A common phrase in science and engineering is “standing on the shoulders of giants”1referring to the work of previous luminaries and signifying the importance of prior work by the originators of the discipline. Michigan Aerospace alum Joe Bullmer has written the book titled “The Wright Story”2 providing a unique and detailed account of the engineering and discovery leading to manned, powered flight. The book, the first such book written by an aircraft design engineer, presents a fascinating account of early developments in aviation. Many attribute much to the Wright brothers. However this account intends to correct the many myths associated with what the Wright brothers did and did not do and at the same time presents a concise and accurate account of the early development of powered flight.
The book represents research into the history of flight starting with 1795. It includes many excellent references for those wishing to pursue more detail, yet presents an excellent story of the evolution of flight. It’s well written and engaging.
The author received an MS degree from the department in 1963 and has worked for the US Air Force as an intelligence analyst on aircraft and missile designs for over 30 years. His interests are in stability and control of aircraft.
1 nanos gigantum humeris insidentes: expresses the meaning of “discovering truth by building on previous discoveries”
2 Bullmer, J. 2009, The Write Story, CreateSpace, North Charleston , S.C. , ISBN: 1-4392-3620-8