A Dream of Wings (Americans and the Airplane) by Tom D. Crouch
The book brings out several factors such as the political, economic and social aspects that were experienced by the past aviation industry and its founders while also revealing information concerning their background and inspirations leading to their efforts in research, study, and the invention of airplanes. In addition, Crouch describes the relevance of great achievements made from these inventions and emphasizes on modern historians towards extending more appreciation and recognition to the past inventions as prerequisites to modern aviation development.
The book initially addresses issues faced by early inventors involving competition in terms of products handling. Crouch identifies similarities of issues faced within the past and present settings (Crouch, 16). For example, the Wright Brothers faced huge constraints while trying to acquire rights that would restrict other airplane developers from replicating their ideas. The Wright Brothers were not able to get through because other inventors succeeded in developing better versions of airplanes. After the patents issues were publicized, other inventors were able to match their accomplishments and even do much better.
Crouch’s publication also discusses inspirations that can influence people towards creating an opportunity for a big achievement within the future periods. The author has used this proposal to create an inspiration within individuals who are interested in establishing careers within the aviation industry. For example, the author relays the reader back to the brothers’ childhood, where their passion for mechanics started by explaining that the interest in planes started when their father gave them a flying toy, fashioned from paper and bamboo sticks. The young Wright’s were fascinated such that they started making flying toys that they would sell in form of kites in school.
The book also explains some of the social and business struggles experienced by the great pioneers in the past. For example, the Wright brothers went through family struggles as their mother fell sick and the family responsibility was left to their elder sister, Katie. The brothers were then tied to household duties and this affected the two negatively on their capability to focus on their research. Crouch acquired this information from biographical books concerning the Wright brothers. Other inventors such as Octave Chanute became very successful such that he quit his business in a bid to devote his time within the aviation industry. Crouch also adds on the struggles that the brothers experienced with other inventors in protecting their legacy. For example, the conflict between Smithsonian and the Wright brothers when discussing about achievements in flight inventions.
The book also addresses persistence and hard work evidenced by early aviation engineers through achieving great inventions despite having limited technology as compared to the present period .For example Crouch describes the exceptional achievements of the Wright brothers like the testing of the current wind tunnel; a rectangular shaped machine with open-ended sides made of wood. In addition, it outlines problems faced in the past aviation market with regard to the instability noted in the invention process. For example, Langley was weighed by many research tasks that required considerable aid. The book adds on how Wilbur Wright helped in the determination of a solution to this problem when he was writing a letter to Chanute. This information was sourced from personal documents that have been preserved towards offering a succinct view of the given period.
The Wright aircraft became obsolete in the year 1910 when other superior versions were presented. Nevertheless, the two earned a special place in historical achievement for being the first to develop controlled and powered flights. Through this, the author outlines the importance of the existence of great pioneers in the past and the impact they have in present development. For example, the Wright brothers made a big impact in civil aviation, where they considered weight and balance aspects in inventing a lightweight engine that allowed the aeroplane to take off. They used different aviation theories and calculations to develop aircraft wings that helped to control and balance the machine on air by using a propeller for lifting the gravity force and this approach is still utilized.
The book also explains issues of past aviation development and how it affected political stability. For example, limitations in the production of airplanes in the in the United States before World War 1 explains how this situation became a disadvantage to the U.S army because they did not have enough aircrafts to use during the battling periods. This is because, some of the airplanes used by the army were obsolete and therefore only a few aeroplanes had all functionalities to be able to be utilized in the war. The writer acquired this information from credible newspaper articles discussing the given event with regard to the political situation in the US during World War 1. Clearly, it also emphasizes on how aviation history should be given more credit and recognition than the present views given by researchers since it has made a huge impact in the transport sector in terms of speed, quality and technology.