Jan 012011

Secret Aerospace Projects of the USN Cover

In his second book, Jared Zichek presents the comprehensive story of some of the most radical attack aircraft ever designed to operate from an aircraft carrier. These incredible projects were developed in 1948 to equip the USS United States, an immense 65,000-ton supercarrier that was to have been the core of the Navy’s nascent strategic nuclear bombardment capability. The ship was a substantial departure from traditional carrier design, with a fully retractable bridge that permitted the operation of aircraft of unprecedented size and weight. Two classes of attack aircraft were to have equipped this mighty ship: the Class VA, Heavy Attack and Class VA, Long Range Special Attack. Legendary aerospace companies such as Convair, Curtiss-Wright, Douglas, Fairchild, Lockheed, Martin, North American, Northrop, and Republic would each submit proposals to the competitions. Recently declassified, details of these fascinating projects are presented here for the first time.

Varying widely in appearance, these studies ranged from Douglas’s relatively small and modern Model 593 to their unconventional Model 1186 series, which was inspired by the X-3 Stiletto and featured a small parasite aircraft mounted atop a gigantic missile. They are representative of a postwar aerospace engineering revolution that produced great advances in high speed aircraft design, jet engine development, and offensive nuclear capability. Unfortunately for the Navy, the USS United States and its aircraft complement were abruptly cancelled on April 23, 1949 at the behest of the Air Force, sparking the infamous “Revolt of the Admirals.” Only one of the aircraft proposals would survive the cancellation and reach production; while smaller and less capable than its competitors, it would go on to have a long and distinguished career in the Navy. Featuring an authoritative text and hundreds of previously unpublished illustrations and photos, this book belongs in the library of any serious student of naval aviation and Cold War history.

Published by Schiffer, this 11” x 8 ½” landscape hardcover book comes with a dust jacket and features 232 copiously illustrated pages printed on semi-gloss paper stock with a sewn binding. This tribute to innovative Cold War US naval aircraft design may be purchased through Amazon. Check our Reviews section to see what other people are saying about this book. For a complete preview of the book, please click through the low resolution slide show above.

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