Most people recognize brothers and bicycle mechanics Wilbur and Orville Wright as the first in flight, and know that in 1903, on the blustery sand dunes of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, they made history with a flying machine of their own invention. But few other people know that the next aviator after the Wright brothers, a Brazilian, flew almost three years later and was nevertheless widely credited as being the first in flight? Or that a world-famous escapologist, a Hungarian, made the first flights in Australia but afterwards never flew again? Or that in Spain the first public display of a flying machine led to religious riots? The first pilots from each of a hundred countries have their stories told in this work. A brief biography and description of his attempts to fly are provided for each early aviator, except in a very few cases where facts are hard to find. For purposes of this book, a "flight" is defined as that made by a "heavier-than-air machine capable of taking off from ground level carrying a pilot, who controls to some degree the ascent, descent and path of the machine." To be called "successful," the flight must be sustained past the point to which the machine's take-off momentum would normally carry it through the air."
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Hart Matthews is a freelance writer and photographer. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.From Booklist:
December 17, 2003, marked the 100th anniversary of the first sustained, manned flight in a heavier-than-air machine. That 12-second flight fueled the dreams and ambitions of people around the world. This dictionary covering the first pilots from 100 countries honors the achievement of the Wright brothers and the accomplishments of aviators worldwide. Although the fliers were from diverse backgrounds, they shared some common ground. Many, like the Wright brothers, were inventors or engineers intrigued with solving the challenge of flight. Others, like Hungary's Ehrich Weiss (aka Harry Houdini), were daredevils in love with the idea of flying.
The entries are arranged by country and vary greatly in length. The U.S. entry on the Wright brothers runs for 11 pages. Documentation and information about pilots from some other countries, among them Albania, Finland, and Uganda, proved more elusive. As a result some entries are little more than a few sentences. Criteria for inclusion required that the pilot flew solo and took off from level ground in a heavier-than-air machine over which he exercised some level of control. Many of the noted flights did not take place in the pilot's country of origin. Some entries favor ancestry over country of birth. For example, the Armenian pilot was actually born in France of Armenian parents. He is Armenia's first because no Armenian-born pilot was found.
A short glossary, a chronology, and bibliography are included. Wonderful photographs, some never before published, accompany most entries. Except for the very brief entries this compilation makes for compelling reading. It explores the scientific challenges involved in building a plane, the sometimes bitter conflicts over who flew first, and the lasting impact flight has had on the world. The dictionary provides an interesting international approach to the fascinating history of flight that public, secondary-school, and college libraries will find useful. RBB
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Descripción Mcfarland & Co Inc Pub, 2003. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0786415223
Descripción McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers, Jefferson, NC, U.S.A., 2003. Laminated Pictorial Boards. Estado de conservación: New. No Jacket. First Edition. 208 pages, b/w photos, notes, bibliography, index. Nº de ref. de la librería 322233