Cover image for Flight : 100 years of aviation
Flight : 100 years of aviation
Grant, R. G.
Personal Author:
First American edition.
Publication Information:
New York : DK Pub., [2002]

Physical Description:
440 pages : illustrations ; 31 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TL515 .G67 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize
TL515 .G67 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

On Order



From the early pioneers to the latest spaceflight technology, this groundbreaking book charts the inspirational story behind humankind's conquest of the skies. In the 100 years since the Wright brothers' first powered flight, aviation has witnessed many memorable events. From record-breaking flights and aerial warfare, to advances in aircraft design and the race for space, Flight covers the most memorable moments in the history of aviation. Describing the feats of the brave men and women who piloted the early flying machines, to the pioneers of long-distance flight and the test pilots who ushered in the jet age, Flight is a gripping narrative of humankind's quest to conquer the skies and explore space. Loaded with spectacular full-color photographs, dramatic first-hand accounts, and fact-filled profiles on a huge range of aircraft, this is an enthralling account of a century of innovation and adventure.

Author Notes

R.G. Grant is a history writer who has published more than 20 books on aspects of social life and military conflict in the 20th century

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Hundreds of photographs from the Smithsonian Institution's National Air & Space Museum enhance this captivating history of flying that profiles 300 planes. Grant, a writer with 20 books to his credit, divides this book into sections that include a prehistory of flight and the Wright brothers; accounts of air combat in World War I; and a focus on the "golden age" that recounts the flights of Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Jimmy Doolittle, and the great airships and flying boats. He also presents a history of aircraft's role in World War II (the Battle of Britain, the air war at sea, and the Allied bombing raids on Axis cities); the cold war and Vietnam; space travel; and jet passenger travel. Here is an encyclopedic work on a fascinating subject, for all public libraries. --George Cohen

Publisher's Weekly Review

Produced in association with the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum, this volume of capsule histories and archival images traces the history of flight with all the sepia-toned authority of a public broadcasting documentary. Offering thumbnail profiles of aviation heroes and inventors and a plethora of diagrams and photos, the oversized tome straddles the line between something to put on a coffee table and something to give to a panting, preteen armchair pilot. Sections on space travel, commercial flight and early daredevilry fascinate, but take second stage to the story of flight as it interweaves with a century-long history of war-conflict being the catalyst for much of aviation's greatest innovations and adventures. Most of the book's pages recount bombing raids and dogfights through the decades, but others showcase popular, pioneering or just plain weird designs (the part-plane, part-car Aerocar, the miniscule Sky Louse, the capsule-shaped Gee Bee Super Sportster and the Caproni Ca 60 Transaero, an eight-engine triplane). This hefty volume is a flight museum sandwiched between two covers: careful, informative and educational-and a bit overwhelming. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

This sweeping compendium of milestones in 20th-century aviation history is published in association with the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, which may account for its rigorous attention to detail. Grant (The Berlin Wall) offers a wealth of supportive information to complement his engagingly written text. Succinct offset biographies sketch the lives and contributions of aviation's pioneers (both men and women), scientists, promoters, businessmen, barnstormers, racers, designers and manufacturers, aces (from World War I to Vietnam), and astronauts and cosmonauts. Fascinating sidebars also treat early flight, assorted inventions, famous air races (1910-39), the gradual transformation of the role of the fighter pilot, the evolution of aerial weaponry, training programs, navigational technology, aerial exploration, landmark altitude and long-distance flights, Zeppelin travel, power plants, Hitler's jet and rocket programs, the breaking of the sound barrier, the Cold War space race, and America's current shuttle program. The impressive illustrations include over 300 gorgeous, full-color profiles of the world's major military and civilian aircraft and space vehicles. The result is a work of greater overall scope and depth than Bill Gunston's Aviation: The First 100 Years. Highly recommended for all military, aviation, and transportation collections and public libraries.-John Carver Edwards, Univ. of Georgia Libs., Cleveland (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

The arrival of the centennial of the Wright Brothers' first flight in 1903 will certainly trigger a wave of commemorative books. This book, produced in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution, is surely a standout. Its design and execution are stunning: airbrushed illustrations are blended with text and other images; color is used liberally; pictures of fascinating artifacts are integrated with the narrative; and the degree of coverage is impressive. Grant has written other books on technology and contemporary politics; knowledgeable curators from the National Air and Space Museum have added their expertise, making this a particularly authoritative volume. Four major sections carry the story of winged flight from its origins through WW II; the next two sections discuss postwar military aviation and space exploration; and a thoughtful, interpretive section entitled "Shrinking World" concludes the volume. Although the American aviation experience is often in the foreground, one of the many merits of this book is its attention to significant trends and technologies as legacies from other countries. The final section includes informed commentary on such issues as hijacking and terrorism as well as the proliferation of general aviation and light planes. Informative, illustrated glossary. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. General readers; lower-division undergraduates through graduate students; two-year technical program students. R. E. Bilstein emeritus, University of Houston--Clear Lake

Table of Contents

Forewordp. 6
1 Age of the Pioneersp. 8
The Prehistory of Flightp. 10
Fight to be Firstp. 20
Flying Takes Offp. 38
2 Aircraft go to Warp. 66
Working for the Generalsp. 68
Knights of the Airp. 80
Zeppelins and Bombersp. 94
3 The Golden Agep. 106
Blazing the Trailp. 108
Passengers Now Boardingp. 132
Flying Boats and Airshipsp. 152
The Shadow of Warp. 166
4 Battle for the Skiesp. 186
Command of the Airp. 188
Battle for Britainp. 206
Air War at Seap. 218
Death From the Airp. 236
5 Cold War, Hot Warp. 260
Beyond the Sound Barrierp. 262
Cold War Warriorsp. 274
Air Power in Actionp. 296
Hi-Tech Warfarep. 316
6 Space Travelp. 332
Journey to the Moonp. 334
Shuttle to Spacep. 358
7 Shrinking Worldp. 374
Jet Passenger Travelp. 376
Fear of Flyingp. 402
Small is Beautifulp. 412
Glossaryp. 428
Indexp. 432
Acknowledgmentsp. 439