The Leading Edge - An Adventure Story
Authors: Dick Georgeson and Anna Wilson
Paperback, 98 black and white and color photos, 5 map pages, 212 pages (not including photo and map pages)
Dimensions: 5.91 x 9.02 x 0.79 inches (150 x 229 x 20 mm)
From the Back Cover
One of the most famous figures in world gliding, Dick Georgeson spent much of his childhood at Irishman Creek station with his uncle, renowned engineer and inventor Bill Hamilton. Learning to glide in England in 1949, he was soon completely hooked; by 1951 he had his first New Zealand gliding record, and first world record by 1960. In 1979 the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) awarded him the Gold Medal, their highest award for flying, followed in 1985 by the Lilienthal Medal, the highest award for gliding. In 1979 he received an MBE for services to aviation in New Zealand.
His story interweaves a fascinating personal biography with gripping descriptions of many of his record-breaking flights. A bold pioneer in long crosswind wave flight, he pursued his addition with courage and tenacity. Imagine flying at 35,000 ft in a flimsy glider, air temperature -57° C, your breath crystallizing around you and ailerons and air brakes frozen solid - and looking down to see the plane from Australia a tine dot 20,000 ft below! Tribute is paid to other pioneers and pilots; the evolution of sailplanes from the fabric-covered, 'wings and wires', open-cockpit glider he first flew is described, and he tells of some of the risks and accidents associated with throwing oneself at the mercy of weather and terrain.
The book is introduced with a foreword by by Einar Enevoldson, former NASA test pilot and mastermind of the Perlan Project, the attempt to research the polar vortex in the stratosphere in a sailplane with the American Adventurer Steve Fossett.
Any with an interest in high adventure of an kind will find it utterly absorbing.
Dick and his wife Anna Wilson. With an M.A. (Hons) in English, she has combined travel and teaching with an enjoyment of music, art, reading and writing, family and friends. They both take much pleasure in exploring the back country and the shores of New Zealand.
Quote from the Book - Regarding a Wave Camp at Mount Cook
"The fierce mountain weather notwithstanding, the mountain-soaring at this camp was a magical discovery. The experience of sailplane flying is incomplete unless it includes mountain flying, which has a peculiar thrill all of its own, and transcends nearly all other aspects of the sport. To see from the ground on a clear day the snow-covered peaks towering thousands of feet above; to climb into a sailplane and quietly work your way up from low altitude, passing jagged rocks, the snow-line, ice falls, deeply snow-covered faces; and finally to soaring above the mountain peaks themselves, and look down on them spread out below, is an enthralling experience: a privilege for which one is forever grateful."
"Dick Georgeson's excellent memoir... also reads as a love letter - to the Mackenzie Basin in the South Island... an exciting account... exudes modesty, good cheer and impressive resilience." Steve Braunias, The N.Z. Listener
"...a gripping, absorbing and fascinating account of a New Zealand gliding icon's adventures." Marlborough Express
"Dick has blended personal tragedy and triumph in this easy to follow book... hard to put down." Pacific Wings
"...the story of one man's life in gliding. It is that and more too... a very enjoyable, absorbing, well-written book... I very much enjoyed reading." Wanganui Chronicle
"One of the most remarkable books of the soaring literature... fascinating and interesting... Dick Georgeson, the great pioneer of New Zealand wave soaring... a life always on the leading edge... An impressive foreword by Einar Enevoldson. In short, a joy to read, and I highly recommend it." Dr. Joachim P. Kuettner, American Soaring
"I have read 'The Leading Edge' book and would thoroughly recommend it to any glider pilot. It is a brilliant read. :-)" Ian Sheppard, New Zealand Glider PIlot
The Leading Edge - An Adventure Story
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