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Serious Pressure: Standing Between Life and Death for Stratospheric Flyers by Andrew Woodrow

Serious Pressure: Standing Between Life and Death for Stratospheric Flyers

by Andrew Woodrow

270 pages
A personal portrait of science, technology, and the history behind the Physiological Support Division, 'Standing between Life and Death' for crews at the edge of space.

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Category: Memoir:Aviation
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About the Book
'Hook 'em Up, Get 'em High' is the rallying cry of the men and women of this elite organization tucked inside the world of high altitude reconnaissance. As untamed as the cheer may seem, there is a reverence to the role that this team has played in the strategic reconnaissance mission of the United States Air Force.

Balanced between medical and operational expertise, the story of the Physiological Support Division emerges from the secretive black ops world of the U-2 and SR-71, and traces the steps that led to new pressure suit designs, more effective protection from the hazards of extreme altitudes, and a worldwide presence of life support and physiological support technicians under the banner most refer to as 'PSD'.

This is the story of the unparalleled mission and people who 'Stand between Life and Death' for aircrew who fly to the edge of space. In Serious Pressure, the highly specialized work of preparing space suits and oxygen equipment intersects with the tales of travels to the far reaches of the globe, and the people who make the mission successful. The balance of technical descriptions are depicted through the perspective of a veteran of high altitude research and training. The story spotlights the steady parade of distinguished visitors and special projects that were invited to participate in high altitude flight; always with PSD as the first and last stop on their adventure.

The breadth of experiences of the PSD team is revealed through tales of water survival, egress training, and operational test and evaluation. Over the span of 33-years, Andy 'Woody' Woodrow was a member of PSD at every level; from Airman to Commander. The insight shared is a portrait of one of most challenging organizations in the Air Force. Woven with education, experience, and mentoring by those who established standards for survival at the upper reaches of the stratosphere, this is a tale of leadership, science, and operational support to a national treasure. The story will reveal timeless lessons for those who enjoy aviation history, science, and technology all stitched together with human interest flair.

 

Reviews
"This book brought back memories of the best years of my Air Force career."
- Carl P.
"Just received my copy and nearly died laughing that I was actually included in the book; a privilege to be mentioned in my service in the Physiological Support Division."
- Thomas P.
"Great read and a stroll down memory lane; great people associated with the high altitude reconnaissance program, and a story well told about the behind the scenes technicians who maintained the space suits to keep the crews safe in the stratosphere."
- Tom S.
"Made me proud all over again of what we (Physiological Support Division) were part of, what we accomplished, and who we are today....great job, Woody!"
- Sam P.
"My latest read and a great book about the physiological infrastructure required to keep the U-2 and her pilots functioning."
- Ellie C.

 

 

About the Author
Andrew Woodrow Andy 'Woody' Woodrow is a physiologist and educator who is in an encore career teaching aerospace science after over three decades in the Air Force. He has published two editions of a guide to aerospace physiology, and currently lives in Vancouver, WA., with his wife, Angela.

 

 

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