Conquistadors of the Sky:
A History of Aviation in Latin America

Dan Hagedorn

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A primer on Latin Americans' contributions to aviation history

"A highlight reel of first flights, followed by a delineation of Latin America's place in the aviation world."--Gary Kuhn, University of Wisconsin, La Crosse

"Everyone concerned about the story of Latin American aviation will find this the most useful guide available. It tells the economic, political, and geographic realities of their history."--Ray Wagner, author of American Combat Planes of the Twentieth Century, and founder, San Diego Aerospace Museum

Heralded by Brazilians as the "Father of Flight," Alberto Santos-Dumont made the first of several spectacular flights in his lighter-than-air dirigible in France in 1901, two years before the Wright brothers' first fixed-wing flight in North Carolina. Though they are often overlooked, Santos-Dumont and others in Latin America played a key role in the development of aviation. This generously illustrated book tells their story.

Written to complement the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum's new permanent exhibit, America by Air, Conquistadors of the Sky celebrates the aviation achievements of twenty-one Latin American nations over the last 100 years--making this chronicle of heroic ventures and epic flights the best reference available on the subject.

Dan Hagedorn, senior curator with the Museum of Flight at Boeing Field in Seattle and former adjunct curator for Latin American Aviation for the National Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian Institution, is the author of fourteen previous books including Air Arsenal North America.


This volume was published in cooperation with the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

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"An invaluable contribution which ranges from Aztecan myths through the civil and military histories of all Latin American countries down to the current headaches involved in stemming the drug traffic. A book for scholars and buffs alike."
--Aviation History

"Especially valuable for readers interested in Latin America and the history of aviation in general."
--Choice

"Expands the traditional sphere of aviation development from the North Atlantic to the vast region below the Rio Grande." "Not only is an essential starting point for any Latin American aviation study, it is an entry point into future scholarship on the spatial and temporal diffusion of technological modernity, cultural and economic imperialism on the "periphery," and particularly the messy entanglement of United States-Latin American relations on multiple fronts."
--A Contra corriente

"Provides a much- needed overview of the development of aviation in Latin America." "Urges us to realize that the history of aviation does not have to embody the image of the artifact it remembers. It does not need to appear boundless and groundless like an elevated airplane in motion. The stories we tell about the evolution of artificial ascent can start in different places and have other heroes."
--Hispanic American Historical review

"Brings clarity and insight to a complex subject."
--Technology and Culture

"Brings to light for the first time many intriguing insights, arranged chronologically, then alphabetically by country." "Valuable work, full of rich details."
--The Americas: A Quarterly Review of Inter-American Cultural History, vol. 67 No. 3

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