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X-Planes of Europe

X-Planes of Europe Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review November 2012 Title X-Planes of Europe
Author Tony Buttler and Jean-Louis Delezenne Publisher Hikoki Publications
Published 2012 ISBN 9781902109213
Format 240 pages, hardcover MSRP (USD) $56.95

Review

The three decades after WWII remain remarkable years in aerospace history.  Propulsion and design developments promised vast progress in aircraft performance.  And in Europe, a host of weird, wonderful wings appeared.

That's the spellbinding subject of HIKOKI's X-PLANES OF EUROPE – available in North America from SPECIALTY PRESS.  And what a terrific tale it is.

Authors Tony Buttler and Jean-Louis Delezenne masterfully mine the "secret research aircraft of the golden age 1946-74" – and unearth real gems.

Europeans developed – among other things – the first VTOL jet fighter, the world's first jetliner, the first jet transport with rear-mounted engines, and the first supersonic airliner.  Some testbeds – like Avro's sleek 707 and SAAB's diminutive 210 – pioneered airframe advancements for familiar production designs.  And several dead-ends directly influenced future classics.

LTV, for instance, contracted for the variable-geometry technology of Dassault's stillborn Mirage G.  And from that, authors reveal, evolved Grumman's legendary F-14 Tomcat.

Examples of what paleontologists call "convergent evolution" also abound.  Nord's mixed-power Griffin projects presaged Lavi and Eurofighter contours.  And Switzerland's FAF N-20 Aiguillon mirrored the contemporary Chance-Vought's F7U – with one fin!

 

X-PLANES OF EUROPE held my attention in death-grip.  Every chapter proved fascinating.  Over 250 B&W and color photos with beautifully rendered profile plates accent this absorbing account.  Now for some scale models of the stimulating subjects that pack this page-turner!

Strongly recommended.

My sincere thanks to Specialty Press for this review sample!

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