Flights of Fancy
A world-renowned, bestselling scientist explores the miracle of flight.
Do you sometimes dream you can fly like a bird? Gliding effortlessly above the treetops, soaring and swooping, playing and dodging through the third dimension. Computer games, virtual reality headsets, and some drugs can lift our imagination and fly us through fabled, magical spaces. But it's not the real thing. No wonder some of the past's greatest minds, including Leonardo da Vinci's, have yearned for flying machines and struggled to design them.
Flights of Fancy is a book about flying – all the different ways of defying gravity that have been discovered by humans over the centuries and by other animals over the millions of years, from the mythical Icarus, to the sadly extinct but magnificent bird Argentavis magnificens, to the British Airways pilots of today. But it also means flights of digression into more general ideas and principles that take off from a discussion about actual flight.
Lucidly and elegantly written, and embracing flying machines as diverse as Leonardo's helicopter, the Wright Flyer, gannets, boobies, Stukas and the 747, Flights of Fancy will enlighten and delight readers of all ages.
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