Reach for the Skies: Ballooning, Birdmen & Blasting into Space

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9780753519875: Reach for the Skies: Ballooning, Birdmen & Blasting into Space
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An exhilarating and highly personal story of flight by the world-famous adventurer and businessman.

As far back as stories go, pioneers have reached for the skies. In the last two hundred years, they have mastered the air and made the modern world possible. Today they are bringing outer space within our reach. They're inventors and toymakers, amateurs and adventurers, visionaries, dreamers and, yes, crackpots. Some have called them irresponsible, even dangerous. But I have met many of them. I have worked with them, and funded them, and flown with them. I admire them, and trust them, and I think they and their kind are our future.

In this book I look at the history of flight through the stories and people who have inspired me. These are tales of miraculous rescues; of records made and broken; of surprising feats of endurance and survival, including some of my own adventures, as well as developments in the future of air (and space) travel. This is a story of pioneers, and of course it includes the world famous Montgolfiers and the Wright brothers. But I also want to describe some of the lesser-known trailblazers — people like Tony Jannus, who in 1914 created the world's first scheduled commercial flight, flying his passengers over the waters of Tampa Bay at an altitude of just fifty feet; the 'bird man' Leo Valentin, who in the 1950s jumped from 9,000 feet with wooden wings attached to his shoulders; and my friend, Steve Fossett, who dedicated his life to breaking records and having adventures.

This is their story. It is also, in a small way, my own.
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About the Author:

SIR RICHARD BRANSON is a hugely successful international entrepreneur, adventurer and icon, and is chairman of the Virgin Group. His autobiography, Losing My Virginity, and his books on business, Screw It, Let's Do It and Business Stripped Bare, are all international bestsellers. He lives on Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands and is married with two grown-up children.
From the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly:

The Virgin Atlantic Airlines founder and billionaire adventurer celebrates the exploits of airborne daredevils—his own prominently among them—in this lively history of aviation pioneers. Branson ranges from the Montgolfier brothers' 1783 invention of the hot-air balloon to today's nascent space tourism industry—tickets on his Virgin Galactic space liner will run ,000—highlighting men and women who risked their money and lives to advance aerial technology or just put on a good show. It's a colorful assemblage of engineers, test pilots, barnstormers, and fighter aces; there are asphyxiated high-altitude balloonists, ultra-light enthusiasts who fly lawn chairs, and the "birdman" who jumped from an airplane wearing only wooden wings and glided safely to the ground. Into the soaring, crashing, and burning, Branson inserts his own extreme-ballooning adventures—"I opened the hatch, climbed out on top of the capsule, and hacked away at the cable with my knife"—and much interesting lore of aero-space design. Like everything the author does, the book is, in part, an advertisement ("Over the years, pioneered comfortable reclining seats"). Still, Branson's enthusiasm for avant-garde flight and his firsthand understanding of its rigors make this a rousing—sometimes even elevating—read. Photos. (Apr. 28)
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9781445854038: Reach for the Skies

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ISBN 10:  1445854031 ISBN 13:  9781445854038
Publisher: Windsor, 2011
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Book Description Ebury Publishing, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. As far back as stories go, pioneers have reached for the skies. In the last two hundred years, they have mastered the air and made the modern world possible. Today they are bringing outer space within our reach. They re inventors and toymakers, amateurs and adventurers, visionaries, dreamers and, yes, crackpots. Some have called them irresponsible, even dangerous. But Richard Branson has met many of them. He has worked with them, funded them, and flown with them. He admires them, and trusts them, and thinks they and their kind are our future. In this book Richard Branson looks at the history of flight through the stories and people who have inspired him throughout his life. In these pages you will find tales of miraculous rescues; of records made and broken; of surprising feats of endurance and survival, including some of his own adventures, as well as developments in the future of air travel (and space travel). It is a story of pioneers, and of course it includes the world famous Montgolfiers and the Wright brothers, but he also wants to describe some of the lesser-known trailblazers. People like Tony Jannus, who in 1914 created the first scheduled commercial flight in the world, flying his passengers over the waters of Tampa Bay at an altitude of just fifty feet! The bird man Leo Valentin, who in the 1950s jumped from 9,000 feet with wooden wings attached to his shoulders. And Branson s friend Steve Fossett, who dedicated his life to breaking records and having adventures. This is their story. It is also, in a small way, his own. Seller Inventory # AAZ9780753519875

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