These are Bridgeman's peacetime adventures as a test pilot for the experimental Douglas supersonic craft Skyrocket and are...

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THE LONELY SKY

These are Bridgeman's peacetime adventures as a test pilot for the experimental Douglas supersonic craft Skyrocket and are preceded by his cub days in the Navy at Honolulu, the ""exploded Sunday"" of December 7, 1941, and his service in the Pacific area. There he won distinction bombing Japanese installations at Truk and Saipan; on one raid he blasted a destroyer to bits. But the performances at El Segundo out-harrows any high noment in combat. Bridgeman hurtled past the sound barrier at inconceivable speeds; he set a new altitude record by climbing to 79,000 feet; he explored the treacherous limbo which lies between sub- and supersonic speed; his Skyrocket was also experimentally dropped from a B-29. Terror was continuous for something threatened or went agonizingly wrong each time; experts proved the Skyrocket could not survive a spin -- yet Bridgeman had to pull it out of one; blackouts were a continuous menace; windows froze, making a landing impossible, fire broke out and instruments went dead; the plane balked and could not be controlled..... And as the reader finally ceases to admire Bridgeman's courage and marvels instead at the iron will with which he met the constant strain, so the detailed account of each moment in the air becomes itself less of a suspenseful thrill and more of a strain. Almost too tense, prolonged and circumstantial for the layman, this will doubtless enthrall the air-minded, young and old.

Pub Date: May 16, 1955

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Holt

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1955