The Mastery of the Air

The Mastery of the Air

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The Mastery of the Air by William J. Claxton

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The Mastery of the Air

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This book makes no pretence of going minutely into the technical and scientific sides of human flight: rather does it deal mainly with the real achievements of pioneers who have helped to make aviation what it is to-day.

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clear idea. But he doubtless thought of some gaseous substance lighter than air, and so he would seem to have, at least, hit upon the principle underlying the construction of the modern balloon. Roger Bacon had ideas far in advance of his time, and his experiments made such an impression of wonder on the popular mind that they were believed to be wrought by black magic, and the worthy monk was classed among those who were supposed to be in league with Satan.

CHAPTER III

The First Man to Ascend in a Balloon

The safe descent of the three animals, which has already been related, showed the way for man to venture up in a balloon. In our time we marvel at the daring of modern airmen, who ascend to giddy heights, and, as it were, engage in mortal combat with the demons of the air. But, courageous though these deeds are, they are not more so than those of the pioneers of ballooning.

In the eighteenth century nothing was known

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