Quest for Flight: John J. Montgomery and the Dawn of Aviation in the West

The Wright brothers have long received the lion s share of credit for inventing the airplane But a California scientist succeeded in flying gliders twenty years before the Wright s powered flights at Kitty Hawk in 1903 Quest for Flight reveals the amazing accomplishments of John J Montgomery, a prolific inventor who piloted the glider he designed in 1883 in the first coThe Wright brothers have long received the lion s share of credit for inventing the airplane But a California scientist succeeded in flying gliders twenty years before the Wright s powered flights at Kitty Hawk in 1903 Quest for Flight reveals the amazing accomplishments of John J Montgomery, a prolific inventor who piloted the glider he designed in 1883 in the first controlled flights of a heavier than air craft in the Western Hemisphere.Re examining the history of American aviation, Craig S Harwood and Gary B Fogel present the story of human efforts to take to the skies They show that history s nearly exclusive focus on two brothers resulted from a lengthy public campaign the Wrights waged to profit from their aeroplane patent and create a monopoly in aviation Countering the aspersions cast on Montgomery and his work, Harwood and Fogel build a solidly documented case for Montgomery s pioneering role in aeronautical innovation.As a scientist researching the laws of flight, Montgomery invented basic methods of aircraft control and stability, refined his theories in aerodynamics over decades of research, and brought widespread attention to aviation by staging public demonstrations of his gliders After his first flights near San Diego in the 1880s, his pursuit continued through a series of glider designs These experiments culminated in 1905 with controlled flights in Northern California using tandem wing Montgomery gliders launched from balloons These flights reached the highest altitudes yet attained, demonstrated the effectiveness of Montgomery s designs, and helped change society s attitude toward what was considered the impossible art of aerial navigation.Inventors and aviators working west of the Mississippi at the turn of the twentieth century have not received the recognition they deserve Harwood and Fogel place Montgomery s story and his exploits in the broader context of western aviation and science, shedding new light on the reasons that California was the epicenter of the American aviation industry from the very beginning.
Quest for Flight John J Montgomery and the Dawn of Aviation in the West The Wright brothers have long received the lion s share of credit for inventing the airplane But a California scientist succeeded in flying gliders twenty years before the Wright s powered flights at

  • Title: Quest for Flight: John J. Montgomery and the Dawn of Aviation in the West
  • Author: Craig S. Harwood Gary B. Fogel
  • ISBN: 9780806142647
  • Page: 246
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “Quest for Flight: John J. Montgomery and the Dawn of Aviation in the West”

    1. When you are in grade school you learn Columbus discovered America. In high school you find out it was actually Leif Ericson who was the first European who landed in America, about five hundred years before Columbus. Then in college you discover Columbus was a tyrant whose cruelty cost him his governance and may not be worthy of the fame we give himQuest for Flight is a college course revealing the truth of the history of flight. We have all been taught that the Wright brothers were the first to [...]

    2. I've been interested in John J. Montgomery ever since I noticed that the park across the street from my brother's condo in San Jose was named after the same guy as the junior high school I attended in San Diego. When I read an article about this book by a local author, I knew I had to read it.It makes a strong case that Montgomery was a more important figure in early aviation development than almost anyone else. It implies that while the Wright brothers did some important work, most of their rep [...]

    3. I loved this book. This book weaves the history of California and an intriguing story line of the dawn of aviation together with amazing research by the authors to produce a truly fascinating book. If you like history, particularly if you are intrigued by California history, or the history of the west, you will love this book.

    4. Great book! The book is continuous documentation of historic events revealing an alternate truth for man’s “Quest for Flight”. Hard to add to the previous reviews, but the insights of politics and business at the turn of the 20th century added to making this a truly thought provoking read, as did the local history. A note to those who may be local, Craig Harwood is doing a free presentation on his book March 19th , 2:00PM at the Scotts Valley Library, Scotts Valley, CA.

    5. It's unfair of me to give this a 2-star rating. It was probably a much better book than that, but I simply wasn't that interested in the dawn of aviation and the descriptions of how and why flight works. I read it because it was by a local author and much of the story took place in San Jose and Santa Cruz. I very much enjoyed reading about Santa Clara College (a friend's alma mater), the San Francisco earthquake, Fred Swanton, mentions of Mt Hamilton and Aptos. It was interesting too to read abo [...]

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