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Rocket Man

And Other Extraordinary Characters in the History of Flight

David Darling

The wonder of flight has long captured the human imagination. In this beguiling history – ranging from the first aircraft to astronauts and beyond – David Darling tells the stories of the true life adventurers whose wonder has translated into bizarre contraptions, magnificent achievements and, sometimes, startling folly.

Discover outrageous attempts to fly like a bird and fall from the edge of space. Meet Napoleonic ballooniste Sophie Blanchard and her daredevil husband; the real “X-Men” who flew the supersonic experimental “X-planes” for the US Air Force; stuntman Lincoln Beachey, looping-the-loop in a pinstripe suit; and, of course, The Rocket Man himself: Yves Rossy, who in 2006 was the first person to cross the English Channel using a jet-pack.

Eccentric and reckless, Darling’s daring cast of dreamers is guaranteed to entertain and inspire.

  • Publication date: October 3, 2013
  • ISBN: 9781780742977
  • RRP: £12.99
  • Pages: 216


"Gripping... dazzling tales of madness and derring-do."

Brian Clegg, author of Inflight Science

"A hugely enjoyable roller-coaster aerial ride in the company of oddballs and heroes, complete with acts of mindless msochism in the name of science."

Jonathan Clancy, author of Spitfire: The Biography


Wall Street Journal

“A mix of good old-fashioned silliness and some fine science writing.”

BBC Focus

David Darling

David Darling is a science writer, astronomer and tutor. He is the author of nearly fifty books, including the bestselling Equations of Eternity. He lives in Dundee, Scotland.

Together with Agnijo Banerjee, he is the co-author of the Weird Maths trilogy, and The Biggest Number in the World.

Author page

More books by David Darling

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