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Soviet Secret Projects - Bombers Since 1945

Soviet Secret Projects - Bombers Since 1945 Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review July 2005 Title Soviet Secret Projects - Bombers Since 1945
Author Tony Butler & Yefim Gordon Publisher Midland Publications
Published 2004 ISBN 1-85780-194-6
Format 176 pages, hardbound MSRP (USD) $44.95


Soviet aviation historians are going to want this one! This is a look inside the various research projects conducted by Soviet Design Bureaus during the cold war. When cruising through this title, several key points become clear:

  1. The Soviets were influenced by the US and allied threat, but rarely did they have to copy our designs
  2. Some of the Soviet designs were far more advanced than anything we've ever revealed to the public.
  3. There was an aircraft concept like the aircraft in the movie "Firefox" designed by Pavel Sukhoi's OKB as the I-2.
  4. The designs that follow make the I-2 look like a Sopwith Camel.

To give you a flavor of the coverage in this title:

  • The Last of the Piston Bombers
  • The First Jet Bombers
  • The First Heavyweights
  • The First Supersonic Bombers
  • Composite Bombers and Reconnaissance Aircraft
  • Nuclear Power and Flying Wings
  • Ground Attack Aircraft
  • Tactical Strike Aircraft
  • Maritime Patrol
  • Ultimate Performance
  • Backfire and Blackjack

The sub-title of the this book is a bit misleading as a bomber-only book would be a much shorter read at this level of detail. This title covers essentially all fixed wing aircraft that are not airliners, airlifters, or fighters. In any case, you'll see some innovative combinations of technical solutions to address some requirement. What's even more interesting is the number of these designs that advanced into flight test and a precious few that made it into production.

Modelers would have a field day replicating many of the paper concept aircraft in lieu of the Luft 46 paper projects (or perhaps to counter the Luft 46 with a Sov 2000 movement)

In any case, this is an excellent reference to a look inside what used to be the classified files of Soviet OKBs. You'll be fascinated from the moment you pick up this title! This book is definitely recommended for the aviation historian and modeler alike!