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Reach for the Skies: Ballooning, Birdmen and Blasting into Space Hardcover – 3 Jun 2010


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Virgin Books (3 Jun 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905264917
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905264919
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 2.9 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 327,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Richard Branson was born in 1950 and educated at Stowe School. It was here that he began to set up Student Magazine when he was just 16. By 17 he'd also set up Student Advisory Centre, which was a charity to help young people. In 1970 he founded Virgin as a mail order record retailer, and not long after he opened a record shop in Oxford Street, London. During 1972 a recording studio was built in Oxfordshire, and the first Virgin artist, Mike Oldfield, recorded "Tubular Bells" which was released in 1973. This album went on to sell over 5 million copies. Since then many household names, including Belinda Carlisle, Genesis, Phil Collins, Janet Jackson and The Rolling Stones have helped to make Virgin Music one of the top six record companies in the world. The equity of Virgin Music Group - record labels, music publishing, and recording studios was sold to THORN EMI in 1992 in a US$1billion deal. The Virgin Group has now expanded into international music Megastores, air travel, mobile, financial, retail, music, internet, drinks, rail, hotels and leisure, with around 200 companies in over 30 countries. Richard is married with two children and spends most of his time at his home on Necker Island.

Product Description

Book Description

An exhilarating and highly personal story of flight by the world-famous adventurer and businessman

From the Inside Flap

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 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 throughout my life. In these pages you will find accounts 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. It 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 first scheduled commercial flight in the world, flying his passengers over the waters of Tampa Bay at an altitude of just fifty 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.


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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Neville S. Gay on 26 Nov 2010
Format: Hardcover
I can't begin to imagine the hundreds of hours of research that went into this book which deals with man's efforts to get off the ground from the very beginning up until the present day and then the forecast for the future. Branson demonstrates his passion for flying in the many forms and carries the reader along with him with some entertaining parts. If you are a Branson fan you'll enjoy this book.
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By riturajnath on 19 May 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Really a good book to motivate yourself and others. A good book for my collection and frequent reading. Nothing compares to this
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We borrowed this book from the library, and so enjoyed it that we decided to get it for our son for Christmas. He was very pleased.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Cornishman on 3 Aug 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a nice review of the history of flight through the eyes of the pioneers. Branson tells how individuals can do things that rock the world.
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By ballonist on 2 Oct 2014
Format: Paperback
A read
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