An admiring and fascinating biography of the inventors of the airplane by one of our great American historians. I really didn’t have a full appreciation of how much original research and invention the brothers had done until this book. McCullough notes that the brothers financed their own research and construction, only spending about one thousand dollars total in five years to build the first Wright Flyer, *including* three trips to Kitty Hawk. McCullough relies heavily on the Wright Brothers own correspondence, as well as news accounts of the time and appreciations by contemporaries. When they first became interested in flight, they were highly successful bicycle mechanics and developers in Dayton, Ohio. They were given much information by the Smithsonian Museum; but when they built their first glider, they discovered that most of what was “known” was wrong. They constructed a wind tunnel to research wing construction and then built an aluminum block engine for the most power for weight. As they became world celebrated, they never changed their modest ways.

Very entertaining and you will likely develop a new appreciation for one of the greatest American feats of invention.

IndyPL_SteveB's rating:
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