Archive

Archive for the ‘Oh Wilbur . . .’ Category

Book Review: Eddie Rickenbacker, An American Hero

November 17th, 2017 No comments

Eddie Rickenbacker: An American Hero by [Adamson, Hans Christian]

If Rickenbacker were alive today, I can’t help but believe he’d be one of the wizards of Silicon Valley.  An American Hero gives a fascinating account of his involvement, first, in the emerging automobile industry at the turn of the Twentieth Century — as a factory worker, a car salesman, a successful race car driver and team owner, then as a designer and manufacturer of his own brand and owner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. With the coming of World War I, he set his sights (so to speak) on aviation and finagled his way into becoming Billy Mitchell’s personal driver as a stepping stone to a set of Army pilot wings and a seat in the cockpit of a “Hat-in-the-Ring” pursuit plane. From there he became the 94th Squadron commander, America’s leading ace and eventually president of Eastern Airlines.  Written before the final chapter of Rickenbacker’s life was closed, this unfinished bio is not only the story of an amazing man, but in its narrative style is also a glimpse into a by-gone era.  (4 of 5 Stars)

Link to An American Hero on Amazon

Book Review: Terror of the Autumn Skies

September 15th, 2017 No comments

Besides Waldo Pepper, Rickenbacker, Richthofen and Brown are the only pilot names that come to mind from World War I.  So, learning about America’s very first Ace of Aces, who was also the first aviator to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, was  a great discovery for me as a pilot and a history buff.  Luke’s missions against German observation balloons also revealed aspects of the air war over the trenches I had never known.   (4 of 5 Stars)

Link to Terror of the Autumn Skies on Amazon

Book Reviews: A Glenn Curtiss Hat Trick

August 18th, 2017 No comments

The Curtiss Aviation Book on Amazon.com

Like Orville Wright’s book on aviation, this is flying history directly from one of the guys who made it happen.  Very readable and understandable, even though it was written in 1912, less than 10 years after the Wright Brothers’ first flight, it also presents a prescient view of where the new technology was headed. A must read for any airplane nut like me. (4 of 5 Stars)

Hero of the Air on Amazon

While the Wright Brothers certainly deserve the laurels for being “first in flight,” Glenn Curtiss was one of the real movers and shakers behind taking aviation from an invention to an industry — and all the while fighting the Wright Brother’s war on him over their patents.  A comprehensive and even-handed biography of a sometimes over-looked American pioneer.  (4 of 5 Stars)

Glenn H. Curtiss, Aviation Pioneer on Amazon

After reading a biography of Curtiss, as well as his own thoughts on aviation, seeing his life and his works captured extensively in photographs was the Pièce de résistance.  One of the perks with studying modern history. (5 of 5 Stars)

 

 

 

The Analects of Mudcat: Soaring

July 21st, 2017 No comments

” In order to soar, airplanes and men, alike, need forward motion.”

~M.T. Bass

_________________________________________

/

My Brother’s Keeper at Amazon.com

Book Reviews: A Wright Brothers Twofer

March 14th, 2017 No comments

The Wright Brothers on Amazon.com

I was cruising along in this bio and unexpectedly slammed head-on into the epilogue–well before Wilbur died and all of the patent hassles with Glenn Curtiss, et al.  This book is less a history than an outstanding tribute to the Wright Brothers’ accomplishment, ending in 1910 with the first and only flight Wilbur and Orville ever made together at the pinnacle of their acclaim, having showcased their Flyer in Europe and America. Being familiar with their story, what McCullough really captured for me was the impact on the times had by an invention we now take for granted.  (5 of 5 Stars)

I started my reading journey through the history of aviation with Orville Wright’s first hand account of how he and Wilbur invented the airplane. It is an amazingly clear and concise telling of how the airplane came to be.  A great read for both pilots and ground pounders with lots of drawings and pics that I had to see again after reading McCullough’s book.  (5 of 5 Stars)


“On July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong, another American born and raised in western Ohio, stepped onto the moon, he carried with him, in tribute to the Wright brothers, a small swatch of the muslin from a wing of their 1903 Flyer. “
Excerpt From: The Wright Brothers by David McCullough.
%d bloggers like this: