Reaching for the Skies

The Adventure of Flight


Reaching for the Skies is the dramatic and entertaining story of many of this century's most colourful adventurers. It shows how, thanks to the dreams, courage, and inspiration of a few hundred people, the aeroplane has developed from a Heath Robinson contraption of wooden struts and fabric into a machine of steel and aluminium that can circle the Earth in 100 minutes and reach our into space.

From the first manned flight in a balloon in 1783 and Orville and Wilbur Wright's first 12-second in an aeroplane in 1903 to the X-15 and Concorde in the 1960s and the Shuttle in the 1980s, it is a story of pilots and plane makers who have taken up the challenge of flight and conquered the skies. Brave men rub shoulders with hucksters, greed competes with patriotism, technical genius joins hands with the spirit of adventure. War inevitably plays an important part in the story, as do luck and vision, as one technological breakthrough gives way to another.

The book, which includes material from over 200 interviews with pioneer aviators done for the BBC television series by the same name, is lavishly illustrated with stunning colour and black and white photographs.


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