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Consolidated B-36

Consolidated B-36 Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review February 2016 Title Consolidated B-36
Author David Doyle Publisher Ampersand Publishing
Published 2016 ISBN 978-0-9861127-2-0
Format 120 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $22.95

First Look

Even before the United States entered World War II, Army Air Corps planners had foreseen the possibility of conducting strategic bombing on targets in Europe without the use of forward airbases on the continent or UK. Several firms, including Consolidated, received requests for proposal for a long-range bomber that could carry a significant bomb load across the Atlantic and return. The solution looked straightforward on the drawing board but a variety of problems delayed the resulting B-36 design as well as the competing Northrop B-35. While the B-36 came along after the end of World War II, it arrived in time for service with the Strategic Air Command during the new Cold War. The B-36 would serve as SAC's long-range workhorse until the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress.

Author David Doyle has compiled a visual history of the B-36 from early concepts and wind tunnel candidates through flight test, production, and evolution. The author walks through the development of the aircraft with good information useful for the tail spotter as well as the modeler outlining the details and differences between each variant. In addition to looking at the standard production versions, the title also examines some of the unique concept aircraft including the GRB-36F with RF-84K parasite aircraft, the NB-36H nuclear-power testbed, C-99 cargo aircraft, and the YB-60 all-jet-powered prototypes.

While this title does not have photo walk arounds of the aircraft nor extensive photos of the aircraft in operation, this does bring together period photos from a variety of sources which illustrate the details and differences within the B-36 lineage. Many of these photos have been published previously and it would have been a good opportunity to look at the aircraft used in making the B-36 a movie star during the production of the 1955 film Strategic Air Command starring Jimmy Stewart.

Whether you're researching the differences in the B-36 or are dusting off the Monogram 1/72 scale kit, this title will be a handy reference in your technical library.

My sincere thanks to Ampersand Group for this review sample!

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