The Riddle of Richard Pearse is a story as perplexing as anything from the world of fiction. A self-taught backyard mechanic from a remote New Zealand farm, Richard Pearse was not only among the first to leave the ground in a flying machine, but was conducting his early experiments at the same time as the Wright brothers.
Though the Wrights were clearly the first to achieve sustained and controlled powered flight, the question of whether or not Pearse beat them into the air remains an open issue. He was certainly the first citizen of the British Empire to accomplish a powered takeoff in his own aircraft, as early as March 1903.
This fourth edition of Gordon Ogilvie?s classic work is published to mark the hundredth anniversary of Pearse?s first flight. It includes a never-before published photo of the aviator, and a new preface that traces recent developments in the mystery of Pearse?s flight.