In the 21st century - the age of the budget airline - where quick and reliable air travel is available to a large segment of society, it seems hard to comprehend that it is less than 250 years since the first human took to the skies.
Although the wing of the bird seemed like the most obvious natural mechanism to attempt replicate, it was actually contained hot air, as demonstrated by the Montgolfiers and their balloon, that gave birth to the era human aviation. Since the first manned balloon flight in 1783, developments have come thick and fast, the airship, the aeroplane, and finally the space shuttle.
This reprint of a classic publication by Lord Montagu, from 1907, details the early history of aviation. Complete with illustrations and a brand new introduction, and containing sections such as 'Navigable Balloons', 'A Balloon Duel', and 'A Perilous Ascent', it is a wonderful work for anyone with an interest in the technology and interesting events of the lighter-than-air period of aeronautics.