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Reach for the Skies: Ballooning, Birdmen, and Blasting Into Space

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  242 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
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 peopl
ebook, 352 pages
Published April 1st 2011 by Portfolio (first published May 31st 2010)
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Richard Branson takes us through the history of flight with a personal touch. All of the experience he accumulated either through his world-breaking adventures or his business endeavours in aviation guide the reader through the earliest and most rudimentary forms of flight up to the space age and beyond. It is a thrilling collection of stories about visionaries, inventors, dreamers, legends, men and women who through their sacrifices (sometimes even through their ultimate sacrifice) have defined ...more
Daniel Taylor
Living at the start of the second decade of the twenty-first century, it's easy to take for granted the ability to fly and go back and forward into space.

In "Reach For the Skies", Sir Richard Branson tells the stories of pioneers in the aeronautical industry — a category he falls into through his ballooning adventures and the founding of Virgin Galactic. Starting with how people throughout history dreamed of flying, before they succeeded in balloons. Eventually the Wright brothers launched aviat
Mayank Pandya
This book takes us for a deep dive into aviation history. Stories about experiments even before the Wright Brothers are quite interesting. From ballooning to space travel, there is so much to know from this industry.
Sir Richard's personal experiences are also very exciting and inspiring.
Sep 14, 2015 Lakauz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While Branson's view of the future is overly optimistic and the mentions of the companies in the Virgin group get old, the stories of the pioneers of the aviation are fascinating. It's easy to forget the courage, ingenuity and foresight that has brought us modern miracles.
The sense of striving is infectious, and is a reminder that the human race is capable remarkable feats.
Kirsten Webster
Aug 02, 2010 Kirsten Webster rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was very historically informative and interesting. Sir Richard Branson is a very clever, interesting and inspiring man who has achieved great things. He is so cool and made the history of flying sound cool too.Guess who wants to go on a trip into space now! Yes, that's right. Me. It is a pity I don't have the money to fly into space. A very inspiring read written by a very inspiring person.
Jun 09, 2013 Wayne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aviation
I have always been curious why Sir Richard Branson would involve himself in risky adventures given his relative financial stability. This book answered those questions. He does appear to be a true visionary and his assocation with Bert Ruttan, Steve Fossett, and Brian Binnie confirms this. Time will tell if ordinary folk are prepared to lay out incredible amounts to travel into space.
Luis Sempé
Nov 04, 2011 Luis Sempé rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderfully told story of flight, I really enjoyed learning more about the early days of flight and all the sacrifices made by people that loved it. It is exciting to see how far so many gifted and passionate humans have gotten in this field but even more to see where the pioneers of flight are taking us soon.
Jan 18, 2014 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some interesting aviation history mixed with personal stories of Branson's adventures. It was also interesting to read some of the background behind the new Virgin Galactic flights.
Darshani Workman
Apr 25, 2014 Darshani Workman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic journey through aviation.
Jun 06, 2015 Husnbz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
This book was very historically informative and interesting. A wonderfully told story of flight and all the sacrifices made by people that loved it. Cheers to Richard Branson.
Oct 21, 2012 Marc-Aurèle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Livre vraiment excellent avec toutes les informations techniques et d'histoire qui accompagnent et expliquent ce qu'ont fait nos aventuriers du ciel! Un plaisir à lire!
Yeah, sure he is a pompous ass, but this history of flight had some interesting characters / anecdotes that were new to me. Fairly good read.....
Aug 06, 2012 bookshelf marked it as available  ·  review of another edition
Rent/Deposit: 20/80
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Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson is an English business magnate, best known for his Virgin brand of over 360 companies. Branson's first successful business venture was at age 16, when he published a magazine called Student. He then set up a record mail-order business in 1970. In 1972, he opened a chain of record stores, Virgin Records, later known as Virgin Megastores and rebranded as zavvi in ...more
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“Steve did not have a death wish. He had the exact opposite. His appetite for life was so strong, it outweighed all fear. So what if his choices shortened his life? His choices filled his life, and enriched the lives of those around him.” 0 likes
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