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From the Publisher"Offers useful and stimulating insights into this most American of technologies."
— British Journal History of Science
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On December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright soared into history during a twelve-second flight on a secluded North Carolina beach. Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the first flight, these essays chart the central role that aviation played in twentieth-century history and capture the spirit of innovation and adventure that has characterized the history of flight.
The contributors, all leading aerospace historians, consider four broad themes relating to the development of flight technology: innovation and the technology of flight, civil aeronautics and government policy, aerial warfare, and aviation in the American imagination. Through their attention to the political, economic, military, and cultural history of flight, the authors establish that the Wrights' invention—and all that followed in both air and space—was one of the most significant technologies of the twentieth century, fundamentally reshaping our world.
Supported by the First Flight Centennial Commission
The contributors are Janet R. Daly Bednarek, Tami Davis Biddle, Roger E. Bilstein, Hans-Joachim Braun, David T. Courtwright, Anne Collins Goodyear, Roger D. Launius, William M. Leary, David D. Lee, W. David Lewis, John H. Morrow, Dominick A. Pisano, and A. Timothy Warnock.
|Introduction: Whither a Century of Flight||1|
|Pt. 1||Innovation and the Technology of Flight|
|1||The Technology of Flight: Three Sides of a Coin||15|
|2||The Wright Brothers, Government Support for Aeronautical Research, and the Evolution of Flight||50|
|3||Innovation in Flight from the Perspective of Europe||70|
|Pt. 2||Civil Aeronautics and Government Policy|
|4||Herbert Hoover and Commercial Aviation Policy, 1921-1933||89|
|5||Edward V. Rickenbacker's Reaction to Civil Aviation Policy in the 1930s: A Hidden Dimension||118|
|6||A Perennial Challenge to Aviation Safety: Battling the Menace of Ice||132|
|Pt. 3||Aerial Warfare|
|7||The Wright Brothers and the U.S. Army Signal Corps, 1905-1915||153|
|8||Brave Men Flying: The Wright Brothers and Military Aviation in World War I||168|
|9||Strategic Air Warfare: An Analysis||190|
|Pt. 4||Aviation in the American Imagination|
|10||The Routine Stuff: How Flying Became a Form of Mass Transportation||209|
|11||The Effect of Flight on Art in the Twentieth Century||223|
|12||The Spirit of St. Louis - Fact and Symbol: Misinterpreting a Historic Cultural Artifact||242|
|Selective Annotated Bibliography||263|