By Cheryl Willis Hudson

The Afro-Bets ABC publication uniquely provides letters A via Z for little ones to find with the fun-filled, fascinating Afro-Bets teenagers. The impossible to resist, colourful characters shape their letters in whimsical, motivating illustrations. each one creatively formed quantity is bolstered by way of phrases and images.

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It was obvious balloons could never do that. It would take more than 100 years before this dream would be realised. 40 Chapter 4 That wing thing Fixed wings Once inventors accepted that lighter-than-air balloons could never deliver the dream of controlled and powered flight, they switched their thinking to heavier-than-air craft. They produced many fantastic designs for aeroplanes, some looking like sailing ships with huge wings, rudders and oars paddling through the sky. But these were impractical, and the world was still waiting for one sensible scientific model of the future aeroplane.

Until eventually they built a real whopper, measuring 10 metres in diameter. That’s about twice as wide as your average bedroom. When they filled this balloon with hot air, it immediately lifted off the ground with such force that their four helpers who were trying to hold it down almost went up with it. 6 6 And probably the first airmen to die. 22 23 The balloon flew down the road and across a few fields and landed in a nearby farm, scaring a farmer and his cows half to death. After that success the brothers decided that the time was right for a grand and public demonstration of their amazing hot-air balloon.

And this lucky kid now had some story to tell his grandchildren. ‘I was the first person ever to fly in a fixed-wing aircraft. ’16 After this success, Cayley was unstoppable. 16 I bet he would have forgotten to mention that the glider was attached to a rope. 47 In 1853, even though he was 80 years old, he built his first full-sized glider. This time, he gave the honour of being pilot to his coachman. It was an honour his coachman didn’t really want. But once again George managed to convince him.

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