Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Wright Brothers: A Biography (Dover Transportation) Paperback – July 1, 1989
|New from||Used from|
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
About the Author
Discover books for all types of engineers, auto enthusiasts, and much more. Learn more
Top Customer Reviews
It was John R. McMahon who told the real story based on his revision of an original manuscript by Earl Findley. Orville had turned to Findley to write the biography; but it was too near the truth; too personal; and he nixed it.
But the truth came out, when McMahon wrote a series of articles on the Wright Brothers in "Popular Science," January 1929. When he came to write his book, still based on the Finley manuscript, Orville protested and was able to get several passages, on threat of court action, changed in the book. For example, Orville didn't want the years Wilbur spent at home as an invalid, revealed. Orville also has himself elevated above Wilbur, as the creative driving force in the airplane's invention.
If you want to investigate the real story, take the Kelly book with a grain of salt, and read instead, John Evangelist Walsh' "One Day at Kitty Hawk," published by Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1975. Even better, wouldn't it be good to have the unpublished Finley manuscript published, instead of suppressed.Read more ›
It has been 100 years since that magical day on the North Carolina Outter Banks, and Kelly manages to bring the experience back to us to relive. This is also an excellent book for children to read. I highly recommend it.
Kelly starts at the beginning, with tales of the brothers as young children and schoolboys, ultimately moving into the world of commerce as circus impressarios, printers, and bicycle builders and repairmen.
By the late 1890's they had selected aviation as a hobby, and started their annual pilgrimages to Kitty Hawk for several months each year to perform experiments. Only after 4 or 5 years of gliding and kite flying, was manned flight considered. By working long hours in the bicycle shop and minimizing all expenses, they were able to pursue this unusual hobby for several weeks each fall.
The obstacles were legendary, but the brothers persevered, usually by arguing (in a friendly way) between themselves, then reading every book on the subject in the Dayton public library, and then, developing new theories and experimental methods. In this way, they broke new ground in fluid dynamics, control and stability, motor construction, and propeller design. For example, they discovered that published tables of data on wind dynamics were wrong, so they built a wind tunnel to generate better data. The brothers had a unique ability to solve problems by applying a sound scientific approach and by going about it in an honest midwestern approach.
Those of us who were at the centennial did not hear the story of how little publicity the 1903 flight received.Read more ›
It is written in the style of the journalism of the time period, but because it is the only authorized biography of the brothers, it brings a freshness and closeness that other books, like the recent David McCollough book, do not.
Because Wilbur died at a relatively young age, and this book was written towards the end of Orville's life, it does tend to focus a bit more on Orville. But the great value of this book is the vivid, almost first hand accounts of the brothers early years, and later their fight for recognition of their flight achievements.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This story of two curious and amazing boys is just right. There's enough detail to feel we know them and plain enough to be read by young teens as well as adults. Read morePublished on September 17, 2013 by Sue Tiffany
No depth of description of the characters. It completely glosses over the extent to which aviation development was held back, as many have claimed, by the Wright bros.Published on April 12, 2013 by cooperplace
This is one of those books that anyone interested in the Wright Bros. must read. Kelly was a friend of Orville's and had direct info to work from. Easy to read. Read morePublished on October 30, 2011 by Moliere3
Considering that Fred Kelly's biography was first published in 1943, the text has a surprisingly contemporary style and its underlying research is up to today's high biographical... Read morePublished on November 5, 2003 by Christopher B. Jonnes