“Aviation Classics: American Cold War Stories” a review

130 pages, bookazine format

I picked up a copy of this “bookazine” at my local bookseller the other night, and am still working my way through it – densely packed with excellent photos and illustrations, detailing aircraft and operations of several periods during the (sometimes all too hot) Cold War.

Contents include:

“Determination & Dixie Cups” Engineering the powerplants of Northrop’s XB-35. Includes a photo of an R-4360 with the long drive shaft dictated by the B-35’s pusher design, and a large diagram by Ian Bott.

Warren E. Thompson “Distant Thunder The 27th Fighter Escort Wing in Korea” Includes numerous color F-84 images.

Jakob Whitfield “Radiant Skies” Aircraft nuclear propulsion research with Convair’s NB-36H – includes a cockpit photo, and a shot of the shielded crew compartment detached from the airframe. There are several photos and an Ian Bott illustration of the Convair X-6 with J53 engines and an R1 reactor.

Howard Carter “Fit for the King” Former BOAC Liberator used to carry Vietnamese royalty.

Doug Gordon “Days of Thunder The Republic F-84Fs of the USAF’s 81st Fighter Bomber Wing in Europe, 1954-58”

David Baker “Plan H: America’s Unbuilt Spyplanes” Randolph Rae’s REX hydrogen engines; includes several diagrams of the REX I/II/III and a full page color graphic showing how the REX I would operate.

“America’s Unbuilt Spyplanes Part Two: Fading Suntan – Kelly Johnson’s Ambitious CL-400 Project” Includes a color illustration of a CL-400 (resembling nothing so much as a colossal F-104) being paced by a Starfighter chase plane. There is also a large color illustration of the Pratt & Whitney Model 304 engine.

Jim Winchester “Broken Arrow: Tico’s south-east Asian secret” Loss of a nuclear armed A-4 from the USS Ticonderoga in late 1965.

Jonathan Pote “anything, anywhere, anytime- professionally” Air America – includes C-47, Helio Courier, C-46, C-123 and DHC-4 images.

“Air America – the Tet Offensive and its Aftermath” Includes a detailed list of aircraft serials in Laos 1965-1966.

Albert Grandolini “Operation Bolo & Project Silver Dollar” Includes a color profile of Robin Olds’ Phantom 63-7680

Warren E. Thompson “The Scarface Klan: The Bell Hueycobra & HML-367 in Vietnam, 1969-71”

Bob Archer “Giant Reach: The Lockheed SR-71 in East Anglia, 1974-90”


Review: “American Aircraft Development of the Second World War: Research Experimentation and Modification 1939-1945”


Book Review: “Edwards AFB: Open House at the USAF Flight Test Center 1957-1966”

Aviation Book Reviews