Sunday, July 27, 2014

Taking Flight with the Wright Brothers

Birdmen: the Wright Brothers, Glenn Curtiss, and the battle to control the skies
by Lawrence Goldstone"Wilbur and Orville Wright expected much more than fame after they flew across the sands at Kitty Hawk in 1903. Having successfully flown and filed a broadly worded patent for a wing and rudder design, they expected royalties to be paid to them for every aircraft built by rivals. Believing they owned the concept of flight, they also demanded licensing fees for every barnstorming flight and a cut from the profits of every public air show. Glenn Curtiss and other proud air pioneers scoffed at the brothers' claim, arguing they had all had a hand in achieving flight. In Birdmen, historian and novelist Goldstone recounts years of legal wrangling that slowed Americans using aircraft for commerce, transportation, and defense until the start of WWI. The author also chronicles a four-year period in which 142 barnstorming pilots died and swarming spectators picked their broken bodies and aircraft for souvenirs. This period history presents ample biographical details for readers who enjoy rivalries" - Booklist

To Conquer the Air: the Wright Brothers and the great race for flight
by James Tobin"This extraordinarily well-written and deeply nuanced work is the best of the recent spate of books celebrating the Wright Brothers and the 100-year anniversary of their invention of the airplane. Award-winning biographer Tobin (Ernie Pyle's War) provides a detailed yet truly exciting tale of the brothers' lifelong effort to stand "against the wave of popular doubt about the possibility of human flight....  The best yet of all the books celebrating the Wrights' 100-year anniversary, this should stand as the definitive account of their life and times, and will sell accordingl" Publisher Weekly

Wright Brothers' flying machine (DVD)
 NOVA/PBS"The secrets of the Wright Brothers' innovative genius are explored in this historic episode, as NOVA marks the 100th anniversary of powered flight. Their first successful flight, on North Carolina's Outer Banks, took place in December 1903. NOVA examines a working model of the Wright Model A, first flown publicly in 1908."

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