Reviews of Valkyrie: The North American XB-70 : The USA’s Ill-fated Supersonic Heavy Bomber. Valkyrie: The North American XB-70 : The USA's Ill-fated Supersonic Heavy Bomber – Kindle edition by Graham M Simons. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading Valkyrie: The North American XB-70 : The USA's Ill-fated Supersonic Heavy Bomber.. Buy online at Aviation Bookstore.
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During the 1950s, at the time Elvis Presley was rocking the world with Hound Dog and the USA was aiming to become the world’s only superpower, plans were being drawn at North American Aviation in Southern California for an incredible Mach-3 strategic bomber. The concept was born as a result of General Curtis LeMay’s desire for a heavy bomber with the weapon load and range of the subsonic B-52 and a top speed in excess of the supersonic medium bomber, the B-58 Hustler. If LeMay’s plans came to fruition there would be 250 Valkyries in the air; it would be the pinnacle of his quest for the ultimate strategic bomber operated by America’s Strategic Air Command. The design was a leap into the future that pushed the envelope in terms of exotic materials, avionics and power plants.
However, in April 1961, Defense Secretary McNamara stopped the production go-ahead for the B-70 because of rapid cost escalation and the USSR’s newfound ability to destroy aircraft at extremely high altitude using either missiles or the new Mig-25 fighter. Nevertheless, in 1963 plans for the production of three high-speed research aircraft were approved and construction proceeded. In September 1964 the first Valkyrie, now re-coded A/V-1 took to the air for the first time and in October went supersonic.
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The Mikoyan Design Bureau's first swept-wing jet fighter, the MiG-15 Fagot, which gained world fame (or notoriety, depending on which side of the Iron Curtain you were on) after the Korean War, served as the basis for a more refined model, the MiG-17 Fresco. No sooner had the MiG-15 entered production and service than the designers decided to increase the wing sweep from 35 degrees to 45 degrees, initially by way of experiment. The resulting aircraft showed higher performance than the MiG-15, exceeding Mach 1 in a shallow dive during a test flight, something the Fagot had been unable to do.
Following its production entry the MiG-17 was constantly improved, with Mikoyan developing a succession of production and experimental versions. Firstly, an afterburning engine was fitted to improve performance. Secondly, the increasingly frequent incursions by NATO reconnaissance aircraft, coupled with the knowledge that the West was developing all-weather fighters, led the Soviet 'fighter makers' to develop a number of radar-equipped interceptors. The all-weather versions of the MiG-17 proved to be the most successful and some of them were cleared for production.
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Reviews of Flying to Norway, Grounded in Burma: A Hudson Pilot in World War II. Flying to Norway, Grounded in Burma: A Hudson Pilot in World War II eBook: Goronwy 'Gron' Edwards DFC: Kindle Store. Buy online at Aviation Bookstore.
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Gron’ Edwards joined the RAF in 1936 on a Short Service Commission and went solo on his eighteenth birthday. After gaining his wings he joined No 233 General Reconnaissance Squadron of Coastal Command based at Thornaby in Yorkshire. The aircraft he flew was the Avro Anson, a small twin engine aircraft that was originally designed for civilian use but had been hastily modified with the addition of two machine guns and a 280 lb bomb load. Before the outbreak of war the squadron was moved to Leuchers. Early in 1939, Coastal Command crews were ordered to ferry some Blenheim twin-engined bombers to Middle East Command and Gron was selected as a navigator for the flight to Egypt. Upon landing in Egypt they found that they had set a record time of 33 hours, 3 hours less than Imperial Airways.
233 Squadron were re-equipped with the Lockheed Hudson, a larger aircraft that enabled reconnaissance patrols along the Norwegian coast. In April 1940, as they were approaching the Norwegian coast, Gron spotted a Heinkell 115. He attacked from astern and damaged the aircraft. Although very nearly flying into the sea. Patrols continued, searching for German capital ships hiding in the Fiords. During the first five months of the Norwegian campaign 233 Squadron suffered 35% casualties – even 50% on one shipping strike. Gron was awarded the DFC for his part in this operation. After becoming short-sighted and night-blind Gron was given a brief respite and then posted to the Navigational School at Cranage in Cheshire and a little later qualified as a Specialist Armament Officer. In September 1944 he sailed for Bombay and then travelled overland to Maniur, 500 miles north-east of Imphal. Gron took the job of Armament Officer of No 221 Group, a close-support fighter/bomber group of about 20 squadrons attached to the 14th Army. With the Japanese in retreat the group moved to Indianggye in Burma. Gron commanded the RAF advance party. During his service there he was Mentioned in Despatches.
