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Early US Jet Fighters: Proposals, Projects and Prototypes

Early US Jet Fighters: Proposals, Projects and Prototypes Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review November 2012 Title Early US Jet Fighters: Proposals, Projects and Prototypes: The Argentine Air War over the Falklands
Author Tony Buttler Publisher Hikoki Publications
Published 2013 ISBN 9781902109305
Format 176 pages, hardcover MSRP (USD) $49.95


The post-WWII years remain crucial to aerospace history.  Propulsion and design developments promised amazing progress in aircraft performance.  And in the US, weird, wonderful wings emerged.

That's the subject of Tony Buttler's Early US Jet Fighters from Hikoki – available in North America from Specialty Press.  And what a cool, convenient compendium it is.

Subtitled "Proposals, Projects and Prototypes", contents recap the whole terrific tale:

  • Air Force Beginnings
  • Navy Beginnings
  • Army Air Force All Weather Fighter
  • Army Air Force Penetration Fighter
  • Army Air Force Interceptor
  • Navy Night Fighter
  • Navy Day Fighter
  • Navy Long Range Escort Fighter
  • Navy Interceptor
  • Miscellaneous Projects and Flying Boat Fighters
  • First Air Force Supersonic
  • First Navy Supersonic

How about extrapolating a Curtiss XP-55 to jet power?  Curtiss' P-304 series resembles a page from pulp fiction.  Or a jet-engine F7F Tigercat?  Grumman's Design 67 studied the possibility.  Or a jet ground-attack derivative the P-47 Thunderbolt?  Republic's "AP-47" shows what might have been.

Other terrific treasures unearthed in Early US Jet Fighters embrace the familiar and exotic.  Like the XP-88/XF-88 Voodoo, "Soviet-looking" Goodyear GA-16 penetration fighter, Douglas Skystreak interceptor iteration and bizarre North American RD-1386 design study – the last bearing a distinct Luftwaffe '46 look.  Even float-maker Edo entered the fray!

And on and on.  Color profiles and over 350 photos spice this savory stew.  Five appendices, selected bibliography and source details, and index complete coverage.

What a wild ride!  Jets.  Turboprops.  Rockets.  Mixed power.  Wings straight and swept.  Shapes conformist and eccentric.  And the stuff that dreams are made of.

Tony Buttler has forged a deservedly brilliant reputation for gems like this.  Treat yourself to loads of fascinating fun – and get his Early US Jet Fighters.

Robustly recommended.

My sincere thanks to Specialty Press for this review sample!