The Wright Brothers

  • by Fred C. Kelly
  • Narrated by Noah Waterman
  • 7 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In this fascinating biography, Fred C. Kelly, a former newspaperman, author, and an old friend of the Wrights, tells the story of the 2 brilliant, dedicated, flight-obsessed bicycle mechanics from Ohio who first realized mankind's age-old dream of conquering the skies. Long considered the definitive Wright Brothers biography (the manuscript was read and approved by Orville Wright), Kelly's work recounts the Wrights' small-town boyhood, their early interest in all things mechanical, the establishment of the Wright Cycle Shop, and the complete behind-the-scenes story of how they designed, built, tested, and flew (December, 1903) the first "Flyer."


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Customer Reviews

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The Wright Brothers (Unabridged)

The image of the Wright Brothers that is handed down to us is a cartoon. Kelly gives us the real story and it is stunning. What appears clear is that aerodynamics in those day, to scientists and inventors alike, was about as mysterious as anything you might imagine today. More people understand general relativity today than understood aerodynamics and aeronautics then. The smartest people around the world simply couldn't figure it out. Many were left to conclude after experimentation that is wasn't possible. It took two brilliant, meticulous scientists with a gift for observation, a sixth sense about physics, especially aerodynamic principles, photographic memories, a talent for design and engineering, mechanical skills and a relentless willingness to experiment, about ten years to develop the first practical airplane. When scientists finally figured out what the Wrights had done, they generally agreed that if the Wrights hadn't done it, it might have been decades before anybody else would have. Nobody was even close. This wonderful and passionate account written in 1944 presents an amazing story of two extraordinary individuals.
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- "Audiobooks changed my life. My career as a trial lawyer left no time for recreational anything, much less reading. But then . . ."

Like An Extended Newspaper Account

This is a straight forward, competent account of the great Wright Brothers story. The reader sounds like a rapid-fire clipped newspaperman from the 40s or 50s. In fact, the entire story has the feel of an extended newspaper account. The story ends on a high note [spoiler alert] - the vindication of the Wright Bros. vis a vis the Smithsonian.

I prefer James Tobin's To Conquer The Air. It is a fuller, more fleshed-out and more dramatic account. If you are only going to buy just one, buy Tobin. If you are going to buy two, start with this one, and then enjoy Tobin.
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- Richard

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-16-1999
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.