Aviation: An Historical Survey from Its Origins to the End of the Second World War

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Science Museum, 2000 - History - 304 pages
In this classic account, Charles Gibbs-Smith traces the story of aviation from the invention of the kite in China to the beginnings of the jet age. In particular, the book gives a lovingly reconstructed account of the experiments, disasters and successes in many countries which culminated in the achievement of a genuine flying machine by the Wright brothers in the United States. A large part of Gibbs-Smith's story also covers the early years of aviation before 1914. This period, rich in eccentric characters and extraordinary efforts, laid the foundation for future progress. The second edition of Gibbs-Smith's authoritative text, out of print for many years, is here republished with a number of new illustrations. It will delight a new generation of aviation enthusiasts.

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For readers seeking a commanding view of Aviation History, this is your Starter Book. The men who dreamed and died, who found their soul in flight and lived to make it happen are all here. Myth builders and myth busters alike will enjoy the pre-flight history of the try and fail, the descriptions of the various means by which man envisioned his ascent to the heavens (wax wings to monstrous ballons to cannon blasts and prayer upon landing). Modern historians have filled our shelves with insights and commentary on all things post Wright Brothers, and here Gibbs-Smith does not fail. His work is as distinguished as his middle name in its breath and his ability to capture the passion of the pioneers. 


The gliding prelude to practical powered flying
The Wright brothers and the invention of the practical

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