03.30.09

Review: Exploring The Monster

While the Perlan Project has been hard at work during March, there isn’t much visible progress we can share on the blog. However, one item of research was reading Exploring the Monster by Robert F. Whelan.

Exploring the Monster, Mountain Lee Waves: the Aerial Elevator tells the story of wave soaring from its initial discovery in Germany in 1933 to the Sierra Project of 1951-52 and the Jet Stream Project of 1955. Amazingly, some of the people who flew those earliest wave flights are still alive and living in California.

The cabin mockup for the “stratosailplane” (which was never built) has certain similarities with the Perlan 2 cabin mockup. We won’t have a writing table for the executive in the back seat however.

While Exploring the Monster isn’t a textbook on how to fly in wave it also isn’t a dry listing of the Sierra Project accomplishments. It lets you in to the world of the post-WW2 gliding enthusiasts who dared to dream of soaring into conditions that had already killed many men and machines. With modern GPS and computers, we are still dependent on the knowlege gathered by those early pioneers.

Exploring the Monster is available from the Soaring Society online store.

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