Hell-Rider to King of the Air

Author:
Hero or Villain?

There's no question that Glenn Curtiss was one of the most significant figures in the early development of motorcycles, aviation, and engine development. This book will take you on a journey through both his life and his innovative technological developments.

And what a life it was. Descriptions of this man prove to be contradictory and controversial. He was quiet, yet dashing. Kind, yet stern. Uneducated, yet a technological and entrepreneurial pioneer. He began his inventing career by building and racing motorcycles, while creating new internal combustion engines, then moved on to work with dirigibles, airplanes (particularly seaplanes), community development, and travel trailers. In the end, Glenn Curtiss - a man respected by contemporaries for his character - went to his grave accused of fiduciary irresponsibility and patent theft. His bitter patent disputes with the Wright Brothers leave many wondering whether Curtiss should be seen as a hero or a villain when his place in history is considered.

Hell-Rider to King of the Air examines Curtiss's life, career, and accomplishments in an engaging and accessible way, so that readers can answer that question for themselves. Click on the Review Tab below to read reviews of this book.

Published:
  • 2003-09-10
Specs:
  • Published by SAE International with a Product Code of R-314, ISBN of 978-0-7680-8134-3, and 288 pages in a softbound binding. Table of Contents
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"...Hell-Rider to King of the Air is an important read for anyone who believes 1) that the story of the airplane begins and ends with the Wright brothers, and 2) innovation and progress come from bureaucratic organizations. The life story of the taciturn, uneducated, yet brilliant Glenn Curtiss proves this is not the case." - Christopher A. Sawyer, The Virtual Driver
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