Chasing the Demon: A Secret History of the Quest for the Sound Barrier, and the Band of American Aces Who Conquered It

by Dan Hampton

On Sale: 12/06/2019



About the Book

At the dawn of the Cold War, a band of World War II aces gathered in the Mojave Desert on a top secret quest to break the sound barrier. The true story of what happened in those skies has never been told.

Speed. In 1947, it represented the difference between victory and annihilation.

After Hiroshima, the ability to deliver a nuclear device to its target faster than one's enemy became the singular obsession of American war planners. And so, in the earliest days of the Cold War, a highly classified program was conducted on a desolate air base in California's Mojave Desert. Its aim: to push the envelope of flight to new frontiers. There gathered an extraordinary band of pilots-including Second World War aces Chuck Yeager and George Welch-who risked their lives flying experimental aircraft to reach Mach 1, the so-called sound barrier, which pilots called “the demon.”

Shrouding the program in secrecy, the US military reluctantly acknowledged the “barrier” had been broken only after the story was leaked. The full truth has never been revealed-until now.

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062688736
  • ISBN 10: 0062688731
  • Imprint: HarperCollins - US
  • On Sale: 12/06/2019
  • Pages: 352
  • List Price: 32.99 AUD
  • BISAC1: TRANSPORTATION / Aviation / History


The New York Times bestselling author of Viper Pilot, U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Dan Hampton flew 151 combat missions during his twenty years in the USAF (1986-2006). For his service in the Iraq War, Kosovo conflict, and first Gulf War, Col. Hampton received four Distinguished Flying Crosses with Valor, a Purple Heart, eight Air Medals with Valor, five Meritorious Service Medals, and numerous other citations.

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