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B-58 Hustler Units Units

B-58 Hustler Units Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review November 2019 Title B-58 Hustler Units Units
Author Peter E. Davies Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2019 ISBN 9781472836403
Format 96 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $24.00


Peter E. Davies recounts America’s first operational supersonic bomber in B-58 Hustler Units – 130th installment in Osprey’s vast “Combat Aircraft” range.

Contents span 96 informative pages across six compact chapters:

  • Delta Design
  • Making It Work
  • Preparing The Way
  • Into Service
  • Global Reach
  • Other Roles And Versions

Coverage nicely recaps the testing, introduction, service, and retirement of Convair’s sleek, unique design.

And Davies competently chronicles key forces and factors – historical, technical, operational, and political – that fuel Hustler’s spellbinding saga. Was B-58 retirement a purely political decision? Read the final chapter – and judge for yourself.

Airframe. Propulsion. Systems. Weapons. Records. Missions. Attrition. Costs. Proposed variants and roles. Even personalities. They’re all here.

Ever hear of Yogi – or of “the bitch”?

Tantalizing trivia also tincture text. How did the Hustler figure in President John F. Kennedy’s final hour of life? Page 81 explains.

Photos and 30 color profiles – one illustrating the planned, but never implemented, B-58 “Vietnam” camouflage scheme – illustrate the account.

Extended captions, service accounts, and anecdotes further season Osprey’s succinct study. And color plates commentary and an index wrap things up.

But Davies’ jargon-packed account really needs an acronym glossary. And not a single annotation accompanies his extensive quotes and remarks.

Most worrisome, though, B-58 Hustler Units lacks a selected bibliography – an irksome flaw in Osprey “Combat Aircraft” titles.

But is that fault fatal? Not really: you’re just on your own for further study of this terrific topic.

Still, even with that serious shortcoming, Osprey’s compact chronicle offers a businesslike brief on Convair’s handsome Hustler.

Make it your introduction to this intriguing Cold War icon.

My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!