Freedom of speech and all that, but I rather do hope this book isn’t getting many readers any more:
Somewhat disturbingly in the preface author Victor Lougheed says he was inspired by someone who … died in search of aeronautical knowledge. He does however go on to reassure readers that, “aviation has proved less dangerous, for a given number of persons engaged in it, than [American] college football … The fact that precarious and ill-designed machines have been extensively built, and have been operated by men more reckless than competent, does not gainsay these facts”. Even in flight’s early days, people feared that it was a far more dangerous means of travel than it actually was.
I have got hold of a copy of the book courtesy of a reference in Bizarre Books, one of my growing little collection, and courtesy of a decision to reprint it because “this work is culturally important”. Lougheed’s family played a key role in the early development of the aeroplane, for it was his two brothers – Allan and Malcolm – who founded Lockheed Aircraft Company and one of Victor’s aeroplane engines is preserved in the Smithsonian.