The story of flight is a comprehensive introduction to the world of aviation and starts with a detailed explanation of exactly how an aeroplane is able to fly. It then gives an account of the full history of heavier than air flight, both military and civil, from the early experimental gliders to the first powered flights. It explains how the Wright brothers were able to succeed where others had failed and details the huge advances that have been made since, including the jet engine, supersonic flight and vertical take-off and landing.
But the story of flight is not just about the design and development of aircraft, it is the story of people, at first the dreamers and visionaries, who somehow just knew that one day man would take to the skies, the amateur scientists and inventors who constructed elaborate machines built of wood and fabric and bravely tested them, or conducted experiments with kites, gliders and primitive wind tunnels to gain data that could later be analysed to increase their knowledge. People like George Cayley, who may have been the first person to understand the underlying principles and forces of flight, Otto Lilienthal "The Bird Man" who eventually gave his life in the pursuit of manned flight, John Stringfellow, who built the first steam powered model aircraft to fly, and many more.
Then, when the goal was finally achieved and the Wright brothers took to the air for the first time, the pioneers who strove to fly higher, faster and for longer, capturing the imagination of the public and thrilling them with aeronautical displays and crossing both national borders and physical boundaries, men like Louis Blériot who was the first to cross the English Channel and later, Alcock and Brown, crossing not just channels but continents and oceans.
Full of easy to understand explanations and illustrations as well as some beautiful pictures by one of the countries' leading aviation photographers "The Story of Flight" is a must have book for any aviation enthusiast and a worthwhile addition to any reference library.