Reviews of HEINKEL He 111: The Early Years – Fall of France, Battle of Britain and the Blitz (Air War Archive). HEINKEL He 111: The Early Years – Fall of France, Battle of Britain and the Blitz (Air War Archive) [Chris Goss] on . *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Considered to be the best known German bomber of the Second Wold War, the Heinkel He 111 served in every military front in the European theater. Buy online at Aviation Bookstore.
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Considered to be the best known German bomber of the Second Wold War, the Heinkel He 111 served in every military front in the European theater, having first being deployed in the Spanish Civil War in 1936. It then saw extensive service in the invasion of Poland, the Norweigan campaign and the invasion of the Low Countries and France in 1940. When the Luftwaffe was tasked with destroying Britain’s ability to resist invasion in 1940, the He 111 formed almost half of the Gruppen employed by Luftflotte 2 and Luftflotte 3. When the Luftwaffe switched to attacking cities and industrial sites the Heinkel 111 was widely employed, with raids against targets such as London, Coventry, Bristol, Birmingham and Liverpool. In this selection of unrivaled images collected over many years, the operations of this famous aircraft in the early years of the war – particularly the invasion of Poland, the Blitzkrieg in the West, the Battle of Britain and the very early stages of the Blitz – are portrayed and brought to life.
Reviews of Mosquito to Berlin: Story of ‘Bertie’ Boulter DFC, One of Bennett’s Pathfinders. Mosquito to Berlin: Story of ‘Bertie’ Boulter DFC, One of Bennett’s Pathfinders eBook: Peter Bodle FRAeS: Kindle Store. Buy online at Aviation Bookstore.
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When Don Bennett formed the Pathfinder squadrons in 1942, the majority of the chosen pilots were highly experienced aircrew who had learned their skills in the opening years of World War Two. Some, however, were exceptions and found themselves flying with this elite band with no previous combat experience. 'Bertie' Boulter was one such pilot. He was born in Saskatchewan, on 15 April 1923, the son of British emigrants. When his father died in 1938 the family returned to their native home in Norwich. On 3 January 1942 'Bertie' was accepted for pilot training with the RAF and found himself back in Canada learning to fly. Upon his return to England, and with 'exceptional' describing his flying abilities, he was posted to No 11 Radio School at Hooton Park as a staff pilot flying Avro Ansons and the lugubrious Botha, in which wireless operators were learning their trade. After a short spell at No. 12 Advanced Flying Unit, he was posted to No 128 Pathfinder Squadron in October 1944, based at Wyton and flying the legendary de Havilland Mosquito XX. He was now in the thick of Bomber Commands destruction of Germany's industrial centres and communications system. His first mission was to Wiesbaden, followed by raids on Hanover and Cologne. November saw the first of his nineteen visits to Berlin and the first bale-out. Flying at 7,000 ft, with seriously malfunctioning Merlins, Bertie, and his navigator were forced to abandon the aircraft and landed safely close to the front line but unsure of which side of it they were. Eventually he arrived in Dunkerque, where he boarded an MTB for his return to Wyton. Bertie was forced to bale out once more, in January 1945, when he was forced to abandon his aircraft near his home base because of the dense fog that was covering all of Eastern Britain. This was on his return from a raid on Berlin made by 36 aircraft, twelve of which failed to return. Boulter's career with the RAF continued after the war with various units including Met. Flights and liaison duties. His log-book records that he flew 48 combat operations during which 128,000 lb of ordnance was dropped on enemy territory. Bertie Boulter was still flying a Stearman biplane fifty years later and he still meets regularly with survivors of the Pathfinder squadrons.