In this fascinating, highly readable biography, Fred C. Kelly, a former newspaperman, author, and an old friend of the Wrights, tells the story of the two brilliant, dedicated, flight-obsessed bicycle mechanics from Ohio who first realized mankind's age-old dream of conquering the skies. Long considered the definitive Wright biography (the manuscript was read and approved by Orville Wright), this book recounts the Wrights' small-town boyhood, their early interest in all things mechanical, the establishment of the Wright Cycle Shop, and the complete behind-the-scenes story of how they designed, built, tested, and flew (December 1903) the first "Flyer."
Enhanced with sixteen rare photographs, Mr. Kelly's engaging account avoids minute technical description, yet describes simply and clearly the technological innovations that enabled the two brothers to succeed where so many others had failed. Anyone interested in the mechanics of flight or early aviation will find this volume a splendid introduction to the Wright brothers and their epochal achievement.
Table of ContentsAuthor's Preface
III. PRINTING?AND BICYCLES
IV. FIRST THOUGHTS OF FLIGHT
V. GLIDING AT KITTY HAWK
VI. FIRST POWER FLIGHT
VII. AFTER THE EVENT
VIII. EXPERIMENTS OF 1904-'05
IX. "IT STILL WASN'T "NEWS"
X. U. S. ARMY NOT INTERESTED
XI. EUROPE DISCOVERS THE WRIGHTS
XII. THE WRIGHTS IN EUROPE
XIII. A DEAL WITH THE U. S.
XIV. END OF DISBELIEF
XV. WHEN WILBUR WRIGHT WON FRANCE
XVI. FURTHER ADVENTURES IN 1909
XVII. IN AVIATION BUSINESS
XVIII. PATENT SUITS
XIX. WHY THE WRIGHT PLANE WAS EXILED