From transforming the ways of war to offering godlike views of inaccessible spots, revolutionizing rescues worldwide, and providing some of our most-watched TV moments—including the cloud of newscopters that trailed O. J. Simpson’s Bronco—the helicopter is far more capable than early inventors expected. Now James Chiles profiles the many helicoptrians who contributed to the development of this amazing machine, and pays tribute to the selfless heroism of pilots and crews. A virtual flying lesson and scientific adventure tale, The God Machine is more than the history of an invention; it is a journey into the minds of imaginative thinkers and a fascinating look at the ways they changed our world.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of Technology eBook: The God Machine|
|Release Date: 11-26-2008|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Bantam Books|
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|Parent title||The God Machine|
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|Note||ePub, short for electronic publication is one of our favorites and should be yours for a couple of reasons. ePub offers reflowable text giving you flexibility to manipulate how the content is presented. Moreover, lots of cool features are now being developed for the reader like advanced video and audio. ePub is now an industry standard, so all of the "non-propreitary" hardware manufacturers are now supporting it.|
The God Machine
Of all birds, winged mammals, and insects, very few have mastered the skill of pausing in midair and going backward as well as forward, so anything capable of such flight is, ipso facto, a rare beast. The ruby-throated hummingbird, which can hover with sewing-machine-like precision and also fly more than 500 miles across the Gulf of Mexico without a rest, is one such improbability. Helicopters are another unlikelihood. Explaining how the parts work together to do the unlikely is best approached by treating the helicopter as terra incognita, exploring it from the headland of its cabin to the archipelago of its tail boom.
This particular helicopter is white, and composed mostly of high-strength steel and aluminum. It is thirty-one feet long and seats two people, typically a wary instructor on the left and a trainee on the right, but it is also suitable for aerial photography and other daily errands. Anyone renting a Schweizer 300 CBi for weekend travel will be traveling lightly, because there is no trunk for baggage. I required a formal introduction to the Schweizer, because I would be flying one. The instructor I secured from Hummingbird Aviation, John Lancaster, had been a professional skiing instructor for twenty years in Vail, Colorado. Skiing injuries and a love of flight prompted him to seek out a new, and statistically safer, profession. He learned to fly helicopters in Florida at the world's largest privately run helicopter school1 and came to Minnesota to share his knowledge. Typical students were those planning to fly for police departments, tourist outfits, or offshore oil companies. He favored shorts and sport shirts and, before getting down to business, displaye...