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American Secret Projects 3

American Secret Projects 3 Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2022 Title American Secret Projects 3
Author George Cox, Craig Kaston Publisher Crecy
Published 2020 ISBN 9781910809334
Format 360 pages, hardbound MSRP (USD) $44.95


In American Secret Projects 2, the authors tackled military airlift from 1941 to 1961. In this American Secret Projects 3 installment, they pick up the story from 1962 to (near) present.

Authors George Cox and Craig Kaston look at the wide variety of proposed solutions for different mission requirements:

  • The Evolution of American Military Airlift
  • A Quest For Size
  • Pursuit of VTOL
  • The Air Force Turns to V/STOL
  • Routes to the C-17 and KC-10
  • Carrier On-Board Delivery
  • Extending the Design Boundaries
  • Extreme Outsized Airlifter Conversions
  • The Once and Future Hercules
  • New Missions Emerge
  • Exploring New Technologies

The examination of the designs proposed for the super-sized airlifter that would ultimately be won by the C-5 Galaxy is not only illuminating, it also demonstrates the wide variety of sources made available to the authors for each company's design evolutions with the inclusion of diagrams and data.

The section dedicated to VTOL examines the common as well as conflicting requirements between the Army and the Air Force and the resulting designs that came in answer to both camps.

V/STOL should be more achievable, but once again conflicting requirements and escalating costs would prevent a number of usable designs from getting built. The one design that ultimately emerged was still not ready for prime time.

The AMST program would find a number of designs that would be proposed before the YC-14 and YC-15 would emerge, and even variants of both of these designs were added to the mix to address additional mission requrements. A DC-15 drone deployment aircraft?

If you'd like to experience a variety of design headaches, look over the various outsized airlifter concepts. While some of them could have been somewhat practical, they'd need special infrastructure from wider runways to specialty loading/unloading solutions to work.

The title wraps up with looks at the near and not-so-near solutions for airlift. Between new missions and new technologies now available, the future of airlift has some promising solutions, though as the previous chapters also call out, the budget for airlift is not as robust as planners hope.

Taks a look at this incredible work as American Secret Projects 3 brings the world of airlift and all of the possibilities that were proposed come into view for the first time under one cover.

My sincere thanks to Specialty Press for this review sample!