|"Bob's writing is fluid and smooth, like the wave
itself, and the book just races along...........an absolutely fascinating read and a real
contribution to soaring and aviation history."
------Mark Emmer, Salida, Colorado
"In this book you will find an amazing amount of soaring history. The book deals with a period between 1933 to 1955 and focuses largely on the latter years. It was then, in the 1950's that a group of dedicated soaring pilots banded together to create the "Sierra Wave Project". Well written, the book reads like an action thriller. I doubt that any pilot can read this book without being deeply touched by the stories of the men that came before us."
Mountain lee waves and the rotors which so often accompany them comprise one of the most powerful forces in nature--a force most pilots are unaware of and a force which can be as deadly as any encountered in flight. No pilot who flies in the lees of mountains, regardless the country or continent, can responsibly challenge a rotor, or ignore the effect of lee waves.
In 1933 Wolf Hirth, quite by accident, discovered mountain waves while soaring in the lee of Germany's Riesengebirge Mountains. His discovery and others' subsequent experiences (some curious, some frightening) led to the first scientific investigation of the phenomenon near Bishop, California beginning in 1950. Primarily conducted via sailplanes flying at record-setting altitudes by pilots who at the time had only an inkling of the forces they were investigating, they discovered ascent and descent rates exceeding 2,500 feet per minute, often in eerie calmness. They also encountered the tremendously destructive power of the rotors beneath these lee waves, capable of producing vertical and horizontal accelerations in excess of +/- 15Gs, forces more powerful than any private or commercial aircraft is designed to withstand.
This is the story of the people and events, and the conclusions, of the Sierra Wave Project and the Jet Stream Project. Exploring the Monster is a fascinating and necessary read for everyone interested in aviation or anyone interested in learning more about a stunning--and common--force in nature.
Order directly from the publisher:
Wind Canyon Books, Inc.
P.O. Box 1445
Niceville, FL 32588
Credit card phone orders are accepted over the 800 line;
$24.95 + $3.00 S&H
Or online from Barnes & Noble
Exploring the Monster
169 pages, 70 pictures, Soft Cover, 8½ x 11 format
About the Author
Also by Bob Whelan, Cloud Dancing