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Boeing B-47 Stratojet

Boeing B-47 Stratojet Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review October 2018 Title Boeing B-47 Stratojet
Author Mike Habermehl, Robert S. Hopkins III Publisher Crecy
Published 2018 ISBN 9781910809082
Format 320 pages, hardbound MSRP (USD) $44.95

Review

My love of B-47s began in grandma's yard one sunny summer day.

Lying in the grass, I saw a speck grow quickly larger in the western sky. Seconds later, a Stratojet roared overhead, almost clipping treetops.

A 3 or 4 year old, I stood in awe.

Fast forward a couple years. And my dad built Revell's box-scale version of Boeing's sleek, silver bomber.

Holding it in my hands, I fell in love.

Crécy just rekindled that passion with Boeing B-47 Stratojet – a handsome hardback available in North America from Specialty Press.

Authors Mike Habermehl and Robert S. Hopkins III survey the whole, stunning saga of "Strategic Air Command's Transitional Bomber" across 320 picture-packed pages and eight chewy chapters:

  • origins, design & testing
  • development & initial production
  • serial production, modifications, finish, structural issues
  • crew, procedures, refueling, training, variants, airframe, equipment, engines, systems
  • worldwide SAC service
  • intelligence-gathering, reconnaissance & special missions
  • testbeds, projects & stillborns

Amazing amounts of B-47 minutiae – in and out, top to bottom, nose to rudder – pack nearly every page. Modelers will love it.

Want the exact types and locations of Stratojet exterior skinning for your Stratojet scheme? They're here.

Details abound. Fuselage. Wings. Stabilizers. Interiors. Armament. Landing gear. Even a length of cheap, white paracord designed to gauge aircraft yaw.

Add that to your 1:72-scale Hasegawa Stratojet!

Anecdotes, action accounts, and attrition, too. Even nose art. Notes on B-47s during 1962's Cuban Missile Crisis proved particularly absorbing.

Did you know that "the B-47 was never originally intended to carry an atomic weapon"? I didn't, either. And how many "kills" did Stratojet tail gunners score? Check pages 159-161 for the answer.

Hendreds of color and B&W photos, tech-manual excerpts, drawings, and maps augment the account. Tables, charts, sidebars, explanatory captions, and glossary also supplement the survey. And four appendices complete contents.

Whew. What a ride!

But while authors reference sources within their narrative, Crécy's admirably indexed study nevertheless lacks annotations and bibliographic notes – somewhat troubling in a work of this size and scope.

But I quibble. Crécy's splendid Stratojet study deserves pride of place in every Cold War reference library.

Roundly recommended!

My sincere thanks to Specialty Press for this review sample!

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