The Airplane (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Harper Collins, Oct 6, 2009 - Transportation - 352 pages
18 Reviews

In this entertaining history of the jetliner, Jay Spenser traces aviation's challenges from the outset, and follows the flow of the simple yet powerful ideas that led us to defy gravity. Here are the pioneers—innovators such as Otto Lilienthal, Igor Sikorsky, Louis Blériot, Hugo Junkers, and Jack Northrop—whose amazing contributions collectively solved the puzzle of flight. Along the way, Spenser demystifies the modern jetliner, examining the airplane from wings to flight controls to fuselages to landing gear, to show how each part came into being and evolved over time. And finally The Airplane addresses the future of aviation, outlining the breathtaking possibilities that await us tomorrow, many miles above the earth.

  • Who were aviation's dreamers, and where did they get their inspiration?
  • How did birds, insects, marine mammals, and fish help us to fly?
  • How did the bicycle beget the airplane, and hot water heaters lead to metal fuselages?
  • Who figured out how to fly without seeing the ground, enabling airline travel in all weather conditions?
  

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Review: The Airplane: How Ideas Gave Us Wings

User Review  - Christopher - Goodreads

This book is an excellent overview of the earliest days of flight. The text is highly readable and accessible to a general audience. The jet age is not covered in as much depth but the text does go up to the present with a chapter on the 787 Dreamliner. Highly recommended! Read full review

Review: The Airplane: How Ideas Gave Us Wings

User Review  - Goodreads

This book is an excellent overview of the earliest days of flight. The text is highly readable and accessible to a general audience. The jet age is not covered in as much depth but the text does go up to the present with a chapter on the 787 Dreamliner. Highly recommended! Read full review

Contents

The Thinker and the Dreamer
1
Wilbur Orville and the World
16
Shapes and Ideas
37
Of Drums and Dragonflies
56
From Box Kites to Bridges
86
CloudCutting Cantilevers
112
Whale Flukes and Arrow Feathers
136
The Chariots Reins
142
Cockpits for Aerial Ships
173
Prometheus Is Pushing
201
Shoes Canoes and Carriage Wheels
238
Voyaging Aloft
253
Making Flying
281
Future
305
Ackowledgments
319
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Jay Spenser has spent a lifetime studying aviation as a museum curator at the National Air and Space Museum and the Museum of Flight, and as an aerospace industry writer. He is the co-author of 747 and lives in Seattle, Washington.

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