Author(s): Errol W. Martyn
Volume One: Ideas, first flight attempts and the aeronauts 1868-1909. Volplane Press in association with the Aviation Historical Society of New Zealand is proud to announce publication of the first volume of Errol Martyn's new trilogy - A Passion for Flight, a history of New Zealand aviation before the Great War of 1914-1918. This definitive work presents for the first time a detailed record of all known New Zealand-related aeronautical activity of the long-neglected pioneering period of 1868-1914. The complete trilogy will undoubtedly become an indispensible first place of resource for historians, aviation enthusiasts and genealogists alike. The 184-page first volume takes the story up to 1909. It includes eye-witness accounts and over 100 illustrations, many of which are published for the first time. There is comprehensive coverage of the daring balloonists and parachutists - aeronauts both local and from abroad (including fascinating American sisters Millie Viola and Leila Adair) - the first people to be seen in New Zealand skies. One of the New Zealanders, in a balloon of his own design, established the country's first duration and cross-country flight records.
All known patents, flying machines - designed, constructed or trialled - aerial events and the personnel involved are described in detail. (It is generally not realised that some 70 patents were applied for and more than 30 gliders or aeroplanes were completed or begun in New Zealand by 1914.) The final chapter also puts to rest once and for all the controversial claims made for Richard Pearse as having flown before the American Wright brothers. It brings to light new information about him and his flights attempts that has been overlooked by previous researchers. Included is a lengthy and enlightening interview with the inventor himself! Four appendices, over 400 footnotes and a comprehensive index complete the book.
Beginnings -- The first aeronauts arrive -- Millie and Leila - sisters in the sky -- The triumph and tragedy of 'Captain Charles Lorraine' -- Towards powered flight -- Aeronauts aloft again -- 1909-Annus mirabilis -- An interview with Richard Pearse.