According to the Government Printing Office “Aviation History” refers to the history of the “development of mechanical flight —from the earliest attempts in kites and gliders to the powered heavier-than-air, supersonic and space flights.”
Many of us immediately think of Orville and Wilbur Wright as the originators of flight. These two Ohio bike shop owners did fly for 12 seconds at Kitty Hawk in 1903, marking the first time man had flown. But many had dreamed of flight and had experimented before them. Leonardo da Vinci suggested a vehicle with flapping wings imitating a bird’s flight. The French brothers, Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier, flew in a hot-air balloon in 1783. Berlin aviator Otto Lilienthal flew more than 2000 flights in gliders he designed beginning in 1891. His work actually inspired the Wright Brothers. But that successful, if short, flight on the sand dunes of North Carolina started a whole new industry. It made the world seem smaller as people and goods could travel more quickly and easily. It changed the way war was fought. And it was a pathway to the exploration of space.
Come to the library’s third floor to choose a book! There are biographies of famous aviators, illustrated books about balloons, airships, planes and spaceships, and books chronicling the development of civil and military aviation.
Can’t come to the library? Use your library card at home to access the Syosset Library’s selection of databases. Try “Biography in Context” for information about the historic figures. “Facts on File Science Online” has articles as well as videos. And Britannica and World Book in our Encyclopedia databases detail the chronology and the impact of the aeronautical industry.
If you are traveling to D.C. be sure to include a visit to the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum on the Mall and the Udvar-Hazy Center in nearby Chantilly. Headed out to the Seattle area? There is the impressive Museum of Flight . If your life and work don’t allow for any travel beyond Long Island, be sure to visit Long Island’s own Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City. Did you know that the library has passes for our cardholders for the museum? Great value, convenient location. You can reserve the pass online.
-posted by Brenda, Reference Services