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THE PASSION THAT LEFT THE GROUND
The Remarkable Airplanes of Leon Levavasseur
by Stephen H. King

There are indeed precious few people alive today who can claim to remember the glorious days of early aviation. Outside the small world of early-aviation historians, perhaps even fewer persons have ever heard of the Frenchman Léon Levavasseur, yet he is one of the truly great pioneers in the field of aviation. He was not a pilot; rather, he was a genius who designed and built airplanes--beautiful, graceful, sublime airplanes, some of which were many years ahead of their time, and they enthralled all who saw them soar into the sky. We are fortunate that photography had been invented by the time the Wright brothers first flew at Kittyhawk and because of this, this book is filled with photographs, thanks in most part to Steve King's access to the fabulous l'Aérophile collection at the U.S. Library of Congress.

Mr. King has selected the very best for this book on Levavasseur's airplanes, that also includes a great deal of information about his ace pilot who flew many of them--Hubert Latham. Steve King's interest in aviation began in his youth as an Air Force brat. His wife is a distant cousin of Hubert Latham, one of France's premier early aviation pioneers, and therein was born his desire to write about Latham and the airplane he flew. His first book, Windkiller, also published by Word Association Publishers, is a biographic novel, with Latham as the main character. This book, however, is a non-fiction account of Levavasseur and his fabulous aeronautical creations. Mr. King, a retired U.S. Foreign Service Officer, resides in northern Virginia.

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