Besides running RetroMechanix.com, author Jared Zichek has written the definitive study of the innovative yet unsuccessful Boeing XF8B-1 “Five-in-One” naval fighter of World War II. This enormous aircraft was the last piston engine fighter built by Boeing and very nearly the last fighter built by the company until its merger with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Conceived in 1943, the XF8B-1 was unusual for a naval fighter in having an internal bomb bay, tremendous range, and counter-rotating propellers, the latter necessitated by its huge Pratt & Whitney R-4360 “Wasp Major” engine, a 28-cylinder air-cooled radial that produced a staggering 3,500 hp. An exhaustive account based on extensive research at the National Archives and Boeing Historical Archive, this book contains an authoritative text along with over 700 color and black white images comprised of photos, general arrangement drawings, color profiles, artist’s impressions, and extensive extracts from the pilot’s and maintenance manuals. It is likely the most thorough look at a World War II-era experimental US aircraft ever assembled, a worthy tribute to a fascinating but ultimately flawed aircraft.
Published by Schiffer, this 11” x 8 ½” hardcover book comes with a dust jacket and features 376 copiously illustrated pages printed on semi-gloss paper stock. This magnificent tribute to the “Five-in-One Fighter” 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.