American Secret Projects 3



Author: Tony Buttler

“When you’re on a good thing, stick to it!” Or so goes the old adage. And in this case, it is sooo true. The Secret Projects series by Midland/Ian Allan has proven to be a popular and extremely interesting, well researched series of books. Starting with the Luftwaffe Projects, with all the interest in Luftwaffe 1946, and then continuing on with British, Soviet, Japanese and American Secret Projects, it has proven to be a winner. This latest publication is no exception.

Written by Tony Buttler, whose aviation files must be most impressive, this 224 page, A4 sized hardback is a real treasure trove of American secret projects at an incredibly competitive price. All the old favourites (B-36, B-47, B-52, B-57, B-58, B-66, XB-70, A2F Intruder, A3J Vigilante, A4D Skyhawk, LTV A7 Corsair II, General Dynamics TFX or F-111, Neptunes, Orions, Trackers, Vikings, A10 Warthog - the list goes on) are here, boosted by numerous lesser or totally unknown projects. I won’t list them as most will not be recognised but what a follow on to some of the exotic Luftwaffe ’46 types.

Turbo-props, jets, nuclear powered bombers, parasites, floating wingtips, swept wings, flying wings and straight leading edge early types, along with flying boats and attack aircraft, naval and air force, are all within and brilliantly, but comprehensively explained in easily readable text. All types are profusely illustrated with 153 colour and 117 b&w photos, 9 colour illustrations, 66 b&w drawings and 141 3-views in total. This is a ‘what if’ builder’s heaven and certainly there is also something for the aviation enthusiast who might have heard about one or two of these types but couldn’t find much more. Here it all is – one volume, superb! But I won’t give the game away by listing all of the exotic types that were ‘considered’ but had no metal cut. You’ve got to see it to believe it, yet again!

To say that I’m enthusiastic about this volume is an understatement. Whilst I’ve enjoyed each and every one (although I’ve been a bit critical of the Luftwaffe series), this series and in particular this edition, has steadily grow in stature. I’m very happy to include this one in my reference library, where I’m sure it will get frequent use.

Do yourself a favour, get yourself into a quality bookshop and have a good look at this one. You won’t be disappointed. Available from Hylands Bookshop in Melbourne (03 9654 7448 or ) for about $50. Many thanks to Ms Orietta Colussi of DLS Australia for the review copy.

John Baxter

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