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An Ancient Air:- An Airlife Classic

By Harald Penrose

ISBN: 9781840371840
PUBLISHED (THIS EDITION): June 2000
PAGES: 192
BINDING: Paperback
SIZE: 218x150 mm
INSIDE: B/w photographs

An Ancient Air portrays the hitherto only briefly recorded life of John Stringfellow of Chard (1799-1833), the first man in the world to demonstrate that engine-powered winged flight was practicable.

Whereas earlier general aviation histories tend to discount Stringfellow's work, An Ancient Air reveals that his absorption with aviation was lifelong, starting with the constuction of balloons, recorded here for the first time. This book seeks to demonstrate the relationship of Stringfellow's work with that of his colleague, William Samuel Henson. They worked closely together on various aeronautical projects between the years 1835 and 1847, and the author puts forward evidence that it was Stringfellow who was entirely responsible for the historic 1848 monoplane, the first ever engine-driven model aeroplane to make a free flight. After Henson emigrated to the USA in 1848, Stringfellow continued to design revolutionary aeroplane models, such as the triplane he entered in the 1868 Crystal Palace Exhibition.

Harald Penrose was one of the foremost test pilots of his time and was also a gifted author. . . Airlife has reprinted his excellent biography of John Stringfellow, the first man in the world to demonstrate that powered flight was possible . . . There is no hesitation in recommending this biography, which not only covers Stringfellow's life and experiments, but also deals with the other attempts being made by fellow enthusiasts of the day. - WINGSPAN A paperback reprint of a 1988 classic, which tells the story of John Stringfellow of Chard, who worked on various aeronautical projects from 1835(!). Masterly, fascinating. *** - AIRCRAFT ILLUSTRATED

An Ancient Air is a welcome addition to the story of the early years of flight, and one which takes the interested reader into previously little known corners of aviation's pioneering days. - PILOT

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