Cybermodeler Online

Celebrating 24 years of hobby news and reviews




The appearance of U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, Department of Defense, or NASA imagery or art does not constitute an endorsement nor is Cybermodeler Online affiliated with these organizations.


  • Facebook
  • Parler
  • Twitter
  • RSS
  • YouTube

X-Planes of Europe

X-Planes of Europe Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review November 2012 Title X-Planes of Europe
Author Tony Buttler and Jean-Louis Delezenne Publisher Hikoki Publications
Published 2012 ISBN 9781902109213
Format 240 pages, hardcover MSRP (USD) $56.95


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!

Strongly recommended.

My sincere thanks to Specialty Press for this review sample!