Reach for the Skies by Richard Branson
Ballooning, Birdmen, and Blasting into Space

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One of the world's most famous business leaders (and a well-known avian fanatic) explores the pioneers of flight.

Bestselling author and billionaire entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson has always been obsessed with the skies. To promote a new Virgin Airlines route, he became the first man to water ski behind a blimp. His Virgin Galactic venture will soon offer ordinary people the opportunity to experience spaceflight aboard the first commercial spaceliner, SpaceShipTwo.

In Reach for the Skies, Branson examines the history of aviation over the last two hundred years, putting the spotlight on trailblazers such as:

* Tony Jannus, who made the first ever commercial flight over Tampa Bay, Florida, in 1914.
* Leo Valentin, the "bird man" who jumped from 9,000 feet wearing a pair of wooden wings in the 1950s.
* Steve Fossett, who broke 130 world records in planes, balloons, and airships.

The pioneers of flight-not just the world-famous Wright Brothers, but also lesser known visionaries and dreamers-made it possible for any of us with the desire and the commitment to reach for the skies ourselves.


About Richard Branson

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Richard Branson, the founder and chairman of the Virgin Group of Companies, was born in 1950 and started his first business, a magazine called Student, when he was sixteen. Virgin began in 1970 as a mail-order record company and has since expanded into over a hundred businesses in areas as diverse as travel, entertainment, retailing, media, financial services, and publishing. He lives in London and Oxfordshire with his wife, Joan, and their children, Holly and Sam.From the Hardcover edition.
Published April 28, 2011 by Current. 356 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Professional & Technical, Science & Math, Biographies & Memoirs, History, Education & Reference, Travel, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Computers & Technology, Crime. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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A quirky, eclectic history of great flights, from balloons to space shuttles—with some generous plugs for the author's own Virgin company.

Apr 17 2011 | Read Full Review of Reach for the Skies: Ballooni...

Publishers Weekly

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Branson ranges from the Montgolfier brothers' 1783 invention of the hot-air balloon to today's nascent space tourism industry—tickets on his Virgin Galactic space liner will run $200,000—highlighting men and women who risked their money and lives to advance aerial technology or just put on a ...

Jan 31 2011 | Read Full Review of Reach for the Skies: Ballooni...

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