Aircraft Carriers: The Illustrated History of the World’s Most Important Warships

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Step aboard the floating cities that patrol international waters, launch aircraft from their decks, and decide the fate of war. Behold the king of naval warfare: the aircraft carrier.

Soon after the Wright Brothers’ historic flight in 1903, officials explored the airplane’s military applications. The seaplane and the flying boat were conceived to combine air and naval operations, but their potential proved limited. Aircraft that could operate from the deck of a ship, however, offered tremendous possibilities. A few visionaries seized the opportunity, and by mid-century the aircraft carrier eclipsed the battleship as the preeminent weapon of naval warfare.
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Dirigible Dreams: The Age of the Airship

Amazon Price: $29.95 $24.93 You save: $5.02 (17%). (as of December 15, 2017 2:59 pm – Details). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

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.

Luftwaffe Mistel Composite Bomber Units (Combat Aircraft)

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The striking appearance of Luftwaffe's bizarre 'Mistel' Composite attack aircraft might seem ridiculous to modern eyes, but employed correctly, these original 'fire and forget' weapons were devastatingly effective, as Allied sources testify. This book draws on a wealth of first-hand reports and revealing contemporary photographs to tell the full, strange story of the Mistel units. They were the product of a remarkable mix of desperation and innovation, and were actually grounded in a pre-war, non-military practise. Indeed – the mounting of one aircraft atop another was initially conceived to extend the ranges of passenger and mail-carrying aircraft. But as early as 1942, German planners saw the potential for use as a guided missile, and by the end of the war, the sight of a Ju-88 lashed to a BF 109 or FW 190 fighter bearing down on an Allied target was not as rare as one might expect. This is the full story of the Mistel units, from their design and development, through the first deployments at D-Day, to the last, desperate missions against key bridges on the Oder and the Neisse in the final weeks of the war. It also reveals some of the activities of the mysterious and secretive Kampfgruppe (bomber group) 200.

Tempest Squadrons of the RAF (Combat Aircraft)

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Hawker's charismatic Tempest V entered RAF service just in time to be the most successful counter to the V1 flying bomb assault on southern England in the summer of 1944. With more than 800 of the robot missiles to its credit, Tempest V units then crossed the Channel to lock horns with the best the Luftwaffe had to offer–Fw 190D-9s, Ta 152s, Me 262s, and Bf 109G/Ks–achieving an impressive kill/loss ratio in aerial combat.

With incredibly detailed aircraft profiles and exciting combat reports this title covers the full history of Tempest squadrons, from their initial design and combat experience in World War II through to their post-war role, and the eventual decline of this iconic British fighter.

Soviet Strategic Aviation in the Cold War

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Born in the 1930s, the Soviet Air Force's long-range bomber arm (known initially as the ADD and later as the DA) proved itself during World War II and continued to develop in the immediate post-war years, when the former allies turned Cold War opponents. When the strategic bomber Tu-4 was found to be too 'short-legged' to deliver strikes against the main potential adversary – the USA, both Tupolev and Myasishchev OKBs began the task by creating turbine-engined strategic bombers. By the Khrushchev era in the mid/late 1950's the Soviet defense industry and aircraft design bureau set about adapting the bombers to take air-launched missiles for use against land and sea targets. In 1962 the DA fielded its first supersonic aircraft – the Tu-22 Blinder twinjet, which came in pure bomber and missile strike versions. The Brezhnev years saw a resurgence of strategic aviation with the Tu-22M Backfire 'swing-wing' supersonic medium bomber entering service in the mid-1970s followed in 1984 by the Tu-95MS Bear-H and Tu-160 Blackjack which were capable of carrying six and 12 air-launched cruise missiles respectively. Soviet Strategic Aviation in the Cold War shows how the DA's order of battle changed in the period from 1945 to 1991. Major operations including the air arm's involvement in the Afghan War, the Cold War exercises over international waters in the vicinity of the 'potential adversary', and the shadowing of NATO warships are covered together with details of Air Armies, bomber divisions and bomber regiments, including their aircraft on a type-by-type basis. More than 500 photos, most of which are previously unpublished in the West, are supplemented by 61 color profiles, color badges, and line drawings of the aircraft and their weapons, making this an essential reference source for the historian and modeler alike.