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A History of the New Aviation (ePub)

The Development of Paragliding, Hang-gliding, Paramotoring and Microlighting


By Brian Milton
Imprint: Air World
File Size: 6.3 MB (.epub)
Pages: 216
ISBN: 9781399048606
Published: 2nd May 2024


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The New Aviation began with a hang-gliding meeting on a sand-dune in southern California on 23 May 1971. The longest flight that day was 196 feet, the longest time in the air just 11 seconds. But it was a start – the start of a movement that has grown exponentially world-wide with every passing year.

The essence of the New Aviation is to stand on a hill, spread your wings, and climb into the sky by your own skill. It is the fundamentals of flight as it is meant to be, and this is the story of the development of this exhilarating sport, and of its largely unknown pioneers.

The first of these was German pioneer aviator, Otto Lilienthal. Despite dozens of deaths before him, Lilienthal was the first to establish that manned flight was actually possible; before him, flight was just a dream. His tragic death in 1896 inspired the American Wright Brothers, Orville and Wilbur, to their own experiments on a wind-swept beach in Kittyhawk, North Carolina, where the first powered flight there on 17 December 1903.

The book begins and ends with two significant tales, opening with the life and death of Englishman Alvin Russell, and ending with the fabled Swiss flyer Didier Favre, who traversed the length of the Alps ‘by foot or by flight’. It is full of terrific stories, often repeating exploits of the mainstream aviators but flying just a kite and a trapeze bar, flying with eagles and teaching orphaned geese to migrate.

It has exclusive accounts of record-breaking distances, on adding engines to ‘rag wings’, on how women broke into the machismo world and an English girl led a team in which every other competitor was a man, and beat them all.

A History of the New Aviation is the first in-depth ‘narrative’ to stitch together the history and evolution of a pastime which is enjoyed by hundreds of thousands around the world. It is told by Brian Milton, the man who formed the British Hang Gliding League and led the first two British teams to beat the mighty Americans, for which he won the Prince of Wales Cup from Prince Charles, now King Charles III. Brian went on to make the first flight around the world by a powered hang glider. Two men set off on this flight; Brian returned alone.

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About Brian Milton

BRIAN MILTON is an award-winning adventurer, journalist and aviation historian. He holds the Guinness World Record for the first circumnavigation of the globe in a microlight aircraft, achieved in 1998. The flight earned him the Britannia Trophy, one of the world’s greatest aviation awards. This achievement was even more remarkable given the fact that Brian survived a 250-foot fall while testing a prototype powered hang glider in 1978, which gave him a fear of flying. For more information, please see www.brian-milton.uk.

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