The Magnificent Moisants: Champions of Early Flight

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Between the first Kitty Hawk flight and World War I, a small group of flyers risked their lives and fortunes to convince a skeptical public that the airplane was destined to become safe, practical, and commonplace. Among the most flamboyant of aviation's pioneers were Alfred, John, and Matilde Moisant, a family of fervent believers in aviation who built and tested planes, ran a flight school, set and broke records, and staged air exhibitions seen by thousands in the United States, Cuba, and Mexico. Explaining how...
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Overview

Between the first Kitty Hawk flight and World War I, a small group of flyers risked their lives and fortunes to convince a skeptical public that the airplane was destined to become safe, practical, and commonplace. Among the most flamboyant of aviation's pioneers were Alfred, John, and Matilde Moisant, a family of fervent believers in aviation who built and tested planes, ran a flight school, set and broke records, and staged air exhibitions seen by thousands in the United States, Cuba, and Mexico. Explaining how the Moisants contributed to the transformation of flight from a sport into a business, Doris L. Rich charts the rise of their popular air circus and chronicles the tumultuous careers of the flyers - including future World War I ace Roland Garros and America's first licensed woman pilot, Harriet Quimby. Captivated by the possibilities of aviation, Alfred Moisant used the fortune he had amassed from his sugar plantation in El Salvador to finance ambitious demonstration tours promoting his planes. John Moisant set three world's records in a flight from Paris to London in 1910 and further enhanced his reputation with a series of exploits that culminated in a tragic, fatal crash only five months after he had learned to fly. Marilde Moisant, the second American woman to earn a pilot's license, broke an altitude record in 1911 and performed stunts that rivaled her brother's in daredevilry. Drawing on family interviews and records long buried in the National Archives, Rich details the Moisants' forays into Central American political intrigue as well as their adventures in the air.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560988601
  • Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/1998
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 6.28 (w) x 9.27 (h) x 0.92 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2008

    A good read on early aviation

    This book portrays personalities more than the nuts and bolts of flight, yet, in doing so creates a real incite into the milieu of flying in the first decades of aviation. Bolstered by excellent scholarship, it is a great read about an aborbing and influential family.

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