On 2 June 2006, a team of three gliders, one chase plane, support crew and all-terrain vehicles gathered at a fiercely hot and dusty airfield 50 kilometres outside Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia. The pilots, two Saudi princes and the person who had trained them on the Stemme gliders to be flown, were about to make gliding history by flying in a great circular route round the western half of Saudi Arabia over some of the harshest and unforgiving desert terrain in the world.
In Wings Over Arabia, Roger Harrison, writer, photographer and long-time resident of the Kingdom, chronicles this modern version of a ‘royal progress’ over the wild and desolate deserts, the Red Sea coast and the mountainous south-western region of the Kingdom.
The stunning photographs – many unique since the flight paths passed over areas never before or since open to non-military aircraft – are accompanied by entertaining text on every step of this unique journey. Additional narrative and ground-level photos of the features below the gliders supplement many of the aerial sequences.
This first-hand account of a historic and often dangerous exploit constitutes a unique document and is essential reading for everyone with a love of adventure or an eye for beauty. It will appeal to aviators, photographers, geographers, travellers and teachers – and all those who hold Saudi Arabia dear, be they nationals, visitors or ‘old Saudi hands’ who having lived and worked in the Kingdom reflect on their time spent the Islamic holy land with fondness.
“Lawrence of Arabia captured it from a camel. Roger Harrison captures it from the air. Both convey the magic of Arabia with breathtaking power.”
Robert Lacey, author of Inside the Kingdom
“What an absolutely fantastic book. Amazing photographs and other illustrations, and clean crisp text.”
Sir Sherard Louis Cowper-Coles KCMG LVO