Pendulum II: The Story of America's Three Aviation Pioneers: Wilbur Wright, Orville Wright, and Glenn Curtiss

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9780960073627: Pendulum II: The Story of America's Three Aviation Pioneers: Wilbur Wright, Orville Wright, and Glenn Curtiss
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This is the book you heard about on NPR, National Public Radio's Talk of the Nation: Science Friday with Ira Flatow on August 1, 2003. In an interesting three-way interplay about early flight and the Wright brothers, author Jack Carpenter, Paul Hoffman (author, Wings of Madness) and Michael Lavelle (Museum of Flight) discussed this most timely subject...

Also, Smithsonian AIR & SPACE, Centennial Edition, 100 YEARS of FLIGHT, March, 2003, chose PENDULUM as one of but 14 books (of "Hundreds of works...") recommended to its readers.

PENDULUM II

The Story of America’s Three Aviation Pioneers: Wilbur Wright, Orville Wright, and Glenn Curtiss, "The Henry Ford of Aviation" - Including How The Partnership of Alexander Graham Bell and Glenn Hammond Curtiss Led to the Founding of The American Aviation Industry.

In this, the 100th YEAR of FLIGHT, Jack Carpenter’s acclaimed 1992 PENDULUM - the only book telling a multi-sided story - was among the select few recommended by the Smithsonian’s AIR & SPACE Centennial Edition, March, 2003.

This sold-out bestseller is the foundation for PENDULUM II – with its amazing, never-before-told story of one of the most important but least known chapters in American history.

Improved – and 25% larger - in its 520 archival-quality pages PENDULUM II tells the whole story with all the players in this epic tale of flight’s beginnings. You will read in this unique chronologically and interwoven story – and view in its hundreds of archival photographs and exhibits - "what actually happened" with the Wrights, Glenn Curtiss – including Alexander Graham Bell’s hitherto unknown pivotal role - with Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Octave Chanute and others on the sidelines.

The result of over two decades research and a 135-work selected bibliography, PENDULUM II focuses upon (1), a semi-secret Agreement made between the Smithsonian and Orville Wright’s heirs, and (2), a volcanic, historically important letter written by Gilbert M. Grosvenor, National Geographic’s chairman (and Bell’s great-grandson), to the author - which "changes everything."

Nowhere else are the facts - hidden for almost a century - of this so misunderstood and misstated story told as in PENDULUM II, arguably the most complete, revealing and timely book of this era.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

From the Publisher:

Among the things you will read about are these: The Wrights and Curtiss were innovators by nature, with strikingly similar parsonage upbringing, education and backgrounds.

On 17Dec1903, Wilbur (not Orville) Wright was first to fly in wing-warping-controlled flight.

For all intents and purposes, in 1905 the Wrights stopped inventing while attempting (emulating Bell's experience) to create a worldwide Air Trust monopoly.

The Wrights first offered their invention (in writing) to a foreign country (Britain) and made their first contract with a foreign country (France; March, 1908).

Arguably fewer than fifty people between 1903 and 1908 had seen the Wrights fly; their extreme secrecy kept America (and the world) ignorant of flight.

On 1October1907, Glenn Curtiss (America’s preeminent manufacturer of record-breaking motorcycles) joined the Aerial Experiment Association – partnering with Alexander Graham Bell, Tom Selfridge, John McCurdy and Frederick Baldwin "to get into the air."

On July 4, 1908, in "the first publicly advertised flight in America," Curtiss flies the A.E.A.’s aileron-controlled, V8-powered June Bug before a crowd of notables and spectators.

Two months later, on September 3rd, Orville Wright makes his first public flight.

In August, 1909, while Orville Wright was negotiating in Berlin, Curtiss - at Reims, France - was the sole American at the world's first air-meet (he beat Bleriot to win the coveted Gordon Bennett Cup).

And a few months later (Oct1909), when Wilbur was teaching America's first military aviators, Orville was in Berlin teaching some of Germany’s first pilots - and giving the Kaiser’s son his first flight.

Curtiss awarded American F.A.I. Aviator License No. 1, the Wrights Nos. 4 & 5. In Europe Curtiss was No. 2 (Bleriot No. 1), the Wrights Nos. 14 and 15.

In 1914, at North Island (the Army’s only flight school), 8-of-14 Wright-trained pilots were killed. A design disaster – and too often a killer – 1915 saw the last Wright aeroplane.

Octave Chanute and George Spratt, described by Orville as "...our most intimate associates in those early years," along with most in aviation then, became their enemies.

Bell, Tom Baldwin, McCurdy, Post, Chambers, Ellyson, Hunsaker, Robinson, Towers, Manly, Richardson, Verville...were lifelong friends of Curtiss.

In WW1 Curtiss’ Buffalo, NY, aircraft factory was the largest in the world. In 1929, Curtiss, America’s largest (and oldest) aircraft manufacturer, merges with Wright (primarily then an engine manufacturer). In WW2 Curtiss-Wright was America’s No. 2 defense contractor (GM-1, Ford-3).

From the Author:

In order to tell Glenn Curtiss’ story, one must, naturally, become well versed on the various aspects of his life and career – and that involved becoming knowledgeable about the lives and careers of others, notably the brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright.

Therefore, in telling Curtiss’ story I’ve uncovered (some say "revealed") quite a bit about the Wrights, some of which, though available to anyone who sought it, is considered "new", some might say "revisionist." However, I’ve never considered my work that way; all I’ve ever tried to do is relate "what actually happened" (Leopold vonRanke) – and occasionally find a pearl, usually by simple logic: 2 plus 2 equals 4, or, as some say, by "connecting the dots."

It seems, however, that some consider that unfair; I’ve even been challenged on "what actually happened" as a foundation for my work.

Regardless, let’s proceed.

First, I want it known that I recognize that one of the Wright brothers was "first to fly," and that that happened on December 17, 1903.

That said, I then begin to differ on my "what actually happened" with that proselytized by the staff of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum (NASM): that ‘the Wright brothers brought aviation to the world.’

As any student of aviation history knows, man’s desire to fly is age-old, and his innovations to that end predate Leonardo daVinci. There are literally hundreds of innovations, some sound, some not, in this story – with their earnestness reaching a critical mass following the industrial revolution’s birth early in the 19th century: power was this puzzle’s solution (water, steam, internal combustion, electricity...)....

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