Tells the story of flight, from the late 1800s, when men like Otto Lilienthal were hurling themselves off cliff-tops strapped into flimsy gliders, to the modern day, with John Glenn circling the earth in the Space Shuttle at age 77. In this unique book, the story is told through the men and women who were there: the aviators, navigators, fighter-pilots, designers, engineers, and test-pilots who changed the world forever. Here are the dramatic stories that are not generally known - the stories of the daring Harry Hawker, who attempted to fly the Atlantic, the fighter pilot John Cunningham, the pioneer flyer Francis Chichester, and long-distance pilot Bert Hinkler. Also featured are the famous figures such as the Wright Brothers, Richard Pearse, Charles Lindbergh, Howard Hughes, Jean Batten and Charles Kingsford Smith. Crisp, lively biographies of these and many other key individuals and their true-life adventures bring the age of flight to life. The contributions of these people turned the pioneering flights by Richard Pearse in South Canterbury, New Zealand and the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk, USA in 1903 into the reality of aviation as we know it today.
Over 200 colour paintings capture the key elements of the story of flight, the historic moments and events. The paintings of the aircraft are technically correct in all details. Colour portraits of over 70 individuals are also featured. Archival photographs accompany all the stories. The book also features two illustrated timelines: one of the people, and another of the aircraft depicted, including their technical specifications.