Recorded by Digital Virgin Studios on location at Necker Island.
"As far back as stories go, pioneers have reached for the skies. In the last two hundred years, they have mastered the air and made the modern world possible. Today they are bringing outer space within our reach. They're inventors and toymakers, amateurs and adventurers, visionaries, dreamers, and yes, crackpots. Some have called them irresponsible, even dangerous.
"But I have met many of them. I have worked with them, and funded them, and flown with them. I admire them, and trust them, and I think they and their kind are our future. In this book I look at the history of flight through the stories and people who have inspired me.
"These are tales of miraculous rescues; of records made and broken; of surprising feats of endurance and survival, including some of my own adventures, as well as developments in the future of air (and space) travel. This is a story of pioneers, and of course it includes the world famous Montgolfiers and the Wright brothers.
"But I also want to describe some of the lesser-known trailblazers - people like Tony Jannus, who in 1914 created the world's first scheduled commercial flight, flying his passengers over the waters of Tampa Bay at an altitude of just 50 feet; the ‘bird man’ Leo Valentin, who in the 1950s jumped from 9,000 feet with wooden wings attached to his shoulders; and my friend, Steve Fossett, who dedicated his life to breaking records and having adventures. This is their story. It is also, in a small way, my own." --Richard Branson
What members say
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Once a Knight is not always enough
I bought Reach for the Skies, partly because I needed a 'quick fix' to get me through to my next credit and also because I admire the man. He is a man of my time and we share a timeframe thus there are many connections through ideas developed during the shared years. This is always a good start and him narrating was a bonus.
There is little doubt Sir Richard knows his stuff and he takes us through the great experiments of flight with passion and connectivity. Of course you couldn't be Branson unless there was an opportunity to promote his brand and it is well evident but the connections to his tales work in a way that did not make me feel as if I had paid for a Virgin commercial. Tight, short and tinged with pathos, we discover insights about pioneers that are a worthy listen.
Sir Richard of Virgin, I salute you for your tale telling and unabashed but sensitive promotion.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
- Bonyo Buogha
Great summary of flight adventures
I enjoyed this book; it summarised the history of flight pioneers very well, and was quite enjoyable. Hats off to the adventurers who were daring enough to get us where we are.