X-Planes of Europe Book Review
|Date of Review
|X-Planes of Europe
|Tony Buttler and Jean-Louis Delezenne
|240 pages, hardcover
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!
My sincere thanks to Specialty Press for this review sample!