Dirigible Dreams: The Age of the Airship

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Here is the story of airships—manmade flying machines without wings—from their earliest beginnings to the modern era of blimps. In postcards and advertisements, the sleek, silver, cigar-shaped airships, or dirigibles, were the embodiment of futuristic visions of air travel. They immediately captivated the imaginations of people worldwide, but in less than fifty years dirigible became a byword for doomed futurism, an Icarian figure of industrial hubris. Dirigible Dreams looks back on this bygone era, when the future of exploration, commercial travel, and warfare largely involved the prospect of wingless flight. In Dirigible Dreams, C. Michael Hiam celebrates the legendary figures of this promising technology in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—the pioneering aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont, the doomed polar explorers S. A. Andrée and Walter Wellman, and the great Prussian inventor and promoter Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, among other pivotal figures—and recounts fascinating stories of exploration, transatlantic journeys, and floating armadas that rained death during World War I. While there were triumphs, such as the polar flight of the Norge, most of these tales are of disaster and woe, culminating in perhaps the most famous disaster of all time, the crash of the Hindenburg.

This story of daring men and their flying machines, dreamers and adventurers who pushed modern technology to—and often beyond—its limitations, is an informative and exciting mix of history, technology, awe-inspiring exploits, and warfare that will captivate readers with its depiction of a lost golden age of air travel. Readable and authoritative, enlivened by colorful characters and nail-biting drama, Dirigible Dreams will appeal to a new generation of general readers and scholars interested in the origins of modern aviation.

Savoia-Marchetti S.79 Sparviero Torpedo-Bomber Units (Combat Aircraft)

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Italy's Sparviero (Sparrowhawk) saw combat with the Regia Aeronautica in France, Yugoslavia, Greece, North Africa, East Africa and in the Mediterranean versus the Royal Navy. Italy's most successful wartime bomber, the S.79 was also the most produced, with around 1370 built between 1936 and early 1944. Initially developed by Savoia-Marchetti as a transport aircraft it had evolved into a dedicated medium bomber by the time the S.79-I made its combat debut with the Aviazione Legionaria in the Spanish Civil War in 1936. The manufacturer then produced the S.79-II torpedo-bomber, fitted with 1000 hp Piaggio or Fiat radial engines in place of the original 780 hp Alfa Romeos. Entering service in 1939, the S.79-II saw much action over the next four years, particularly in its intended torpedo-bomber role against the Royal Navy in the Mediterranean. Indeed, the Sparviero crews tasked with targeting Allied shipping became national heroes in Italy thanks to their exploits, with men such as Buscaglia, Graziani, Erasi, Faggioni, Di Bella, Aichner and Cimicchi being as revered as fighter aces in other countries. Following Italy's surrender in September 1943, a large number of S.79s continued to see action against the Allies with the pro-German RSI, although they suffered heavy losses. This is the first of two proposed volumes on the S.79, the second book detailing its use as a bomber and transport.

Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot: The Soviet Union’s Tank-Buster (Aerofax)

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When the USA launched a new battlefield attack aircraft program which eventually led to the development of the A-10 Thunderbolt II, the Soviet Union saw the need to create an equivalent. The Soviet aircraft industry had considerable experience in attack aircraft design to fall back on, dating back to the most famous of these types, the Ilyushin IL-2 Shturmovik of the World War II era. When a contest was called to produce a latter-day Shturmovik, the Sukhoi Design Bureau emerged as the winner with its T-8 project, beating competition from the Ilyushin and Myasiishchev bureaus. After a series of design changes the aircraft entered production and service as the Su-25. The book describes the Su-25's development history and its extensive combat career, starting with Operation Romb, when the then-experimental Su-25 received its baptism of fire in the Afghan War, to the conflicts in former Yugoslavia and the drug-busting operations in Peru. The type's Afghan War involvement receives extensive coverage, as does the Su-25's use in the Chechen Wars. A detailed list is given of the type's many operators, which even included a NATO country (Slovakia). In addition to the main versions up to and including the Su-25TM (Su-39) 'tank killer'. Due attention is paid to the latest programs to upgrade the Su-25 with modern requirements both in Russia and elsewhere. The book includes color artwork and detailed scale drawings in the usual Aerofax style.

Killer Caldwell: Australia’s Greatest Figher Pilot

Reviews of Killer Caldwell: Australia’s Greatest Figher Pilot. Killer Caldwell: Australia's Greatest Figher Pilot – Kindle edition by Jeffrey Watson. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading Killer Caldwell: Australia's Greatest Figher Pilot.. Buy online at Aviation Bookstore.

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Clive 'Killer' Caldwell was a natural and brilliant pilot, a superb shot, and a born leader. He saw action against the Germans, Italians and Japanese, and remains Australia's greatest ever fighter pilot.

Born and brought up in Sydney, it was obvious from an early age that nothing would stand in Caldwell's way. He bluffed his way into the RAAF, then made sure that he was posted to exactly where he thought he should be.
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Luftwaffe Fighter Ace

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By his own, modest, admission Norbert Hannig was a Frontflieger, or operational pilot, who really did nothing special during World War Two. He was just, he says, one of the many rank and file pilots fighting for his country and not for the Führer. But his wartime career makes for fascinating and highly informative reading on an aspect of the 1939-45 war not often covered in the English language; primarily that of the campaign against the Soviet Union.

Norbert started flying during high school on gliders and joined the German Air Force as volunteer and officer cadet, one of the midwar-generation of Luftwaffe fighter pilots. He began operations with JG54 on the eastern (Leningrad) front in March 1943; initially he flew Messerschmitt Bf 109s before transitioning to the Focke-Wulf FW 190. After a year’s fighting, he was ordered back to Germany as a flight instructor to oppose the bomber streams of the AAF and RAF. Returning to Russia at the end of 1944, he became a Staffel CO and claimed many aircraft shot down. In April 1945 he converted to the first jet fighter, the Me 262, in south Germany, and flew his last missions with this aircraft. Also serving with JV44 (whose CO was Adolf Galland), Norbert Hannig finished the war with 42 victories from more than 200 missions. Many and varied were his experiences in action against the rejuvenated Soviet Air Force in the east, and the powerful western Allies over the homeland during the final chaotic months of hostilities, which culminated in his captivity.
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