The ""kindergarten days of flying"" here get superficial treatment in a text that is really meant only as accompaniment to the schedules 125 photographs. The author, an American foreign service officer who flew planes in Paris in 1912, quickly enumerates the principal problems that faced air pioneers: power, stability, and control. Then, however, he largely ignores these problems, stressing instead the more glittery data of first channel crossings, first female passengers, and assorted air rallies. The Germans--certainly among the most important contributors to early aviation history--get very little mention; and the Russians, Italians, and Japanese--all important by the First World War--are slighted entirely. But friendly American and French rivals do get thorough coverage, and the old story of the Wright brothers is told in grave detail. The period here extends from Kitty Hawk to the onset of the war. The tone is standard picture-book romantic.