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The Deltoid Pumpkin Seed de John McPhee
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The Deltoid Pumpkin Seed (1973 original; edició 1992)

de John McPhee

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
255583,676 (3.63)15
This is the fascinating story of the dream of a completely new aircraft, a hybrid of the plane and the rigid airship - huge, wingless, moving slowly through the lower sky. John McPhee chronicles the perhaps unfathomable perseverance of the aircraft's sucessive progenitors
Títol:The Deltoid Pumpkin Seed
Autors:John McPhee
Informació:Farrar, Straus and Giroux (1992), Edition: 8th Printing, Paperback, 192 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca

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The Deltoid Pumpkin Seed de John McPhee (1973)

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If you've ever dreamed of a steampunk universe this is the book for you. It tells the story of the attempt to redevelop an airship that combines an airplane and a zeppelin. Also some of the history of the airship, starting with the American Civil war. ( )
  kevn57 | Dec 8, 2021 |
Well. That was disappointing. Long and complex discussion and dissection of an experimental aircraft and everyone involved in it (he commented on the Presbyterian ministers, but not the undertakers' sons). It ended in success...and nothing. Yay it worked, now it's tucked away in the corner of a hangar and is at best a tiny footnote in the history of experimental aircraft - no actual use or further development. A real letdown, after I'd slogged through the whole book. I like some of McPhee's stuff, and some of it utterly does not work for me. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | May 6, 2016 |
I remember when, years ago, long before I retired, a guy came into the library and wanted some really obscure information on Ferris Wheels. I got to talking with him and over the years we became friends. He had some kind of menial job, working at KFC or something, but he was absolutely obsessed with Ferris Wheels and knew just about everything you can imagine about their history and how they work. He was thrilled when we managed to dig up the arcane material he sought.

I’ve always secretly admired people like that. They have a singular, driven purpose and interest that I lack. I’m interested in many, many things, but rarely obsessed with one item alone at that depth, so I’ve had a bazillion hobbies.

I like John McPhee who so engagingly writes about these personalities. We have William Miller, a theology maven, who has sunk all his money and time into the development of a bizarre little craft, neither airship nor airplane; John Kukon, model builder extraodinaire who had won a ridiculous number of model plane speed records, one using a fuel of his own design that was so powerful it broke the world speed record and couldn’t be shut off, the plane flew for six miles; and how Aereon, the company they built, fell apart.

For whatever reason, the obsession with airships resurfaces every few years. Just read Popular Mechanics for a periodic revival of interest as a way to haul huge loads cheaply over undeveloped wilderness. For Drew and Miller, the interest was tinged with religious fervor, but they sacrificed a great deal for their dream.

Wonderful story, laced with history, (the story of Andrew Solomons parallels that in John Toland’s The Great Dirigibles.) McPhee always manages to take something apparently mundane and turn it into a fascinating essay about people and their relationship to the world around them. ( )
  ecw0647 | Jul 6, 2014 |
The deltoid pumpkin seed is written in the style of creative non-fiction in which author John McPhee excels. He tells the story of a hybrid flying machine which is a cross between a plane and a rigid airship, lighter than air and capable of carrying massive amounts of cargo. It was developed by the Aereon Corporation and secretly tested in the late 60s and early 70s. McPhee outlines the story of the founder and visionary of the company; the man who took over the reins of the company; and the scientists, engineers and builders of the craft. It’s the story of how things happen and how they can go wrong, from under-funding to sheer bad luck. Although the Aereon Corporation was still in existence in 2004, more than thirty years after the events of the book, they never built and tested a full size model of the airship.

The title describes the shape of the airship. However, except for the photo on the cover, there are no illustrations of the ship which would have been helpful. There is no index or bibliography. As a layman, McPhee tends to skip over the technical aspects of the ship, but, for the interested reader, these details as well as photos can be obtained on the internet and the information brought up to date from the 1973 printing.

This book can be enjoyed by the casual reader who does not have a background in science but is fascinated by airships like the Goodyear blimp. ( )
  fdholt | Jan 10, 2014 |
A small company that's trying to bring back lighter-than-air flight tests its unique cross between an airplane and an airship. McPhee has an engaging style, but I wasn't in the right mood to appreciate this. ( )
  readinggeek451 | Jun 11, 2009 |
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This is the fascinating story of the dream of a completely new aircraft, a hybrid of the plane and the rigid airship - huge, wingless, moving slowly through the lower sky. John McPhee chronicles the perhaps unfathomable perseverance of the aircraft's sucessive progenitors

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