The Wrights worked in relative obscurity and kept the details of their invention secret. As a result, aspiring aviators everywhere, particularly in France, toiled to conquer gravity with an assortment of contraptions of their own design. The first aviators had only their wits and reflexes to bring them down safely again. Their planes, mere collages of wood, cloth and wire, were difficult to control and so sensitive to air currents that even moderate winds could knock them to the ground. But once flying was established, by the end of 1910, the aviator emerged as an international hero.
The First Aviators book is one volume included in the Time-Life Epic of Flight series.
Epic of Flight: The First Aviators
1 Rediscovering the secrets of Kitty Hawk 17
2 The great show at Rheims 49
3 The high-risk pursuit of gold and glory 85
4 The Wrights vs. the world 115
5 Marshaling aviation for war 143