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.