Reach for the Skies: Ballooning, Birdmen and Blasting into Space

Reach for the Skies: Ballooning, Birdmen and Blasting into Space

Paperback

By (author) Sir Richard Branson

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  • Publisher: Virgin Books
  • Format: Paperback | 352 pages
  • Dimensions: 126mm x 194mm x 24mm | 281g
  • Publication date: 5 September 2011
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0753519879
  • ISBN 13: 9780753519875
  • Illustrations note: Illustrations
  • Sales rank: 124,656

Product description

As far back as stories go, pioneers have reached for the skies. In the last two hundred years, they have mastered the air and made the modern world possible. Today they are bringing outer space within our reach. They're inventors and toymakers, amateurs and adventurers, visionaries, dreamers and, yes, crackpots. Some have called them irresponsible, even dangerous. But Richard Branson has met many of them. He has worked with them, funded them, and flown with them. He admires them, and trusts them, and thinks they and their kind are our future. In this book Richard Branson looks at the history of flight through the stories and people who have inspired him throughout his life. In these pages you will find tales of miraculous rescues; of records made and broken; of surprising feats of endurance and survival, including some of his own adventures, as well as developments in the future of air travel (and space travel). It is a story of pioneers, and of course it includes the world famous Montgolfiers and the Wright brothers, but he also wants to describe some of the lesser-known trailblazers. People like Tony Jannus, who in 1914 created the first scheduled commercial flight in the world, flying his passengers over the waters of Tampa Bay at an altitude of just fifty feet! The 'bird man' Leo Valentin, who in the 1950s jumped from 9,000 feet with wooden wings attached to his shoulders. And Branson's friend Steve Fossett, who dedicated his life to breaking records and having adventures. This is their story. It is also, in a small way, his own.

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Author information

Sir Richard Branson is a hugely successful international entrepreneur, adventurer and icon, and is founder of the Virgin Group. His autobiography, Losing My Virginity, and his books on business, Screw It, Let's Do It, Business Stripped Bare, Screw Business as Usual and Like a Virgin are all international bestsellers. He is also the author of Reach for the Skies. He lives on Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands and is married to Joan and has two grown-up children - Holly and Sam.

Back cover copy

Sir Richard Branson explores the history of flight through the stories and people who have inspired him. This is an account of miraculous rescues; of records made and broken; of surprising feats of endurance and survival, including many of his own death-defying adventures. It is a story of pioneers, from the world-famous Montgolfiers and the Wright brothers, to the lesser-known trailblazers who today, are bringing outer space within our reach. It is a thrilling and inspiring tale of amateurs and adventurers, inventors and toymakers, visionaries and dreamers who have mastered the air and made the modern world possible.