Berlin: R. Gaertners Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1889.
1st Edition. Hardcover. Near Fine. Item #003515
8vo (229 x 155 mm). viii, 187  pp., coloured lithographed frontispiece of storks in flight, 8 folding plates, illustrations and diagrams. Original publisher's decorated brown cloth gilt (corners and front board fore-edge lightly bumped). Text generally clean and crisp, one plate dust-soiled at fore-edge with 2 short tears without loss, another plate with single short tear without loss, light offsetting from frontispiece to title, very light mostly marginal browning, some pencil annotations and marginalia. Provenance: Collection of Peter and Margarethe Braune. A fine copy. ----
Norman 1353. FIRST EDITION, and a very fine copy, of the first textbook of mechanical flight. An early practitioner of gliding flight, Lilienthal pioneered a hang glider design that allowed him to make sustained flights of up to 250 metres distance from jumping-off places around Berlin. Working in conjunction with his brother Gustav, Lilienthal made over 2,000 flights in gliders of his design starting in 1891 with his first version, the Derwitzer. His total flying time was five hours. Lilienthal's valuable experiments were cut short when he crashed on 9 August 1896 while gliding and sustained a serious cervical break that ended his life prematurely at the age of forty-eight.
"Lilienthal's book [became] one of the chief bibles for the aeronautical world after he demonstrated that his theories could be put into practice . . . It was the basis on which the Wrights first started building their aerodynamic work, and they were always high in praise of its pioneering value, even when they were led to modify Lilienthal's findings" (Gibbs-Smith, The Invention of the Aeroplane 1799-1909, London, 1965). "The Wrights themselves, and virtually all their biographers, date the beginning of their serious adult consideration of the flying problem from their reading of the work" (McFarland, The Papers of Wilbur and Orville Wright, London, 1953). Brockett Bibliography of Aeronautics p. 520 - Visit our website to see more images!
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