The Life Story of A Technology

Book - 2006
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A succinct history of the life of the airplane and how this technology has altered how we live, travel, make war, do business, affecting almost all aspects of modern life.
The invention of the airplane redefined the way in which people travel, conduct commerce, spend their leisure time, and wage war. From the Wright brothers' wood-and-fabric Flyer to the modern jet aircraft, the airplane has evolved in countless ways as its many uses have unfolded. The development of safe and efficient air travel required solving multiple engineering riddles about aerodynamics, control, propulsion, and structures. This volume in the Greenwood Technographies series shows how the solutions to these riddles helped spur dramatic changes in the world's social and cultural life.

Book News
The Wrights called it a "flyer," not an "airplane." Wiley Post's luck ran out in 1935, but first he wore the world's first pressure suit at about 50,000 feet. The first American turboprop airliner debuted in 1958, but dragged six years after the British. Kinney, curator of the Aeronautics Division at the National Air and Space Museum, covers the efforts of everyone from a hapless flying monk in Malmesbury in the 1100s, Newton (lift and drag), Smeaton (cambered wings) and the remarkable Cayley who had most of it figured out in the first half of the nineteenth century. He is careful to keep his narrative accessible to general readers and includes a manageable glossary and list of related reading. He rightly devotes substantial space to the contributions of military and commercial flight but also describes general aviation and the more recent advances in going higher, faster and farther. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 2006
ISBN: 9780313331503 (alk. paper)
0313331502 (alk. paper)
Branch Call Number: 629.1309 KIN
Characteristics: xxiii, 160 p. : ill. ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: National Air and Space Museum

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