A minutely-researched chronology of the entire history of powered flight, plus a survey of earlier developments from hot air balloons to late-19th-century dirigibles. This general survey of aviation history draws upon events that have contributed to the development of flight. Coverage includes: the development of aviation technology and innovations; successes and failures; specifications of nearly every major aircraft ever built or designed; balloons, blimps, dirigibles, propeller craft, jets and helicopters; the rise and fall of the great airlines and aircraft makers; the creation of military airforces; and the accomplishments of great aviators, flying aces, designers and entrepreneurs.
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For future compilers of chronologies, Flight and Flying will certainly serve as a model. Normally a chronology contains dated entries with a mere sentence or phrase indicating what happened on that date. This book goes far beyond a brief statement, giving facts, statistics, and related events.
In addition to covering some 90 years of documented events of flying, up to 1992, it covers the preflying era--back to 850 B.C.--when men tried to fly using kites, balloons, and dirigibles. Close to 7,000 entries emphasize World Wars I and II and the expansion of civil aviation in the 1920s and 1930s. Rockets, missiles, and spacecraft are not covered unless they have wings and come back to earth, such as the shuttle. Coverage is comprehensive for historic aviators and inventors; commercial and military aircraft; aircraft manufacturers; and specifications for all aircraft mentioned as an entry. Approximately 150 black-and-white photographs serve as illustrations.
When one begins reading this chronology, it is difficult to stop. Each event is described in detail, interestingly and authoritatively. For example, the entry for A.D. 852 describes the use of a large cloak by the Moorish savant Armen Firmin to attempt flying, thus the advent of the parachute. The entry for December 7, 1941, an account of the attack on Pearl Harbor, provides statistics on the number and type of enemy aircraft involved, loss of men on both sides, U.S. naval ships involved, and total aircraft lost on both sides. Other examples of entries include one for October 21, 1950, when 1,093 paratroopers were dropped in the Wonsan area of Korea; and December 4, 1991, when Pan American World Airways ceased operations.
With the enormous amount of information contained in this chronology, it is a miniencyclopedia on aircraft and flying. No other book presents the subject in such detail in this format. Through the use of the index, one has instant information on all aspects of flying. This is a highly recommended reference source for all libraries.
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