On October 2, 1942, the Bell XP-59 Airacomet soared up and away from present-day Edwards AFB, launching the US Army Air Forces into the Jet Age. In the several decades since, hundreds of new variations of experimental and test turbojet-powered bombers and fighters--X-bombers and X-fighters--have taken explosive flight. These aircraft blazed a trail leading to today's B-2 Stealth Bomber and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
TheBig Book of X-Bombers & X-Fighters showcases all of the USAF jet-powered X-bombers and X-fighters that have flown since 1942--more than 90 in all, including the alphabet soup of their variants. From experimental to prototype service bombers and fighters--from the XB-43 to the B-2A and the XP-59A to the F-35A--they're all here, with their inside stories revealed. Some of these aircraft were further developed. Others were canceled. All stretched the performance and design envelopes.
More than 250 photos illustrate all of these experimental aircrafts' cutting-edge features and zeroes in on histories of their design, flight testing, and weapons testing. Specification tables detailing performance, design, and armaments help round out this compendium of information on truly groundbreaking aviation designs.
X-bombers and X-fighters in TheBig Book of X-Bombers & X-Fighters include:
Bell P-59 Airacomet
Republic P/F-84 Thunderjet
Douglas B-43 Jetmaster
North American B-45 Tornado
Boeing B-47 Stratojet
Curtiss P/F-87 Blackhawk
McDonnell P/F-85 Goblin
Convair P/F-92 "Dart"
Northrop F-17 Cobra
Boeing B-1 Lancer
And all the rest!
Specifications included for each aircraft include:
In addition, veteran aviation author Steve Pace shows readers some of the designs that could have been and offers a peek into what might be lurking in the future, making this the definitive guide to USAF jet-powered experimental aircraft!
Steve Pace is a freelance aviation history writer, a contributing editor to Flight Journal, and the author of numerous articles and short features on a variety of aircraft and related subjects, as well as thirty aviation history books, including The Big Book of X-Bombers and X-Fighters (2016). He was raised in Seattle, Washington, where his father worked at the Boeing Airplane Company for more than thirty years. As the son of an aircraft builder, he became interested in aviation at an early age - instead of buying candy and marbles, he bought model airplane kits. Pace now resides in Tacoma, Washington.
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