HPM006 World X-Planes Monograph 3 Paraglider
Ed Hengeveld – 32 pages
£6.95 + Shipping. Currently Out Of Stock
An obscure but exciting chapter of the Gemini space program by a space flight historian and artist.
There was a time in the early 1960s when it seemed that Gemini, Apollo, and space station escape modules as well as the jettisoned stages of the Saturn launcher would be equipped with inflatable wings for recovery. The idea was outstandingly simple. Safely tucked inside the spacecraft during the searing atmospheric reentry, an inflatable wing would deploy in the last portion of the flight and would be used to land the vehicle in a pre-selected area, just like a glider. Gone would be the need for the vast recovery operation in the ocean, and the uncertainty of landing in an undesirable location.
Unfortunately, the development of this concept into operational hardware dragged on, and the inflatable wing faded from the annals of space exploration. Nonetheless the concept was truly remarkable and this book, by a dedicated space flight historian, traces its history with unprecedented detail and is a tribute to the test pilots and engineers involved. It is a must for every space exploration buff.
* Ryan’s Flex Wing