THE HERITAGE OF KITTY HAWK by Walter T. Bonney

THE HERITAGE OF KITTY HAWK

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Flight, the technique of leaving terra firma and soaring through the sky, has always fascinated mankind since the first human noticed his first bird. To the Wright Brothers belongs the credit for teaching themselves the skills needed to build a plane that would, in fact, fly, and then sticking to the art of piloting their craft until they themselves could demonstrate it. Bonney originally prepared this as a series of articles for The Pegasus, magazine of the Fairchild Corp. The final chapter was published the month Spk I was orbited. Bonney has summarized the significant experiments of Cayley, the German brothers Lilienthal, Montgomery: Octave Chanute, a retired civil engineer, the Wrights' mentor and friend who narrowly missed witnessing their first success; and Langley, who was head of the Smithsonian institution and who really believed flight was possible. Having covered history up to the Wrights themselves, Bonney simply explains how they came to succeed (pointing out that they have been well-""biographied"" by many other writers) and goes on to dicuss what they did about their project after 1903. Following are chapters on Glenn Curtiss and Aerial Experiment Association, Glenn L. Martin, one of the first men to use an airplane for profit, Walter L. Fairchild, and G. C. Leoning, who obtained America's first Master's degree in aviation and aerodynamics. There is a long and slightly technical chapter on engines, and two closing chapters on military planes and their usage before and during World War I. Even though TelStar, the X-15, and ""man-on-the-moon"" occupy most thoughts today, a backward glance over the history of flight is not without its merits, and this is well done.

Pub Date: Nov. 19th, 1962
Publisher: W. W. Norton