The Electra Story: The Dramatic History of Aviation's Most Controversial Airliner


Robert J. Serling - 1991
    on the humid night of September 29, 1959, Braniff Flight 542 crashed on a farm near Buffalo, Texas. Less than six months later, Northwest Flight 710 crashed in a soybean field near Tell City, Indiana. Both planes were Lockheed Electras, and both, for no apparent reason, had lost a wing in mid-air. The combined toll of the two crashes was 97 lives. There were no survivors. Early the following October, during take-off from Boston’s Logan Airport, there was another Electra disaster, and the plane that had been supposedly foolproof became the object of the ugliest controversy in the history of commercial aviation. The Electra Story is an illuminating and incomparably thorough study of the plane’s entire career. From design through construction, rigorous testing, and brilliant initial performance, to the minute-by-minute record of the fatal flights, the scenes of wreckage, and then the painstaking efforts to solve the mystery. While the search for a “probable cause” went on, there was a crucial decision to be made: whether or not to let the Electras go on flying. Elwood R. Quesada, then Administrator of the Federal Aviation Agency, had to make that decision, and how he coped with this frightening responsibility is a remarkable tale in itself. The plane that had been a dream, then became a nightmare, is still flying today, and out of tragedy has come an important advance in man’s knowledge. Robert Serling’s evaluation of The Electra Story is an enlightening, vivid, unbiased and rare documented account. It is a human story of suspense, with dedication and courage. And as a story of how government, industry, technology, science and the public were all trapped in one intricate web, it is both revealing and significant. Praise for Robert Serling ‘High level of suspense and excitement.’ - De Moines Sunday Register ‘Serling has spun another winner’ – Publisher’s Weekly ‘…keeps you guessing til the end’ - Arizona Daily Star ‘Aviation buffs will revel in this thoroughgoing chronicle’ – Kirkus Robert J. Serling (1918-2010) was aviation editor of United Press International and won the annual TWA Best Aviation News Reporting Award for four years running.

Understanding Air France 447


Bill Palmer - 2013
    Written by A330 Captain, Bill Palmer, this book opens to understanding the actions of the crew, how they failed to understand and control the problem, and how the airplane works and the part it played. All in easy to understand terms.Addressed are the many contributing aspects of weather, human factors, and airplane system operation and design that the crew could not recover from. How each contributed is covered in detail along with what has been done, and needs to be done in the future to prevent this from happening again.Also see the book's companion website: UnderstandingAF447.com for supplemental materials referred to in the book or to contact the author.

Secrets of Antigravity Propulsion: Tesla, UFOs, and Classified Aerospace Technology


Paul A. LaViolette - 2008
    Townsend Brown to the B-2 Advanced Technology Bomber. He discloses the existence of advanced gravity-control technologies, under secret military development for decades, that could revolutionize air travel and energy production. Included among the secret projects he reveals is the research of Project Skyvault to develop an aerospace propulsion system using intense beams of microwave energy similar to that used by the strange crafts seen flying over Area 51.Using subquantum kinetics--the science behind antigravity technology--LaViolette reviews numerous field-propulsion devices and technologies that have thrust-to-power ratios thousands of times greater than that of a jet engine and whose effects are not explained by conventional physics and relativity theory. He then presents controversial evidence about the NASA cover-up in adopting these advanced technologies. He also details ongoing Russian research to duplicate John Searl’s self-propelled levitating disc and shows how the results of the Podkletnov gravity beam experiment could be harnessed to produce an interstellar spacecraft.

Flight MH370 - The Mystery


Nigel Cawthorne - 2014
    ESPECIALLY NOT A BIG THING LIKE A JUMBO JET. BUT MALAYSIAN AIRLINES FIGHT MH370 DID.A wide-bodied Boeing 777 is so large that you could barely park it on a football field. But soon after a routine takeoff from Kuala Lumpur International Airport on the night of 7 March 2014, Flight MH370 disappeared from the radar with 227 passengers and 12 crew on board. No one could even be sure where it was last seen. Debris was spotted hundreds, then thousands of miles apart, only to be discounted.For weeks this real-life version of the hit TV show Lost gripped the world. Even Russia’s invasion of the Crimea couldn’t keep it off the front pages. Were those on board to be found alive on a mysterious tropical island? Had they crashed into the sea? Had the plane been hijacked or brought down by a terrorist bomb?As the story unfolded more mysteries came to light. Who had turned off the plane’s tracking systems? And why? Why had there been no ‘Mayday’ call? And which way was it headed?Why were governments and institutions that had information about Flight MH370 so reluctant to share it? And why did the mobile phones of those on board continue to ring out. Wild theories abounded. Had Flight MH370 been abducted by aliens? Or shot down by the North Koreans?Its route took it nowhere near the Devil’s Sea – the Pacific’s answer to the Bermuda Triangle. But somehow, in the world of the web, where every email was intercepted, the disappearance of MH370 began to rival the legend of the Marie Celeste.Prolific author Nigel Cawthorne sifts the evidence, weighs the theories and unravels the mystery of Flight MH370.

