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The Bishop's Boys: A Life of Wilbur and Orville Wright Paperback – April 17, 2003
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"A pleasure... turns the magnifying lens on the clan and cultural roots of two unusual individuals....[Crouch] movingly--even beautifully--unfolds their story."--Washington Post Book World"[A] superb biography."
"Crouch interweaves family drama with the history of aviation in a riveting saga of ingenuity, competing claims, public adulation and technical innovation."
About the Author
Tom D. Crouch, author of The Bishop's Boys and A Dream of Wings, is senior curator of the aeronautics division at the National Air & Space Museum. He lives in Fairfax, Virginia.
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Make no mistake about it, the Wright Brothers were scientific geniuses who were intellectually way ahead of others. The gutsy
decision to rework all of the previous 'constants' thought to be accurate which made up the math formula to calculate LIFT was
the stuff of genius. I was told in the 1980s by officials of the Lear Jet company that their calculation of the coefficient of lift with
their rudimentary instruments was highly accurate when compared with technology of the Lear organization.
The first aircraft is in the Smithsonian and says on the label, "By original scientific research, the Wright brothers discovered the principles of human flight as inventors, builders, and fliers they further developed the aeroplane, taught man to fly, and opened the era of aviation." Crouch looks at each of these elements but goes further in showing their persistence, strong family ties and complete integrity. I had the feeling that if any of these pieces was missing it would never have happened. Altogether a great book.
As a very minor point, it would have been useful to have diagrams to help follow the more technical aspects of the design changes.