Extended Audio Sample

Download The Flyers: In Search of Wilbur & Orville Wright Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Flyers: In Search of Wilbur & Orville Wright Audiobook, by Noah Adams Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.69 out of 53.69 out of 53.69 out of 53.69 out of 53.69 out of 5 3.69 (16 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Noah Adams Narrator: Noah Adams Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2003 ISBN: 9780739304471
Regular Price: $15.95 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $14.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

“It takes only nineteen seconds to walk the distance of the first powered flight. But when I was there the wind was up and cold on my face, and I felt as if I’d entered the black-and-white photograph I’d been seeing all my life. The sand is light gray, there’s a spill of surf in the distance. Wilbur, running at the right of the plane, and Orville, the pilot, are in dark suits. The propellers blur against the sky as the machine rises. . . .”

So begins Noah Adams’s adventure in search of Wilbur and Orville Wright, a journey that takes him across the country as he follows in the footsteps of the famous brothers in an attempt to know them more deeply, not just as inventors and pilots but as individuals as well.

Adams, one of our most distinctive and talented storytellers, traveled thousands of miles and interviewed scores of experts and individuals to piece together his story. He finds a local boat captain to ferry him to Kitty Hawk, along the same route that Wilbur took in 1900, and spends several days talking with descendants of the families who first welcomed the Wright brothers a century ago and helped them conduct their gliding experiments. To experience first-hand the thrill of being in the air, Adams himself goes hang-gliding in the Outer Banks.

To understand the aerodynamics of lift and drag and how the famous 1903 plane was constructed, he visits Ken Hyde, a Virginia pilot and vintage aircraft builder who is creating the world’s most accurate reproduction of the 1903 Wright Flyer. Adams goes to the prop shop and handles the tools and materials that the Wrights used to build their gliders and planes, and later he visits the wind tunnel at Langley Air Force Base where Hyde’s reproduction was tested for the first time.

He also travels to France to visit the old racetrack at Le Mans where Wilbur startled the European aviation community with his demonstration flights in 1908, and he spends a few days at Wisconsin’s Oshkosh Fly-in, where builders of experimental aircraft and owners of vintage planes gather every year to dazzle the crowds. Adams himself takes to the air in a restored Ford Tri-Motor, America’s first airliner, which took its maiden flight seventy years ago.

In Adams’s book we encounter the Wright brothers in a way that no writer has introduced them before. Through the lens of his own experiences as well as original reporting, letters, diaries, and other primary source material, he helps us understand the talent and intensity of the brothers and their family, including the fascinating, deeply complex, and at times tragic bond between Orville and Katharine, his younger sister.

The Flyers is a wonderfully rich narrative that brings an unprecedented spirit of immediacy to one of history’s most dramatic stories.


From the Hardcover edition. Download and start listening now!

BK_RAND_000322

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 7/18/2013

    " It's an OK book but shouldn't be read immediately after reading "The Bishop's Boys". "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Chris Csergei | 6/14/2013

    " The subject matter was interesting, but the book was disjointed and boring. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joe | 6/5/2013

    " A great examination of the men who taught the world to fly and the fascinating life they led. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Turi | 4/14/2013

    " Pretty in-depth journey through the history of the Wright brothers and their pioneering flight. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Celeste | 1/13/2013

    " Learned of many things I never knew regarding the Wright family and journey. Fascinating! Recommend to anyone truly interested in the personalities of Orville and Wilbur as well as the challenges they underwent to achieve their goal. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brian | 10/7/2012

    " A fast an easy read about the Wright Bros. Tends to be a bit too self-indulgent about the author's own experiences visiting the different places the Wright Bros. worked. Still, has many interesting insights into who these people were, and the ways their lives were changed by their great invention. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nancy | 6/9/2012

    " A wonderful look at what it took to create an airplane. Covers interesting relationships as well as how to conduct archival research. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Don | 6/29/2011

    " An easy read with a broad overview of the Wright brothers history altering contribution to mankind. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Keith Slade | 6/25/2011

    " Good account of the Wright Brothers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 M0rfeus | 12/14/2010

    " Get it on CD if you can-Noah Adams' reading is superb. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 M0rfeus | 11/3/2010

    " Get it on CD if you can-Noah Adams' reading is superb. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Turi | 10/5/2010

    " Pretty in-depth journey through the history of the Wright brothers and their pioneering flight. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Celeste | 10/30/2009

    " Learned of many things I never knew regarding the Wright family and journey. Fascinating! Recommend to anyone truly interested in the personalities of Orville and Wilbur as well as the challenges they underwent to achieve their goal. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Keith | 8/10/2009

    " Good biography on the Wright brothers and how they came to invent a working airplane. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nancy | 12/17/2008

    " A wonderful look at what it took to create an airplane. Covers interesting relationships as well as how to conduct archival research. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brian | 12/16/2008

    " A fast an easy read about the Wright Bros. Tends to be a bit too self-indulgent about the author's own experiences visiting the different places the Wright Bros. worked. Still, has many interesting insights into who these people were, and the ways their lives were changed by their great invention. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Noah Adams, the longtime host of All Things Considered, is a correspondent for National Public Radio. He is the author of Piano Lessons, Far Appalachia, and Saint Croix Notes. He lives in the Washington, D.C., area with his wife, Neenah Ellis.