Whitaker's World of Facts


Russell Ash - 2005
    It combines the most up-to-date, 'must have' information on every important subject on earth, with lashings of fact files, world record-breakers and 'top ten' style lists -all lavishly illustrated with full colour photographs. Hugely entertaining and informative, this book is a superb reference title for all the family. Praise for the first edition includes: "Russell Ash is the king of lists, the author of reference books that offer a short cut to pub-quiz stardom." The Independent "A Christmas read to dip into again and again. Essential Stuff." The Sunday Times

The Powerhouse: Inside the Invention of a Battery to Save the World


Steve Levine - 2015
    It will power the electric car, relieve global warming, and catapult the winner into a new era of economic and political mastery. Can the United States win?Steve LeVine was granted unprecedented access to a secret federal laboratory outside Chicago, where a group of geniuses is trying to solve this next monumental task of physics. But these scientists— almost all foreign born—are not alone. With so much at stake, researchers in Japan, South Korea, and China are in the same pursuit. The drama intensifies when a Silicon Valley start-up licenses the federal laboratory’s signature invention with the aim of a blockbuster sale to the world’s biggest carmakers.The Powerhouse is a real-time, two-year thrilling account of big invention, big commercialization, and big deception. It exposes the layers of competition and ambition, aspiration and disappointment behind this great turning point in the history of technology.

Black Box: Inside the World's Worst Air Crashes


Nicholas Faith - 1996
    From the early tragedies of the Comet and the DC10 to the modern-day horror of the Concorde catastrophe in Paris and the mysterious loss of an Air France Airbus over the Atlantic, Faith painstakingly recreates the accidents, explains what went wrong and discusses how they can be prevented from recurring. It's a gripping, fascinating and chilling book.

Fragrant: The Secret Life of Scent


Mandy Aftel - 2014
       Mandy Aftel is widely acclaimed as a trailblazer in natural perfumery. Over two decades of sourcing the finest aromatic ingredients from all over the world and creating artisanal fragrances, she has been an evangelist for the transformative power of scent. In Fragrant, through five major players in the epic of aroma, she explores the profound connection between our sense of smell and the appetites that move us, give us pleasure, make us fully alive. Cinnamon, queen of the Spice Route, touches our hunger for the unknown, the exotic, the luxurious. Mint, homegrown the world over, speaks to our affinity for the familiar, the native, the authentic. Frankincense, an ancient incense ingredient, taps into our longing for transcendence, while ambergris embodies our unquenchable curiosity. And exquisite jasmine exemplifies our yearning for beauty, both evanescent and enduring.   In addition to providing a riveting initiation into the history, natural history, and philosophy of scent, Fragrant imparts the essentials of scent literacy and includes recipes for easy-to-make fragrances and edible, drinkable, and useful concoctions that reveal the imaginative possibilities of creating with—and reveling in—aroma. Vintage line drawings make for a volume that will be a treasured gift as well as a great read.

Kursk Down: The Shocking True Story of the Sinking of a Russian Nuclear Submarine


Clyde Burleson - 2002
    Hailed as "unsinkable, " the "Kursk" was on maneuvers when mysterious explosions rocked the sub, causing it to sink to the bottom of the sea with its 118-man crew. This in-depth look at the disaster reveals previously unreleased information from family members of the deceased as well as from government officials.

Nikola Tesla: A Spark of Genius


Carol Dommermuth-Costa - 1994
    Recounts the life and accomplishments of the Croatian-born engineer who developed alternating-current technology and invented the radio.

Think Like an Engineer


Guru Madhavan - 2015
    But few of us understand the engineering mindset. It’s the mindset that came up with flatpack furniture, disposable nappies, and the postal code; that solved Stockholm’s traffic and the problem of bank closing times (the hole-in-the-wall); and whose seemingly simple ideas have saved countless lives, with innovations such as painting a line behind traffic lanes and combining GPS with 999. It’s a mindset much like a Swiss-army knife – multipurpose, combining structured and abstract thinking, common sense and great imagination, and cross-pollinating information from every possible sector.With the help of a cast of star engineers and fascinating, unexpected real world examples, Madhavan offers a framework for thinking creatively, systematically and strategically so that we can all learn to make better decisions in a complex world.

Infinite Ascent: A Short History of Mathematics (Modern Library Chronicles)


David Berlinski - 2004
    Here are Pythagoras, intoxicated by the mystical significance of numbers; Euclid, who gave the world the very idea of a proof; Leibniz and Newton, co-discoverers of the calculus; Cantor, master of the infinite; and Gödel, who in one magnificent proof placed everything in doubt. The elaboration of mathematical knowledge has meant nothing less than the unfolding of human consciousness itself. With his unmatched ability to make abstract ideas concrete and approachable, Berlinski both tells an engrossing tale and introduces us to the full power of what surely ranks as one of the greatest of all human endeavors.

