Infamous Aircraft by Robert Jackson
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Infamous Aircraft
By Robert Jackson

Infamous Aircraft

Dangerous Designs and Their Vices

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Format: Hardback

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Infamous Aircraft by Robert Jackson

Book Description

Many aircraft, some famous and some rare, gained a reputation for being difficult to fly and sometimes downright dangerous. This book looks at some of the worst culprits over a period spanning World War One to the age of supersonic flight. The following aircraft are included.BE.2 - The RFC went to war in it in 1914. The BE was easy to fly and very stable - but it was difficult to manoeuvre and very easy to shoot down. Sopwith Camel - The Camel shot down more enemy aircraft than any other Allied type in WWI but it had vicious traits that killed a great many pilots. Tarrant Tabor - The Tabor was grotesque, a massive misfit of an experimental bomber that predictably came to grief on its first flight. This chapter also looks at other bomber abortions. The Flying Flea - Henri Mignet's Flying Flea of the 1930s seemed the ideal vehicle for offering cheap flying to thousands - but its flight characteristics killed many pilots. The R.101 Airship - The British government-sponsored airship R.101 was doomed from the moment it left its mooring mast on its maiden voyage to India. Fairey Battle - When it first appeared in 1936, the Fairey Battle light bomber was state-of-the-art. Three years later, at the outset of World War Two it had been overtaken by advances in military aviation and become a death trap. Messerschmitt Me 209 - The Me 209, built specifically for an attempt on the world air speed record, was a truly frightening aircraft. Even experienced test pilots were terrified of it. Blackburn Botha - Underpowered and under-armed, the Botha was hated by its crews. Its career was mercifully short-lived. Avro Manchester - The twin-engined Manchester would fly all the way to Berlin and back - only to burst into flames over its own base. It killed many aircrew before Avro added two more engines and turned it into the magnificent Lancaster. Messerschmitt Me 210 - The Me 210 was developed as a successor to Goering's Destroyer, the Bf110. It was a disaster with a phenomenal accident rate. Martin B-26 Marauder - They called the B-26 the Widow-maker, fast and powerful, with some savage characteristics, it killed many crews before they learned to handle it properly. Mitsubishi G4M Betty - They called the Mitsubishi G4M the Flying Cigar. Lacking self-sealing fuel tanks or any form of armour protection, it stood no chance against Allied fighters. Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet - Its volatile mixture of rocket fuel made the Me 163 a death trap. Its pilots risked being vaporized or dissolved. Reichenberg IV - The Reichenberg IV, a manned version of the V-1 flying bomb, was a desperation weapon, its pilots intended to fly suicide missions against Allied shipping. It was tested by woman pilot Hanna Reitsch. Bachem Ba 349B Natter - The Bachem Natter (Viper) target defence interceptor was an interesting concept, and a test pilot's nightmare. The X-Craft - In the immediate post-war years, the Americans took enormous risks in their quest for speed and altitude. This chapter tells of the men who 'rode the fire'. Russia's Early Jets - With the end of WWII, Russian aircraft designers strove to achieve parity with the West by testing secret German wartime jet and rocket projects - some of them little more than lethal weapons. McDonnell XF-85 Goblin - The concept of the parasite fighter was not new, but the XF-85 Goblin, designed to ride in the bomb bay of a B-36, was among the most dangerous ever devised. Chance Vought F7U Cutlass - Its pilots nicknamed this US Navy jet fighter the 'Gutless', because it lacked just about everything - except an ability to kill its pilots at an alarming rate. Tu-144 - Rushed prematurely into its test programme to beat the Anglo-French Concorde, the TU-144 was intended to be Russia's supersonic dream. Instead, its career ended in a series of spectacular crashes.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781844151721
ISBN-10: 1844151727
Format: Hardback
(234mm x 156mm x 17mm)
Pages: 256
Imprint: Leo Cooper Ltd
Publisher: Pen & Sword Books Ltd
Publish Date: 30-Sep-2005
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions...

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Messerschmitt BF 109 - A-D Series by Robert Jackson Messerschmitt BF 109 - A-D Series, Paperback (January 2015)

Explores in depth the technical characteristics and combat performance of the early Bf 109s, including their combat debut in the Spanish Civil War, their employment in the invasion of Poland and showing how the type became one of the most famous names in aviation history.

» View all books by Robert Jackson


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Author Biography - Robert Jackson

Robert Jackson has written many books on military, aviation and naval history since retiring from a leading national newspaper where he was defence correspondent. He lives in Darlington; his other main interest is rugby union.

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