The eight-engine Boeing B-52 Stratofortress jet was the USA’s first long-range, swept-wing heavy bomber. It began life as an intercontinental, high-altitude Cold War nuclear bomber. With each new variant the B-52 increased in range, power and capability, seeing active service in the Vietnam War, both Gulf Wars of 1991 and 2003, and over Afghanistan in 2001. Author Steve Davies recalls its combat history, gets up close to look under the skin of the B-52, and talks to the flight crews and maintainers of this legendary aircraft.
Nicknamed the ‘wooden wonder’ , the de Havilland Mosquito was one of the most versatile and successful combat aircraft of the Second World War. Offering insights into the design, construction and operational career of the iconic Mossie, this manual gets under the aircraft’s birch and balsa skin to examine its anatomy and describe the painstaking restoration to flight by Avspecs (New Zealand) of Jerry Yagen’s FB26 KA114 and of Victoria Air Maintenance’s B35 VR796 in British Columbia, Canada.
Officially called the Fighting Falcon by the USAF (a name loathed by pilots and ground crews), the F-16 is popularly referred to as the "Viper". First introduced into service with the USAF in 1978, the F-16 is a successful all-weather multi-role jet fighter of which more than 4,500 have been built and exported to 25 countries worldwide. It remains in service more than 30 years later. The Viper incorporates a number of innovative design features that include a frameless bubble canopy for better visibility, pilot's side-mounted control stick for ease of control when manoeuvring, a seat reclined 30 degrees to reduce the effect of g-forces on the pilot, and the first use of a relaxed static stability/fly-by-wire flight control system that makes the Viper a highly agile aircraft. At the 'business end' the F-16 has an internal M61 Vulcan cannon and eleven weapon-mounting stations.
The Rolls-Royce Merlin liquid-cooled V-12 piston aero engine is considered an icon of British engineering with a worldwide recognition. It was one of the most successful aircraft engines of the Second World War period and its incremental development ran hand in hand with that of the legendary Supermarine Spitfire to which it was fitted from the very beginning. From its genesis in the 740hp PV-12 engine that was first flown in 1935, the Merlin went through rapid development during the war years until in its ultimate version, the Merlin 130 series designed specifically for the de Havilland Hornet, it produced over 2,600hp.
Merlin engines powered many more of the best-known Allied combat aircraft of the war including the Hawker Hurricane, Boulton Paul Defiant, P-51 Mustang, Avro Lancaster, Handley Page Halifax, and the de Havilland Mosquito.
Continue reading “Rolls-Royce Merlin Manual – 1933-50 (all engine models): An insight into the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the legendary World War 2 aero engine (Owners’ Workshop Manual)”
The Engines of Pratt & Whitney: A Technical History recounts the role played by Pratt & Whitney (P&W) in the evolution of aircraft engines from 1925 to the present timefor the most part as told by the engineers who made the history. A technical reference of all P&W engines and their applications, the book describes the evolution of piston engines and gas turbines, and offers young engineers a wealth of insights about design, development, marketing, and product support efforts for customers at home and abroad. The first three chapters introduce the contributions of Frederick Rentschler, George Mead, and Leonard Hobbs, with stories of how each new piston engine came into being. From 19401945 P&W committed its engineering efforts to winning World War II, but when the war was over, P&W found itself on the outside of the gas turbine market, which was capably being served by General Electric and Westinghouse. How P&W emerged from being five years behind the competition in 1945 to a positio