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Know the Sky: A History of Interaction between Meteorology and Soaring

Russell Lee


From Orville Wright’s 1911 flight to Jack Glendening’s 2013 Thermal Index Prediction software program, pilots, designers, engineers, and meteorologists have contributed to the knowledge of soaring meteorology. The paper shows the knowledge flowing not solely from meteorologists but rather from different groups at different times, depending on numerous geographic, technological, or political circumstances. With a few exceptions, the interaction has been positive, dynamic, and frequent. The paper is organized chronologically according to the discovery of the primary forms of soaring lift: ridge, storm, thermal, and wave.


Meteorology, Climatology, Atmospheric physics

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