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Our next Big Reveal post looks to the sky with two of our Aviation series, Combat Aircraft and X-Planes. Take a look at the descriptions below and let us know which ones you'll be adding to your wishlist.


Combat Aircraft

COM: F-102 Delta Dagger Units

World War II saw the development of the heavy bomber as a decisive weapon. The addition of nuclear weapons to the bomber’s armament made it even more formidable, and by the late 1940s, US planners saw the growth of a Soviet nuclear-armed bomber fleet as a terrifying threat to North American security. Supersonic speed, long-range guided missiles and precise radar-based control of an interception became prerequisites for a new breed of fighters, beginning with the F-102.

A massive research and development effort produced the F-102A ‘1954 Fighter’, the J57 afterburning turbojet, its Hughes MX-1554 fire control system and, in due course, the Semi-Active Ground Environment (SAGE) radar and communications network that covered North America to guide its airborne defences. In service, F-102As also provided air defence in Europe with USAFE, in the Far East and in Southeast Asia, where they protected US airbases in South Vietnam and Thailand from air attack by North Vietnamese fighters and bombers and escorted B-52s and fighter-bombers on their attack sorties.

This illustrated study from leading expert Peter E. Davis details the design, development, and deployment of the futuristic F-102.


COM: Vickers Wellington Units of Bomber Command

The Vickers Wellington was one of very few aircraft types to have been in production and frontline service throughout World War II. After suffering high losses during daytime missions, they began to operate at night from May 1940. They subsequently took part in raids against the Italian port city of Genoa in July 1940, and against Berlin the following month, followed by key missions in the ‘Battle of the Barges’ in September and October, as the RAF targeted the Germany’s invasion fleet being assembled in French Channel ports. When RAF’s strike force expanded the next year following the introduction of the improved Wellington II, the 21 squadrons equipped with the Vickers aircraft, formed the backbone of the Bomber Command night bombing force. Over the next two years Wellingtons participated in all the major operations by Bomber Command, including the daylight raid against German battleships in Brest harbour and the first three ‘Thousand Bomber’ raids.

This illustrated study explores the design, development, and deployment of the Vickers-Wellington type, charting its role in World War II from its earliest missions to its use in training after its withdrawal from frontline bomber missions in 1943.

COM: A-7 Corsair II Units 1975-1991

This volume will cover the A-7 Corsair II and its service with the Light Attack communities assigned to both the Atlantic and Pacific fleets from the end of the Vietnam War through to Desert Storm, immediately after which the final two fleet units equipped with the jet disestablished. The book will detail technological development/improvements that were introduced to the airframe post-Vietnam (the FLIR targeting pod from 1979 and AGM-88 HARM missile from 1983 being the most important), and how they shaped operational employment of the aircraft. The jet’s combat experiences in conflicts during the 1970s (Cambodia), 1980s (Lebanon, Grenada, Libya and Iran) and 1990s (Iraq) will all be detailed, with numerous first-hand accounts from Naval Aviators that saw action with the A-7 during these campaigns.



XPL: Cold War Delta Prototypes

At the dawn of the supersonic jet age, aircraft designers were forced to devise radical new planforms that suited the new power of the jet engine. One of the most successful was the delta wing.

In Britain and America, Fairey and Convair were the two companies that dominated supersonic delta development. In Britain, the Fairey Delta 2 broke the World Air Speed Record in spectacular fashion, but it failed to win a production order. In contrast, Convair received major orders for two jet fighter types and one jet bomber. At the same time, the British Avro company built the 707 family of research aircraft, which led to the famous Vulcan, to show how the delta wing could be adopted for a highly successful subsonic bomber.

This book examines the development of the delta wing in Britain and America, and the experimental aircraft that would prove its potential and versatility. In Britain it covers the Fairey Delta 1 and Fairey Delta 2, the proposed Fairey Delta Rocket Fighter and huge Delta 3 long range interceptor, and the Avro 707. On the American side, it looks at the Convair XF-92 and XF-92A and the development of the Delta Dagger/Delta Dart family, and the Convair Sea Dart – the world’s only supersonic seaplane.