A Dream of Wings: Americans and the Airplane, 1875-1905

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W. W. Norton & Company, Feb 17, 2002 - History - 352 pages
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The story of a handful of talented American engineers and adventurers who labored to conquer gravity in a flying machine.

When Orville and Wilbur Wright soared over Kill Devil Hills in North Carolina's outer banks and solved the problem of aerial navigation, they wrote the last chapter in a long story. For decades prior, a small community of engineers, scientists, and dreamers—men named Chanute and Langley and Herring—had tried to make the ascent in every conceivable craft, from kites and gliders to an assortment of powered flying models. This fascinating assortment of characters and contraptions comes to life in Tom Crouch's classic A Dream of Wings. In the quest for flight, aeronautical societies were formed and broke apart, successes were celebrated, hopes rose and fell, and lessons were learned and built upon. The dreamers who blazed the path to a flying machine are bravely realized in these delightful pages.
  

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Contents

Preface to the 1989 Edition
8
Huffman Prairie 19o4
13
An Engineer Discovers the Airplane
20
Experiments in Aerodynamics
42
Chanute and Progress in Flying Machines
61
A Meeting in Chicago
78
The Third Circle
101
The Scientist as Engineer
129
Herring Alone 18961898
203
Two Gentlemen from Dayton
223
The Great Aerodrome
255
The Month of the Flying Machines
284
The Old Order Passes 19o51948
306
Notes
311
Bibliography
312
Index
339

Lilienthal and the Americans
157
The Glider Years
181

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About the author (2002)

Tom D. Crouch, author of The Bishop's Boys and A Dream of Wings, is senior curator of the aeronautics division at the National Air & Space Museum. He lives in Fairfax, Virginia.

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