Aviation: The First 100 Years

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Just a handful of people are still among us who were alive before the first powered airplane flight. Yet the fact that aviation -- from its birth with the Wright Brothers' Flyer to the era of manned space flight -- developed within the span of a lifetime is perhaps the most impressive achievement of humankind. Today, it is difficult for us to imagine ourselves living in a time when hundreds of would-be aviators toiled for years to create flying machines that then failed to fly, or who bravely leaped from tall ...
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Overview

Just a handful of people are still among us who were alive before the first powered airplane flight. Yet the fact that aviation -- from its birth with the Wright Brothers' Flyer to the era of manned space flight -- developed within the span of a lifetime is perhaps the most impressive achievement of humankind. Today, it is difficult for us to imagine ourselves living in a time when hundreds of would-be aviators toiled for years to create flying machines that then failed to fly, or who bravely leaped from tall buildings while flapping homemade wings. Airplanes have filled many roles, including agricultural workhorse, thoroughbred racer, war machine, fire fighter, entertainer, and people carrier. Over the years, they have become a part of our daily lives. Aviation: the first 100 Years takes a broad and entertaining look at the development of the airplane, presenting themed chapters that cover the personal and technical endeavors of those who created and manned each era's aeronautical wonders. The lively text, written by one of the world's foremost authorities on aviation, is lavishly complemented by over 650 photographs.

Shrugging off delays caused by the previous night's hurricane-force winds as they blew in from the North Atlantic, Orville and Wilbur Wright prepared for another attempt to fly. On the bleak sands of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on the morning of December 17, 1903, their airplane, Flyer, left the ground. It flew for a historic 12 seconds, staying aloft for a distance of more than 120 feet. The Wright Brothers made longer flights immediately afterward, but it was that first sustained flight that changed the world. Throughout the following 100 years, aviators flew longer, faster, and higher -- finally breaching outer space. All too often a fearsome war machine, the airplane has also done more to bring people together than almost any other human invention. In this fascinating account spanning 100 years of development, Bill Gunston -- a leading authority on aviation -- reveals the highs and lows of flying, the development of aerial navigation and safety, and the emergence of international airports. Over 650 photographs illustrate what is probably the most impressive achievement of humankind.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764154232
  • Publisher: Barron's Educational Series, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/28/2002
  • Edition description: 1ST US
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 9.49 (w) x 11.39 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 6
1 Pioneers 8
Hot Air to Propulsion 8
Early Development 10
2 The First Air War 12
Primitive Warplanes 12
The First Bombers 14
The First Fighters 16
Giant Bombers and Airships 18
3 Infant Airlines 20
North America 20
Europe 22
The First Airports 24
4 Competition 26
The Schneider Trophy 26
To Fly the Atlantic 28
Around the World 30
Pylon Racing 32
5 Warplanes 1918-1939 34
Fighters 34
Bombers 36
Reconnaissance Aircraft 38
Conflicts of the Era 40
6 New Technology 42
Aerodynamics 42
Structures 44
Propulsion 46
Systems 48
In the Cockpit 50
At the Airport 52
7 World War II 54
The Luftwaffe 54
Battle of Britain 56
RAF Bombers 58
Barbarossa 60
The Rising Sun 62
USAAF Fighters 64
USAAF Bombers 66
U.S. Navy and Marines 68
D-Day 70
Soviet Surprises 72
Victory in Europe 74
Victory in the Pacific 76
8 Post-War Progress 78
Airports Today 78
American Airliners 80
British Airliners 82
Mistaken Monsters 84
Piston Pinnacle 86
9 The Cold War 88
Jet Fighters 88
Jet Bombers 90
Strategic Air Command 92
Soviet Fighters 94
Soviet Bombers 96
U.S. Navy Supercarriers 98
U.S. Navy Shore-Based Aircraft 100
RAF Aircraft 102
Royal Navy Aircraft 104
10 War Gets Hot 106
Indo-China 106
Suez 108
Algeria 110
Jungle Conflicts 112
Vietnam 114
11 General Aviation 116
Airplanes For All 116
Executive Aviation 118
Ag-Aviation 120
Flying Laboratories 122
Fire Bombers 124
12 Rotating Wings 126
Early Struggles 126
Turbine Revolution 128
Battlefield Helicopters 130
Naval helicopters 132
Transport Helicopters 134
13 New Ideas 136
Faster than Sound 136
On to Mach 7 138
VTOLs 140
Tilting Windmills 142
Weird Shapes 144
14 Airliners 146
Early Jetliners 146
Turboprops 148
Enter the Wide Bodies 150
Today's Boeings 152
Today's Airbuses 154
Jetliners Around the World 156
Future Supercarriers 158
15 Modern Warplanes 160
France 160
Former USSR 162
Sweden 164
Surveillance 166
Transports and Tankers 168
16 Collaboration 170
Jaguar and Tornado 170
Harrier 172
Fighters Around the World 174
Airlifters 176
SSTs 178
17 At the Cutting Edge 180
Stealth 180
F-22 Raptor 182
Eurofighter Typhoon 184
Joint Strike Fighter 186
18 Have Fun 188
Gliders 188
Seeking Pleasure 190
Index 191
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