Bird Man

A v. interesting piece by Gastón Gordillo (thanks to Progressive Geographies for the heads up) on wingsuit flying and how air has been apprehended and grasped (or not).  It made me think back to my PhD when i spent some time investigating a 20th century re-inventor of the wing-suit, French paratrooper Leo Valentin. Valentin devised some of the first techniques of free-fall skydiving, described in his excellent book Bird-Man. Valentin was killed during the 1956 Liverpool Air Show. Unfortunately, the Liverpool coroner did not keep records of the inquest, but there were plenty of bystanders including the writer Clive Barker. One day I will try to dig out the paper I started!

Peter Adey

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