This penetrating work explains the successes and failures of the German air force in World War II.
Aviation historian William Althoff tells the story of the U.S. Navy’s airship, USS Los Angeles, the most successful aircraft of its type ever flown. In dramatic detail, Althoff recounts how the U.S. Navy arranged for the famed German Zeppelin Company to build the ship, thwarted schemes by the U.S. Army’s Air Service to take control of it, and helped plan its record-breaking, historic four-day flight from Germany to the United States. After years of experiments meant to determine its military and commercial application, the airship ultimately failed to command a consensus in the Navy. “Relegated to a lower tier,” Althoff writes, “the rigid type receded to marginal relevance until, on the eve of World War Two, it vanished altogether.” In this book, the early achievements and unceremonious demise of the Los Angeles after a long career symbolize the airship’s unfulfilled promise. Nonetheless, the operational record of this one machine altered American naval aeronautics and greatly influenced transoceanic commercial air transport during a critical period of its development.
Starting life in 1927, with Aleksandr Sergeyevich Yakovlev's first aircraft, the AIR-1, the OKB produced aircraft such as the Yak-4 light bomber, the Yak-6 light transport and the Yak-1 fighter. The latter paving the way for the highly successful Yak-3 and Yak-9. Post-war the Yak-15, -17 and -23 were fighters with a distinctive 'pod-and-boom' layout, the Yak-25 was first in a line of twin-jet tactical aircraft while the Yak-18 trainer, Yak-24 tandem-rotor helicopter, Yak-38 VTOL and Yak-40/42 airliners added variety.
This unique 'Classic Colours' format single volume covers the opposing air forces in the Spanish Civil War as well the intervention of the German, Italian, and Soviet air forces in their respective guises. The air campaigns fought during the Spanish Civil War prompted important technical and tactical developments for all parties – from the actual deployment of air power through to communications. The small and largely obsolescent Spanish Air Force of 1936 grew into an effective fighting arm, which, by 1937 had become a significant force thanks, in part, to German and Italian support. The Nationalists fielded Heinkel, Fiat, and Messerschmitt fighters and Heinkel, Caproni, Savoia-Marchetti, Junkers, and Dornier bombers. These forces entered into a grinding battle of attrition over the less-organized but fiercely motivated Republican air arm over Aragon, the Jarama, and Madrid Fronts and later over Brunete, Belchite and the final campaign over the Ebro in mid to late 1938. The Republicans were equipped with Soviet-built Polikarpov, Nieuport, Hawker, and Dewoitine fighters and Potez and Tupolev bombers. The aircraft were often colorful and adorned with vivid markings, illustrated in this book with color artwork as well as contemporary photographs. Twenty Nationalist pilots gained five or more victories, with the German and Italian contingents also scoring high kill numbers. The highest scorer was Joaquin Garcia Morato with 40 victories, while the future German ace, Werner Mölders left Spain with 14. On the Republican side, Capts. Jose Bravo Fernandez and Miguel Zambudio Martinez are reported to have scored into double figures.
From the early pioneers to the latest spaceflight technology, this groundbreaking book charts the inspirational story behind humankind's conquest of the skies. In the 100 years since the Wright brothers' first powered flight, aviation has witnessed many memorable events. From record-breaking flights and aerial warfare, to advances in aircraft design and the race for space, Flight covers the most memorable moments in the history of aviation. Describing the feats of the brave men and women who piloted the early flying machines, to the pioneers of long-distance flight and the test pilots who ushered in the jet age, Flight is a gripping narrative of humankind's quest to conquer the skies and explore space. Loaded with spectacular full-color photographs, dramatic first-hand accounts, and fact-filled profiles on a huge range of aircraft, this is an enthralling account of a century of innovation and adventure.