Tesla Motors: How Elon Musk and Company Made Electric Cars Cool, and Sparked the Next Tech Revolution


Charles Morris - 2014
    The most trusted sources in the auto industry have called its Model S the most advanced, safest and best-performing car ever built - and it doesn’t use a drop of gasoline. Tesla has changed the way the public perceives electric vehicles, and inspired the major automakers to revive their own dormant efforts to sell EVs. However, even amidst the avalanche of media coverage that followed the triumph of the Model S, few have grasped the true significance of what is happening. Tesla has redefined the automobile, sparked a new wave of innovation comparable to the internet and mobile computing revolutions, and unleashed forces that will transform not just the auto industry, but every aspect of society. The Tesla story is one part of an ongoing tide of change driven by the use of information technology to eliminate “friction” such as geographic distance, middlemen and outdated regulations. Tesla is simply applying the new order to the auto industry, but the automobile is such a pervasive influence in our lives that redefining how it is designed, built, driven and sold will have sweeping effects in unexpected areas. Just as Tesla built the Model S as an electric vehicle “from the ground up,” it has taken an outsider’s approach to the way it markets its cars. Its direct sales model has drawn legal challenges from entrenched auto dealers, who fear that their outdated business model will be destroyed. Its systems approach to the software and electronics in its cars has highlighted how far behind the technological times the major automakers are. It’s easy to see why readers find Tesla irresistible. CEO Elon Musk is a superstar entrepreneur, a “nauseatingly pro-US” immigrant and the leader of two other cutting-edge companies. Tesla dares to challenge the establishment behemoths and, so far at least, has handily beaten them at their own game. In this history of the 21st century’s most exciting startup, Charles Morris begins with a brief history of EVs and a biography of Tesla’s driving force, Elon Musk. He then details the history of the company, told in the words of the Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who made it happen. There are many fascinating stories here: Martin Eberhard’s realization that there were many like himself, who loved fast cars but wanted to help the environment and bring about the post-oil age; the freewheeling first days, reminiscent of the early internet era; the incredible ingenuity of the team who built the Roadster; Tesla’s near-death experience and miraculous resurrection; the spiteful split between the company’s larger-than-life leaders; the gloves-off battles with hostile media such as Top Gear and the New York Times; and the media’s ironic about-face when the magnificent Model S won the industry’s highest honors, and naysayers became cheerleaders overnight. And the story is just beginning: Tesla has breathtakingly ambitious plans for the future.This book was updated May 1, 2015 to include the latest on the Gigafactory and the D package.

The End of Money: The story of bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and the blockchain revolution (New Scientist Instant Expert)


New Scientist - 2017
    On this journey you'll discover how this staggering new technology has the potential to enable an ultra-libertarian society beyond government control.Murder for hire. Drug trafficking. Embezzlement. Money laundering. These might sound like plot lines of a thriller, but they are true stories from the short history of cryptocurrencies - digital currencies conceived by computer hackers and cryptographers that represent a completely new sort of financial transaction that could soon become mainstream. The most famous - or infamous - cryptocurrency is bitcoin. But look beyond its tarnished reputation and something much shinier emerges. The technology that underlies bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies - the blockchain - is hailed as the greatest advancement since the invention of the internet. It is now moving away from being the backbone for a digital currency and making inroads into other core concepts of society: identity, ownership and even the rule of law. The End of Money is your essential introduction to this transformative new technology that has governments, entrepreneurs and forward-thinking people from all walks of life sitting up and taking notice. ABOUT THE SERIESNew Scientist Instant Expert books are definitive and accessible entry points to the most important subjects in science; subjects that challenge, attract debate, invite controversy and engage the most enquiring minds. Designed for curious readers who want to know how things work and why, the Instant Expert series explores the topics that really matter and their impact on individuals, society, and the planet, translating the scientific complexities around us into language that's open to everyone, and putting new ideas and discoveries into perspective and context.

Magnetism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions, #317)


Stephen J. Blundell - 2012
    Blundell illuminates the mysterious force of magnetism. For centuries, magnetism has been used for various purposes—through compasses it gave us the ability to navigate, and through motors, generators, and turbines, it has given us power. Blundell explores our understanding of electricity and magnetism, from the work of Galvani, Ampère, Faraday, and Tesla, and describes how Maxwell and Faraday's work led to the unification of electricity and magnetism—one of the most imaginative developments in theoretical physics. Finally, he discusses the relationship between magnetism and relativity, quantum magnetism, and its impact on computers and information storage, showing how magnetism has changed our fundamental understanding of the Universe.