Synopses & Reviews
Walter J. Boyne, the world's foremost historian on aviation and the former director of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, presents this fascinating, historically accurate, fictional account of all the cutthroat personalities who strived to be the first to take the air. Of course Wilbur and Orville Wright etched their names in history as the inventors of the airplane, but lost are their contemporaries who shared their same passion. Some spent entire lives and fortunes chasing the dream of flight, including men like the embittered Augustus Herring, the pompous Samuel Pierpont Langley of the Smithsonian Institution, who was backed by the U.S. War Department, Glenn Curtiss, the Wright Brothers most fierce competition, and even the legendary American inventor Alexander Graham Bell---after all, what these men set out accomplish would surely catapult them into fame and fortune, and drastically alter the course of history for decades to come.
"The stirring story of the Wright brothers, plus a colorful supporting cast of high-flyers during the baby-step era of aviation, (is) entertainingly presented--warts and all."--"Kirkus Reviews."
About the Author
Walter J. Boyne
is the former Chairman of the Board of Wingspan, the Air and Space Aviation Channel, and President of his own firm, Walter Boyne Associates. The author of 42 books, he is one of the few persons to have had best sellers on both the fiction and the non-fiction list of the New York Times. His books have been published in nine countries. His Beyond the Wild Blue: A History of the United States Air Force was made into a five part television series for the History Channel, and his Clash of Wings: World War II In The Air was made into a thirteen party series for PBS. Boyne hosted and narrated both series.
A career Air Force officer, Boyne retired as a Colonel with 5,000 hours flying time in everything from the T-6 to the B-1B. After his retirement in 1974, he joined the National Air & Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution. He became Acting Director in 1981 and Director in 1983. Upon his retirement in 1986, he began a third career of writing and consulting. His fourth career, in television, began seven years ago when he co-founded Wingspan the Aviation Channel, of which he was Chairman of the Board. His consulting clients include aviation, publishing and television companies.
A honor graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, with a BSBA, he graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh with an MBA. He received an honorary Doctorate of Aeronautical Science from Salem University in West Virginia. He is married to his wife of 50 years, Jeanne; they have four adult children, five paragons of virtue grandchildren, two priceless dogs and two perfect cats.