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The God Machine

From Boomerangs to Black Hawks: The Story of the Helicopter

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


From transforming the ways of war to offering godlike views of inaccessible spots, revolutionizing rescues worldwide, and providing some of our most-watched TV moments—including the cloud of newscopters that trailed O. J. Simpson’s Bronco—the helicopter is far more capable than early inventors expected. Now James Chiles profiles the many helicoptrians who contributed to the development of this amazing machine, and pays tribute to the selfless heroism of pilots and crews. A virtual flying lesson and scientific adventure tale, The God Machine is more than the history of an invention; it is a journey into the minds of imaginative thinkers and a fascinating look at the ways they changed our world.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Aug 20, 2007 – The title of this sprightly history is apt both because of the helicopter's seemingly miraculous ability to float above the earthly realm and pluck mortals from the jaws of disaster, and for the nearly superhuman feats of engineering accomplished in its development. Chiles (Inviting Disaster) gives an anecdote-studded history of the inspired and eccentric breed of garage mechanics who tamed the helicopter's tendency to tip over in winds, twirl uncontrollably and shake itself to pieces to give us the sturdy, poised aircraft we know today. Gears and aerodynamics don't take over the book. Chiles explores the helicopter's role in history and culture, from its visionary beginnings, when housewives were expected to ferry kids to school in the family chopper, to its heroic age during the Vietnam war, to its present workaday role lifting and hauling, monitoring traffic and car chases, saving victims of flood waters and skyscraper infernos and serving as Hollywood's conveyance of choice for bad guys. Chiles darts about this landscape, sometimes cruising through a lucid narrative of technological development, sometimes hovering awhile to sketch a character study of some “helicoptrian” enthusiast or take in a daring aerial rescue. The result is an engaging blend of pop science and pop culture.
The God Machine
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: History
  • Published: Oct 30, 2007
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 368 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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