar to the heavens, James Harrison takes us on a kaleidoscopic tour of early history, including tower jumpers, balloonists and barnstormers. After the achievement of the Wright Brothers, the story accelerates, parallel to the development of faster, stronger and more powerful aircraft. By the end of the book, man has flown to the moon and humans reside on space stations for months at a time. The history of aviation is a breathtaking story, told here by a masterful author who, despite his wealth of detail, never fails to convey the human interest, and a sense of pure exhilaration at our ability to conquer challenges.
The XP-86F took to the skies for the first time in October 1947. Essentially, it was the result of incorporating swept wings into North American Aviation's design for the NA-140. This is a detailed look at the Sabre and its use by the Spanish Air Force over its lifetime.
"The day after which nothing would be the same for him was Friday, May 20, 1927. That morning, alone in a little plane powered by a single engine, Charles A. Lindbergh took off from a muddy runway on the outskirts of New York. His destination was Paris."
So begins Brendan Gill's book about the most extraordinary feat of one of our country's most extraordinary men. With clarity of vision and characteristic elegance, Gill gives us in Lindbergh Alone a meditation on one man's unprecedented accomplishment, and the world's overwhelming response to it.
Originally published for the fiftieth anniversary of the flight, Gill did not intend to write a standard biography of Lindbergh; rather, Gill attempted to describe an unknown young man at one moment in history, and to examine the forces that led him to act as he did. The 1920s were a period that sought out heroes and worshipped them extravagantly; few heroes were so unlike the age that fostered them as this "unheralded boy" of twenty-five. A shy man, bold hearted and firm of purpose, the Lindbergh we come to know in Gill's book is one whose intelligence and strength of will enabled him, through a single, superb act, to become perhaps the most celebrated figure of his time.
Lindbergh Alone persuades us that Lindbergh's valorous flight and subsequent renown were the natural consequences of his upbringing and his own nature. It also demonstrates that, on rare occasions, a man is capable of making history by his own choice.