The Triumph of Instrument Flight: A Retrospective in the Century of U.S.
Aviation ISBN 0966625137; $18.95; 335 pages, 6x9 format. Indexed. From
the Wright Brothers and Glenn Curtiss to the speed/endurance records of the
1920s and early 1930s. These records proved the airframes, the engines, and
the pilots. (See photo of artifact below that commemorates one of those records.)
The technical breakthrough for instrument flying was demonstrated by Lawrence Sperry early in the 1920s, but the pilot interface, putting the pilot in the 'loop,' took a bit more time. The already famed Jimmy Doolittle made a "blind" flight out of Mitchel Field, but with a safety pilot aboard. That could be characterized as a step one.
Then, the Lockheed 10A Electra and Boeing 214 instrument panels, with Elmer Sperry's gyrohorizon and directional gyro instruments, introduced the essential cluster for instrument flying. Instrument-controlled landings would come late in the 20th century.
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Notice: If you order this book, you owe it to yourself to obtain the free short pamphlet, "Errata and Addenda." The author will send you, free for the asking, this pamphlet. Most of the pamphlet deals with two puzzles on key aviation achievements, and the author's opinion on them. One challenge relates to a proper assessment of Jimmy Doolittle's 'blind flight' from Mitchel Field. The other relates to what inference should be drawn from a thrilling episode that Anne Lindbergh relates in her book, "North to the Orient," in which her husband Charles took three tries to make a 'letdown' next to one of the Kurile Islands along the way on their historic flight in the Lockheed SIRIUS.. Or, just go to the link, Add-0ns to Flying Book
(I am indebted to a St. Louis, Missouri, society of aviation history enthusiasts who 'inducted' me into their organization after evaluating my book, "The Triumph of Instrument Flight." Franklyn E. Dailey Jr.