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The Wright Brothers | [Fred C. Kelly]

The Wright Brothers

Fred C. Kelly, a former newspaperman, author, and an old friend of the Wrights, tells the story of the 2 brilliant, dedicated, flight-obsessed bicycle mechanics from Ohio who first realized mankind's age-old dream of conquering the skies. Long considered the definitive Wright Brothers biography (the manuscript was read and approved by Orville Wright), Kelly's work recounts the Wrights' early history and the complete behind-the-scenes story of how they designed, built, tested, and flew the first "Flyer."
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Publisher's Summary

In this fascinating biography, Fred C. Kelly, a former newspaperman, author, and an old friend of the Wrights, tells the story of the 2 brilliant, dedicated, flight-obsessed bicycle mechanics from Ohio who first realized mankind's age-old dream of conquering the skies. Long considered the definitive Wright Brothers biography (the manuscript was read and approved by Orville Wright), Kelly's work recounts the Wrights' small-town boyhood, their early interest in all things mechanical, the establishment of the Wright Cycle Shop, and the complete behind-the-scenes story of how they designed, built, tested, and flew (December, 1903) the first "Flyer."

(P)1994 by Blackstone Audiobooks

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    pcwright@prodigy.net Los Angeles 08-31-04
    pcwright@prodigy.net Los Angeles 08-31-04 Member Since 2000
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Wright Brothers (Unabridged)"

    The image of the Wright Brothers that is handed down to us is a cartoon. Kelly gives us the real story and it is stunning. What appears clear is that aerodynamics in those day, to scientists and inventors alike, was about as mysterious as anything you might imagine today. More people understand general relativity today than understood aerodynamics and aeronautics then. The smartest people around the world simply couldn't figure it out. Many were left to conclude after experimentation that is wasn't possible. It took two brilliant, meticulous scientists with a gift for observation, a sixth sense about physics, especially aerodynamic principles, photographic memories, a talent for design and engineering, mechanical skills and a relentless willingness to experiment, about ten years to develop the first practical airplane. When scientists finally figured out what the Wrights had done, they generally agreed that if the Wrights hadn't done it, it might have been decades before anybody else would have. Nobody was even close. This wonderful and passionate account written in 1944 presents an amazing story of two extraordinary individuals.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada 08-13-09
    Richard Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada 08-13-09 Member Since 2008
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    "Like An Extended Newspaper Account"

    This is a straight forward, competent account of the great Wright Brothers story. The reader sounds like a rapid-fire clipped newspaperman from the 40s or 50s. In fact, the entire story has the feel of an extended newspaper account. The story ends on a high note [spoiler alert] - the vindication of the Wright Bros. vis a vis the Smithsonian.

    I prefer James Tobin's To Conquer The Air. It is a fuller, more fleshed-out and more dramatic account. If you are only going to buy just one, buy Tobin. If you are going to buy two, start with this one, and then enjoy Tobin.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Crosby LONDON, UK 01-01-06
    J. Crosby LONDON, UK 01-01-06 Member Since 2004

    GSBIKER

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    "Entertaining with caveats"

    This biography is showing its age. Written in the early 1940's, before Orville's death, much of the back story on the family and complex motivations behind some of their life choices, is just not here. The biographer is clearly in awe of the Wrights, (not a bad thing as they were exceptional and exemplary people), but there is deeper story to be told, but you won't find it here. The Wright Brothers by Ian Mackersey is a good read after this one. The reader mimics a 1940's newpaper reporter with a fast staccato style that at time grates. Worth a listen all the same as this amazing story never fails to be spellbinding.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • A User
    4/11/07
    Overall
    "The Wright Brothers (Unabridged)"

    Such a wonderful, informative and detailed history of the Wright brothers, could not stop listening to this book until I got to the end.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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