Berlin: R. Gaertners Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1889.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. Near Fine. Item #003804
8vo (227 x 154 mm). viii, 187  pp., colour lithographed frontispiece of storks in flight, 8 folding lithographed b&w plates bound at the end, illustrations and diagrams in text. Original publisher's decorated brown cloth, front board and spine gilt-lettered, printed endpapers (spine-ends lightly bumped, minor ubbing to extremities). Text generally clean and crisp, light offsetting from frontispiece to title, very light mostly marginal browning, frontispiece working loose. Provenance: illegible ownership signature to title-page. A near fine copy. ----
Norman 1353. FIRST EDITION 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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