Enlarged and mounted, this could almost be a display in the Smithsonian, so distilled and elegant is the presentation;...

READ REVIEW

PIONEERS OF FLIGHT: From Early Times to the Wright Brothers

Enlarged and mounted, this could almost be a display in the Smithsonian, so distilled and elegant is the presentation; concomitantly, there is little to linger over in these forty-two pages (subtracting the front matter) of terse text and expansive illustration. Spears and boomerangs, ""Myths and Bird Men"" and precursor Leonardo quickly if deftly dispatched, the pioneers are the 19th century theoretician-tinkerers from Cayley through Lilienthal and Chanute whose work the Wrights carried forward; these were the men who abandoned ""the folly of flapping wings"" and saw and studied gliding as the key to man's flight. There is a general assumption, underscored by the omission of a glossary of technical terms, that the reader is familiar with the principles of aeronautics -- an assuption inconsonant with the open pictorial format and the appearance of ease. The material is of course widely available though not in such compact form on such a mature level; whether this counterpart to Balloons: From Paperbags to Skyhooks will meet a need depends on what yours are.

Pub Date: Dec. 9, 1971

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1971