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  • Reach for the Skies

  • Ballooning, Birdmen and Blasting into Space
  • By: Richard Branson
  • Narrated by: Richard Branson
  • Length: 2 hrs and 46 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (20 ratings)

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Reach for the Skies cover art

Reach for the Skies

By: Richard Branson
Narrated by: Richard Branson
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Summary

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

©2010 Richard Branson (P)2010 Random House Audiobooks

What listeners say about Reach for the Skies

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

a history highlights of aviation pioneers

This is an enlightened account into what the troubles and lives have gone into improving the technology to fulfil our dreams of flight and going into space. Richard tells us the names of the known and lesser known people, that thought up plans and ideas or was given the job of flying these planes ,experimental balloons or dropping from space, in order to go beyond the limits of the knowledge and technology at the time. To go beyond, touching the edge of space and highlight a possible prediction of heading towards the moon for a business trip in about 2020. To highlight just what went into our ability to go half way around the world for a two week holiday. This also is peppered with the personal adrenaline spiking moments that Branson has experienced flying the various aeronautical machines in his lifetime.

If you want to have a taste of who these pioneers were that sail close to the wind. Then this is the book for you.

Richard, I wish you luck in your trials in getting your Deep Submarine and Space Ventures to success and eventually finding time to get your Pilots Licence.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

intriguing and engaging

A great and engaging audio book about air travel, ballooning, space travel, the environment and adventure.

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