The Rocket Man: And Other Extraordinary Characters from the History of Flight

The Rocket Man: And Other Extraordinary Characters from the History of Flight

Hardback

By (author) David Darling

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  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications
  • Format: Hardback | 216 pages
  • Dimensions: 129mm x 198mm x 20mm | 295g
  • Publication date: 29 October 2013
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1780742975
  • ISBN 13: 9781780742977
  • Sales rank: 8,986

Product description

The wonder of flight has long captured the human imagination. In this beguiling history - ranging from the first aircraft to astronauts and beyond - David Darling tells the stories of the true life adventurers whose wonder has translated into bizarre contraptions, magnificent achievements and, sometimes, startling folly. Discover outrageous attempts to fly like a bird and fall from the edge of space. Meet Napoleonic ballooniste Sophie Blanchard and her daredevil husband; the real `X-Men` who flew the supersonic experimental `X-planes` for the US Air Force; stuntman Lincoln Beachey, looping-the-loop in a pinstripe suit; and, of course, The Rocket Man himself: Yves Rossy, who in 2006 was the first person to cross the English Channel using a jet-pack. Eccentric and reckless, Darling's daring cast of dreamers is guaranteed to entertain and inspire.

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Author information

David Darling is a science writer and astronomer. He is the author of many books, including the bestselling Equations of Eternity, and the popular online resource The Worlds of David Darling. With Dirk Schulze-Makuch he wrote Megacatastrophes!: Nine Strange Ways the World Could End. He lives in Dundee, Scotland.

Review quote

`Gripping... dazzling tales of madness and derring do.` -- Brian Clegg, author of Inflight Science `A consummate collection of tales of the fearless and the feckless. Darling treats his subject with an authority tempered by the gentle humour that is the mark of a great story-teller.` -- Justin Pollard, author of The Interesting Bits: The History You Might Have Missed `A hugely enjoyable roller-coaster aerial ride in the company of oddballs and heroes, complete with vertiginous frights, dances of death, lonely impulses of delight and acts of mindless masochism in the name of science.` -- Jonathan Glancey, author of Spitfire: The Biography 'David Darling has cleverly avoided wheeling out all the old familiar names... a rollicking, rip-roaring tale. 4 stars.' Popular Science `Impressive.` Wall Street Journal `A mix of good old-fashioned silliness and some fine science writing.` BBC Focus