This book is written for the guidance of the novice in

aviation--the man who seeks practical information as to

the theory, construction and operation of the modern

flying machine. With this object in view the wording

is intentionally plain and non-technical. It contains some

propositions which, so far as satisfying the experts is

concerned, might doubtless be better stated in technical

terms, but this woul
defeat the main purpose of its preparation.

Consequently, while fully aware of its shortcomings

in this respect, the authors have no apologies to make.

In the stating of a technical proposition so it may be

clearly understood by people not versed in technical matters

it becomes absolutely necessary to use language

much different from that which an expert would employ,

and this has been done in this volume.

No man of ordinary intelligence can read this book

without obtaining a clear, comprehensive knowledge of

flying machine construction and operation. He will

learn, not only how to build, equip, and manipulate an

aeroplane in actual flight, but will also gain a thorough

understanding of the principle upon which the suspension

in the air of an object much heavier than the air is made


This latter feature should make the book of interest

even to those who have no intention of constructing or

operating a flying machine. It will enable them to better

understand and appreciate the performances of the

daring men like the Wright brothers, Curtiss, Bleriot,

Farman, Paulhan, Latham, and others, whose bold experiments

have made aviation an actuality.

For those who wish to engage in the fascinating pastime

of construction and operation it is intended as a

reliable, practical guide.

It may be well to explain that the sub-headings in the

articles by Mr. Chanute were inserted by the authors

without his knowledge. The purpose of this was merely

to preserve uniformity in the typography of the book.

This explanation is made in justice to Mr. Chanute.