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More About This Title First Flight: The Wright Brothers and the Invention of the Airplane
TWO: PROPHETS WITH SOME HONOR.
THREE: TEACHERS AND FIRST LESSONS.
FOUR: HITTING A WALL.
FIVE: “WE NOW HOLD ALL THE RECORDS!”
SIX: AMBIGUOUS SUCCESS.
SEVEN: RETURN TO DAYTON.
EIGHT: INTO THE WORLD.
NINE: NOON INTO TWILIGHT.
TEN: INVENTIVENESS AND INVENTION.
Aviation writer Heppenheimer (A Brief History of Flight) here dismisses the popular notion that the Wrights were lowly bicycle mechanics who overcame their limitations through hard work and perserverance. Instead, he shows that the brothers enjoyed the advantages of upper-middle-class family life, an accessible home library, loving parents, and proper home schooling. The book examines the teenagers' various entrepreneurships prior to their self-introduction to the subject of flight, carefully demonstrating their potential for genius in each endeavor. Also covered are the early experiments with lighter-than-air flying contraptions, reminding the reader that not one of the Wright forerunners had mastered the issue of control of the airplane in flight. The first men to investigate the issue of controlled flight became the men who invented the airplane-the Wrights. Following their successful powered flights on December 17, 1903, Heppenheimer traces in detail the Wrights' continued work in Dayton, their adulatory reception by the public, their bitter patent suits against Glenn Curtiss and others. Wilbur's tragic death, and Orville's protracted feud with the Smithsonian Institute over its refusal to accept the Wrights as the Fathers of Flight. This somewhat specialized study runs counter to recent anti-Wright historiography (Herbert A. Johnson's Wingless Eagle and Seth Shulman's Unlocking The Sky) and will appeal to aviation scholars and enthusiasts.
Recommended for all aeronautical collections and libraries. (Library Journal, February 15, 2003)
??excellent a ratteling good read, a most thorough account?? (General Aviation, August 2003)