Milestones of Aviation

To fly! For centuries, it was the dream of humanity. The “Air Age” marked its centennial year in 2003. This milestone became an occasion to look back on the rapid advancement of aviation technology which continues to shape modern aircraft in profound and enduring ways—from Orville Wright steering his Flyer across a 120-foot course at Kitty Hawk to the modern-day commercial jet airliners. In the military, the primitive wood and fabric flying machines of World War I (1914–1918) have given way to the latest warplanes fitted with stealth technology, smart weapons, and instantaneous global communications. The spirit of innovation continues to spur new breakthroughs in aircraft design, propulsion, and computerized flight control systems. In all its remarkable detail, the complete story of aviation unfolds in this spectacular book. This revised edition offers a feast for the eyes in its wealth of full-color photographs and archival illustrations from museums around the world. Noted historians and aeronautical experts cover a different aspect of aviation’s development in each chapter, including first-hand accounts by giants such as Charles Lindbergh and Chuck Yaeger. Edited in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., the book includes an introduction by Michael Collins, former NASA astronaut and past director of the National Air and Space Museum.

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