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Consolidated Vultee XB-46

Consolidated Vultee XB-46 Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review December 2016 Title Consolidated Vultee XB-46
Author Steve Ginter Publisher Ginter Books
Published 2016 ISBN 978-0996825849
Format 68 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $21.95

Review

The Consolidated Vultee XB-46 vied with the North American XB-45, Boeing XB-47 and Martin XB-48 for an April 1944 USAAF jet-propelled medium bomber contract.

North American's entry eventually entered limited service as America's first operational jet bomber. Boeing's achieved immortality as "the world's best medium bomber of the 1950s". And the other two remain historical footnotes.

Now Ginter Books recaps Consolidated Vultee's sleek, needlelike design in number 221 of its "Air Force Legends" series.

After brief background notes, the slim, 68-page study essentially divides into two parts: interior and exterior details. In typical "Ginter fashion", though, the level of minutiae is nothing short of outstanding.

Coverage traverses crew stations, weapons capabilities, fuel systems, engines and landing gear. Details of "external structures" – "fuselage, wings, tail, [and] flight controls" – confirm the comely combatant's lithe lines. And over 140 photos, drawings and tech manual excerpts illustrate everything.

Crew positions? You bet. Instrument details? Definitely. Engines and landing gear? You bet. Defensive armament? Yowza. Even Consolidated Vultee's "quick change engine proposal".

In short: everything necessary to super-detail Anigrand Craftswork's 1/144 and 1/72 resin kits. And those are the only entries in Ginter's understandably skimpy scale model section.

But how about that "XB-46 style turboprop heavy bombardment" derivative?

Whew!

What a cool, compact compendium! Who woulda thunk it? Now maybe Ginter Books will consider companion volumes on the B-45, B-47 and XB-48!

Recommended!

With thanks to Ginter Books!