North American XB-70 Valkyrie Book Review
|Date of Review||September 2018||Title||North American XB-70 Valkyrie|
|Author||Peter E. Davies||Publisher||Osprey Publishing|
|Format||80 pages, softbound||MSRP (USD)||$20.00|
Peter E. Davies recaps one of aviation's greatest achievements in North American XB-70 Valkyrie – seventh in Osprey Publishing's steadily expanding "X-Planes" range.
Intended as a high-altitude, Mach 3 strategic bomber, the sleek, futuristic B-70 pioneered advancements in aerodynamics, fabrication, metallurgy, and other fields. But it fell victim to shifting strategy, economic uncertainties, poisonous politics, and technical realities.
Personalities play particularly puissant parts in Valkyrie's saga. Contents, in fact, commence with Curtis Lemay – architect of post-WWII USAF strategic bombing strategy and impetus behind the design's development. And names like Eisenhower, Kennedy, and McNamara liberally season the story.
USAF high-altitude, strategic-bombing penetration scenarios likewise fell victim to evolving Soviet defenses and newly introduced ICBMs. Events metaphorically outpaced the Mach 3 B-70 concept.
Extended captions and informative sidebars illumine the account. Color and B&W photos, color profiles, interior details, and action illustrations further augment the effort. And a selected bibliography and index neatly tie things up.
But I really wish Osprey authors included annotations for those of us seeking further study. And that's South Korea on page 6 – not South Vietnam.
My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!