Books, Music & Movies · Birdmen

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Birdmen:The Wright Brothers, Glenn Curtiss, and the Battle to Control the Skies

Lawrence Goldstone

Orville and Wilbur Wright expected much more than fame after they flew across the sands of Kitty Hawk in 1903. After filing a patent for a wing and rudder design, they expected royalties for every aircraft built by their rivals, licensing fees for every barnstorming flight, and a cut of the profits from every public air show. Glenn Curtiss and other aviation pioneers scoffed at the brothers’ claim, arguing that they all had a hand in achieving flight. Goldstone recounts the years of legal wrangling that hampered the progress of aviation and contributed to Wilbur’s premature death.