Bibliography & Links

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Bibliography & Links

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Books & E-texts
The Dominion of the Air: the Story of Aerial Navigation, Rev.J.M.Bacon
A brief account of the most notable balloon flights made in the Nineteenth Century, written in about 1902 - Available as an Etext

The Mastery of the Air, W.J.Claxton 
A brief history of man's experience in the air from the Montgolfiers to 1918, with some interesting chapters on WWI and contemporary flight safety - Available as an Etext

History of British Aviation 1908-1914, R. Dallas Brett
A detailed account of British pre-WWI aviation, drawing on information from Flight and the Royal Aero Club archives - ISBN 09 048111 4X Air Research 1988

Aviation: An Historical Survey from its Origins to the End of World War II, C.H.Gibbs-Smith
Charles Gibbs-Smith was the leading historian of the invention of the aeroplane and his books are really required reading for all serious students of the subject. Working at the Science Museum in London in the 1950s and 1960s he investigated the often conflicting early records and brought some much needed clarity. In this book he reviews the history of flight from ancient times to 1945 and provides a firm chronology - SBN 11 290013 5* HMSO 1970

The Rebirth of European Aviation, 1902-1908, C.H.Gibbs-Smith
In this book Gibbs-Smith investigates the influence of the Wrights on European aviation - ISBN 0 11 290180 8* HMSO 1974

The Flying Cathedral, A.Gould-Lee
A biography of Samuel Cody, who designed and built the British Army's first aeroplane, christened "The Cathedral". Gould-Lee was himself a WWI fighter ace turned author. - No visible ISBN Methuen 1965.

Aviation, C.Grahame-White
A popular introduction to aviation from one of Britain's leading pioneers with several interesting chapters speculating on the future of the aeroplane - Collins, Nation's Library Series 1912

Only Seconds to Live, D.Hadley (ed)
A fascinating collection of materials relating to stall and spin incidents over the years - ISBN 1 85310 877 4 Airlife 1997

Sky Fever, G.de Havilland
The autobiography of Sir Geoffrey de Havilland. Particularly useful for its account of an early spin recovery. - ISBN 0 905 778 405 Airlife 1979

Flying Machine: Construction and Operation, W.J.Jackman & T.H.Russell
A manual for building and flying your own aeroplane written in about 1912 - Available as an Etext

Pioneer Aircraft: Early Aviation Before 1914, P. Jarrett (ed.)
Takes in everything from Leonardo to Latham, via Lilienthal! An excellent resource. - ISBN 0 85177 869 0 Putnam 2002

The Time Shrinkers - Africa, D.Jones
An account of the development of civil aviation between Britain and Africa, with a chapter on Frank McClean's 1914 flight - ISBN 0 902230 03 4 David Rendell Ltd 1970

Who's Who in Aviation History, W.H.Longyard
A compilation of short biographies of 500 significant personalities. Inevitably for such an ambitious book there are errors - ISBN 1 85310 272 5 Airlife 1994

Aviation: The Pioneer Years, B. Mackworth-Praed (ed)
A 'compilation' that seems to draw very heavily on Charles Dollfus' and Henri Bouché's 1942 history of aviation, Histoire de l'Aéronautique - ISBN 1 85170 349 7 Studio Editions 1990

Wonderful Balloon Ascents; or The Conquest of the Skies, F.Marion
A fascinatingly detailed account of significant balloon flights up to about 1870 - Available as an Etext

Pioneer Aircraft 1903-14, K. Munson
A handy reference of aircraft types with colour profiles and useful explanatory text - No visible ISBN  Blandford Press - 1969

Roland Garros: Héros du siècle S. Nicolaou
A French biography of Roland Garros - ISBN 2-7268-8506-3 Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace 2000

French Aeroplanes Before the Great War L.E.Opdycke
A wonderfully well researched book covering just about everything that flew; and lots of machines that didn't! - ISBN 0 764 30752 5 Schiffer Publishing 1999

Aeroplanes and Dirigibles of War, F.A.Talbot
Covers the development of the military airship up to 1916 - Available as an Etext

A History of Aeronautics, E.C.Vivian
A general history of aviation and aerostatics (lighter-than-air flight) written in about 1920 - Available as an Etext

British Airships: Past, Present and Future, G.Whale
Written by a former major in the RAF, this book mainly deals with military airships up to 1919 - Available as an Etext

A Passion for Wings: Aviation & the Western Imagination 1908-1918 , R. Wohl
An interesting interpretation drawing on many sources of information - ISBN 0 300 05778 4 Yale 1994

I have also drawn heavily on back issues of The London Times, The Illustrated London News and The Graphic for contemporary accounts.

