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The skies beckoned and with true number 8 wire ‘know-how-can-do’ form, Kiwis launched themselves into the heavens and into history. In Wings Over New Zealand, a social history of flight in this country, Richard Pearse, Sir Henry Wigram and Jean Batten take their place in the line-up of famous and not-so-famous Kiwi aviation pioneers.
From our enigmatic beginnings, through trans-Tasman crossings, World War achievement and loss, aerial mapping and agricultural innovation, the building of our national airlines and the Erebus disaster, to the market forces and mass air travel from the end of the twentieth century, this book tells the story of the evolution and development of commercial aviation and its meaning for New Zealanders.
In a combination of lively text and superb illustrations, from the first uncontrolled hops to corporate commuter services, Wings Over New Zealand pays homage to those Kiwi pioneers and entrepreneurs who lived the aviation dream, the magic of flight that brought the world closer.

Few in the early twenty-first century are prepared to spend long hours grinding along roads in a bus when, for few dollars more, they can make the same journey in minutes by air. The late-twentieth century transformation of flight from luxury travel to everyday commuter service underlines the role flight has played in New Zealand’s life and times since the 1920s.
This book is a broad-brush social history of general aviation in New Zealand. It is designed to offer a general framework of understanding, outlining the overall place that aviation and the dream of flight has held in Kiwi hearts and minds since the turn of the twentieth century.
I am grateful to Steve Barnett of Random House for asking me to write this book and for providing the title. Photographs and some of the caption information were researched and collected by Richard Wolfe and Jane Hingston.

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  • Seller location: Waitakere, Auckland, NZ

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