Unlocking the Sky: Glenn Hammond Curtiss and the Race to Invent the Airplane

Unlocking the Sky: Glenn Hammond Curtiss and the Race to Invent the Airplane

by Seth Shulman
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Unlocking the Sky: Glenn Hammond Curtiss and the Race to Invent the Airplane by Seth Shulman

Unlocking the Sky tells the extraordinary tale of the race to design, refine, and manufacture a manned flying machine, a race that took place in the air, on the ground, and in the courtrooms of America. While the Wright brothers threw a veil of secrecy over their flying machine, Glenn Hammond Curtiss — perhaps the greatest aviator and aeronautical inventor of all time — freely exchanged information with engineers in America and abroad, resulting in his famous airplane, the June Bug, which made the first ever public flight in America. Fiercely jealous, the Wright brothers took to the courts to keep Curtiss and his airplane out of the sky and off the market. Ultimately, however, it was Curtiss's innovations and designs, not the Wright brothers', that served as the model for the modern airplane.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060956158
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/28/2003
Series: Harper Perennial Series
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 898,382
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.65(d)

About the Author

Seth Shulman has worked for two decades as a writer and editor specializing in issues of science, technology, and the environment. His work has appeared in Nature, Discover, Smithsonian, Rolling Stone, Technology Review, and the Atlantic Monthly, among many other publications. He is the author of three books, most recently Owning the Future. He lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.

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Unlocking the Sky: Glenn Hammond Curtiss and the Race to Invent the Airplane 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have always admired Glenn Curtiss and his accomplishments. While hoping for a more comprehensive look at his life, this book was really nothing more than a Wright Brothers hit piece in disguise. The author's vitriolic writing is tiring, managing (with the notable exception of one paragraph towards the end of the book) portray the Wrights as utter villains. The best part of the book was the opening chapter covering Langley's failure with his aerodrome.
Airplanepilot More than 1 year ago
Seth does a great job of outlining the importance of Glenn Curtiss in aviation. I learned a lot and recommend this book to aviation enthusiasts!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Last year I read a book about the Wright Brothers and was very impressed with their zest for scientific discovery. I thought they were short changed by Langley and the Smithsonian, but after reading this book I think they set back aviation at least a decade. Glenn Curtis is my new hero. This book tells an exciting story of one man's quest to advance a new science. Mr. Shulman's acount of the French air race is a true David and Goliath tale. I highly recomend this book to anyone who has had a dream but was short on commitment.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Probably the best book on aviation I've read in a long time. The author's story approach is terrific, and he combines that with a tremendous talent for writing prose that teases you ahead with every line. You won't put the book down until you've completed it. If you didn't know who Glenn Curtiss was, you will by the end of the book. And you won't be disappointed.