Note on Etexts: The links above will take you to a UK ftp source. If this proves too slow or unresponsive, try the Gutenberg Project site search engine for a different ftp, or the World Wide School library for hypertexted contents of these books and keyword search facilities.

World Wide Web

History Sites

Aviation Pioneers: An Anthology
A massive 'site of sites' which collects material available from different sources on the web into one place. A great research resource, but remember that accuracy is not guaranteed - by way of example, some old copy from this site has made its way there! Dr Russell Naughton of Monash University has done a great job here - highly impressive. - http://www.ctie.monash.edu.au/hargrave/pioneers.html

To Fly is Everything
A superb virtual museum on the invention of the aeroplane by Gary Bradshaw at Mississippi State University. Cool features include movie clips, a searchable patents database and a Wright Flyer simulator. There's also an online library of articles and pictures. As Otto Lilienthal said, "To design an aeroplane is nothing, to build one is something, but to fly is everything." - http://invention.psychology.msstate.edu/

1910 Los Angeles Air Meet
A site by California State University commemorating the L.A. Air Meeting, with movie clips and profiles of the competitors, who included Louis Paulhan. - http://www.csudh.edu/1910airmeet/

First Flight
A great little site created by the Open University, with interactive virtual reality models of early aircraft. - http://firstflight.open.ac.uk/

A site dedicated to preserving the memory of Louis Blériot and the aircraft he built, including flying a replica over the English Channel. - http://www.bleriot.org/

L'Aviation avant 1914
French site by Didier Vedovoto. Check out the 'Drôles de Machines' page for multiplanes, ornithopters and other bizarre creations. - http://www.chez.com/avion/

Past 3D
A collection of stereoscopic early aviation pictures. You will need 3D glasses (or a piece of red perspex over one eye and green over the other.) Text is in French. - http://past3d.free.fr/

Holcomb's Aerodrome
Kevin Holcomb's historic aircraft site includes specifications and rare pictures of four pioneer aircraft as well as later types. - http://www.angelfire.com/va2/aerodrome/


Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace, (France)
Fabulous museum whose exhibits include a Vuia monoplane, Demoiselle, Standard Voisin, Antoinette, Blériot XI, Astra-Wright, Nieuport, and Deperdussin. English text option. - http://www.mae.org/

Brooklands (UK)
Situated to the south west of London, Brooklands race track was a magnet for both automobile and aviation enthusiasts before 1914. The website requires a higher end browser to view it and suffers from information overload. Click on 'Aviation' on the brown tool bar at the top of the page. - http://www.brooklandsmuseum.com/

Shuttleworth Collection (UK)
The Collection at Old Warden, Bedfordshire, houses a Bristol Boxkite, Deperdussin, Blériot XI, Blackburn and Avro Triplane. Even better, they fly during the summer months - a sight not to be missed! - http://www.shuttleworth.org/

Science Museum (UK)
The London Science Museum's aviation gallery includes an Antoinette, Avro Triplane, Cody military biplane and collection of aero engines - http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/ (main site) and http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/on-line/flight/index.asp (aviation exhibits)

Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum (USA)
Exhibits include original Wright, Langley and Curtiss machines as well as a Blériot XI. Ironically the Smithsonian refused to accept that the Wrights had flown first until the 1940s, prefering to support Langley's claim that he was first to build a flyable machine - http://www.nasm.si.edu/NASMhome.html

Lilienthal Museum (Germany)
In the 1890s Otto Lilienthal carried out a remarkable series of gliding experiments near Berlin. His aim was to understand control in the air prior to fitting an engine to a glider and creating a controlable aeroplane. It was the same philosophy followed by the Wrights and, but for his early death, Lilienthal might well have got there first. - http://home.t-online.de/home/LilienthalMuseum/


Royal Aero Club
Founded 1901 to encourage the sport of flying (which at the time meant ballooning). The website provides fairly basic information - http://www.royalaeroclub.org/

Royal Aeronautical Society
Founded 1866 to promote aeronautical research. A very glossy website targeted at aerospace professionals. - http://www.raes.org.uk/

Aéro-Club de France
Founded 1898 to encourage sport flying in France. Site all in French. - http://www.aeroclub.com/aecf/index.html

Fédération Aéronautique Internationale
Founded 1905 by the Comte de la Vaulx as the world governing body for airsport. - http://www.fai.org/

Please contact me if you know of a website that ought to be included.


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