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  Higher and Faster: Memoir of a Pioneering Air Force Test Pilot (Robert White)

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Author Topic:   Higher and Faster: Memoir of a Pioneering Air Force Test Pilot (Robert White)
cspg
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Posts: 4046
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 03-11-2010 02:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Higher and Faster: Memoir of a Pioneering Air Force Test Pilot
by Robert M. White with Jack L. Summers
Foreword by Neil Armstrong
In 1961, pilot Robert W. White flew a hypersonic rocket-powered airplane six times faster than the speed of sound and higher than 300,000 feet above the Earth’s surface. This is his story. Tracing his childhood on the rough streets of Manhattan during the Depression, his years as a pilot and POW during World War II, and his rise as an experimental test pilot in the Air Force, this autobiography is a testament to the role of persistence and excellence in the life of a man whose aeronautical feats are now legend. It is the portrait of an extraordinary man in pursuit of the American dream and a glimpse into a remarkable time in America’s aviation history.

About the Author
Robert M. White is a retired major general in the United States Air Force. After service in World War II, including time as a POW, he became one of the nation’s greatest test pilots. Jack L. Summers is a retired physician and university professor. He lives in Florida.

  • McFarland, softcover 2010
  • ca. 50 photos, index
  • ISBN 978-0-7864-4989-7

328KF
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posted 03-11-2010 08:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Outstanding! Can't wait to read a memoir from this fine gentleman.

I hope he is open to booksignings.

AstroAutos
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From: Monaghan Town, Co. Monaghan, Ireland
Registered: Mar 2009

posted 03-11-2010 11:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for AstroAutos   Click Here to Email AstroAutos     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great news..must get my hands on a copy!

cspg
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From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 04-28-2010 02:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Pushed back to Fall/Winter 2010 according to the publisher's web page.

Gilbert
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From: Carrollton, GA USA
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posted 09-29-2010 10:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gilbert   Click Here to Email Gilbert     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anyone have any news regarding the publication of Gen. Robert White's autobiography/memoirs?

Editor's note: Threads merged.

cspg
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From: Geneva, Switzerland
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posted 09-29-2010 11:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dec. 10, 2010 is the new release date according to amazon.com.

cspg
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From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 11-03-2010 09:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The book has been released.

hinkler
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Posts: 430
From: Melbourne, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 11-05-2010 04:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hinkler   Click Here to Email hinkler     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My copy arrived during the week. I enjoyed the book and site member Al Hallonquist is mentioned several times. Well done Al. In fact, if not for Al, the book may not have been written.

If you are interested in Aviation History or the X-15, get yourself a copy.

Gilbert
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Posts: 935
From: Carrollton, GA USA
Registered: Jan 2003

posted 11-10-2010 01:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gilbert   Click Here to Email Gilbert     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Received my copy yesterday. It is a very nice book with lots of photos I've never seen before. And good ole Al Hallonquist is mentioned several times and is featured in one of the photographs. I'm looking forward to reading this.

Jurg Bolli
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Posts: 520
From: Albuquerque, NM
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 11-10-2010 06:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jurg Bolli   Click Here to Email Jurg Bolli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree with Gilbert, I got the book yesterday and was impressed by the photos. I look forward to reading it, especially the X-15 part.

328KF
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posted 01-05-2011 09:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am just getting into reading this book and it is off to a fine start. Summers does a great job of bringing the General's own words onto the page without much hint of polishing.

Already I can pick up on White's very understated manner and his humble view of his own great accomplishments. Al H. gets mentioned on the first page of acknowledgements right in between some guy named Neil, C.E. "Bud" Anderson, and Fitz Fulton...quite an honor!

A few years before his passing, I received a reply from Gen. White through the mail in which he compared my pursuits in aviation to his own in between WW2 and going into test flying. He came across with a genuine interest in my goals and encouraged me to keep flying. A true gentleman. This book will no doubt allow me to appreciate his exemplary service to the country and to the advancement of aeronautics even more.

Congratulations to all who were finally able to produce this long overdue biography.

FFrench
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From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 01-11-2011 11:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I finished reading this last night. One hell of a life, of which the X-15 was only a small part.

Jurg Bolli
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Posts: 520
From: Albuquerque, NM
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 01-25-2011 10:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jurg Bolli   Click Here to Email Jurg Bolli     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree with all of the above, I am glad he wrote the book, and what a fascinating story! I especially liked the X-15 chapter with great descriptions of the flights etc.

The only negative point is the bad/non-existing proofreading: so many typos, e. g. Forest Peterson, then Forrest Petersen, the large engine referred to as XLR-99 and then LR-99, terrible German spelling, way too many to mention. Sometimes these errors occur on the same page, within a few lines of each other, and I feel that Bob White deserves better!

I love the story and am grateful for the book.

albatron
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Posts: 2103
From: Stuart, Florida, USA
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 01-25-2011 03:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for albatron   Click Here to Email albatron     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jurg Bolli:
I love the story and am grateful for the book.
A few thoughts about the book. I understand your points Jurg, and I was disappointed as well.

Dr. Summers, who actually wrote the book, has published many before, but always in the medically related field. A tremendously nice guy, but not versed in aerospace in any manner.

As some have mentioned, Bob was terribly understated. While he LOVED to sit and talk aviation, and would talk for HOURS, it was always about someone or something else than him. There was only once in our long and close friendship where even a smidge of ego came out. And that was over (not) being inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame. And even that was kind of blown off but you could tell it hurt him if you knew him well.

While there is a lot of info out there on the program, and his flights, there is precious little from HIS viewpoint. He was most certainly proud of his accomplishments, but did not like to talk about them but could be if the right person prodded him.

Back to Dr. Summers, when he would prod Bob, he didn't understand half of what was told to him, or the importance of some things. So I would do some interviews and try to "translate" for Dr. Summers. Also, he would ask me questions about his interviews and conversations.

When the MS was completed, he sent it to me in book and WORD form, for editing (the aerospace parts). I did and can tell you those points you raise WERE corrected.

I suspect the problem was the Editor at McFarland was also not very versed. We selected McFarland because while other houses were interested, McFarland wanted to proceed the quickest.

The race was on to get this published sooner rather than later due to Bobs illness at the time. His family wanted nothing more, than to let him see the book before he passed.

My (our) Air and Space magazine article was printed prior to his passing and I did share it with him on our last visit. But we were all disappointed that it did not come out prior to his passing. Since it did not, he added the Epilogue of the ceremony at Arlington.

We have tempered our disappointments by the fact it is out. The last thing he ever wanted was a book about his life. He did not think he was deserving or, that anyone would want to buy it.

And he was sincere in that belief. It was like pulling teeth to get him to do it.

Sitting with this guy, and all of his accomplishments, and hearing him say that and truly believing it, was a sobering experience. Many need to learn from that.

I cannot tell you how much he meant to me and my grandson, and how much we miss him. I am quite sure he is enjoying hearing the kind comments about him from above. And I can say "see? Toldja so".

Kevmac
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Posts: 186
From: College Station, TX
Registered: Apr 2003

posted 01-25-2011 10:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevmac   Click Here to Email Kevmac     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Al, on behalf of the whole air and space community of fans, I thank you for your efforts to get this story out and working with Col. White and his family's best interests to make it happen.

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