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Synopsis

In this entertaining history of the jetliner, Jay Spenser traces aviation's challenges from the outset, and follows the flow of the simple yet powerful ideas that led us to defy gravity. Here are the pioneers—innovators such as Otto Lilienthal, Igor Sikorsky, Louis Blériot, Hugo Junkers, and Jack Northrop—whose amazing contributions collectively solved the puzzle of flight. Along the way, Spenser demystifies the modern jetliner, examining the airplane from wings to flight controls to fuselages to landing gear, to show how each part came into being and evolved over time. And finally The Airplane addresses the future of aviation, outlining the breathtaking possibilities that await us tomorrow, many miles above the earth.

  • Who were aviation's dreamers, and where did they get their inspiration?
  • How did birds, insects, marine mammals, and fish help us to fly?
  • How did the bicycle beget the airplane, and hot water heaters lead to metal fuselages?
  • Who figured out how to fly without seeing the ground, enabling airline travel in all weather conditions?

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