A noted aeronautical engineer here gives his views on the past, present, and future of aviation and its impact on our civilization. He outlines the short but technologically vast history of aeronautics, not forgetting that the airplane was born into a time of political strain to develop into an instrument for evil as well as good. He indicates some of the effects that the increasing range and utility of planes will have on trade, travel, culture, and politics. There is no sound basis, he declares, for the once predicted increase of light airplanes flown for fun, but he does foresee the extensive use of helicopters in the air transport pattern. In the future we shall also see the adoption of jet propulsion for commercial aircraft which will double existing air speeds. Research tends to speed up obsolescence, he finds, but he calls for greater research in aeronautics to guard against becoming a second rate air power. These findings and many others are presented by one of the nation's foremost experts in a volume of substantial interest to the general reader. The book is profusely illustrated with photographs of the planes that have made aviation history.