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Time for another update in our Big Reveal! Today we're seeing what's next in our General Aviation and X-Planes series, coming in 2022.


GNA: America's Few

Marine Corps aviation began in 1915, functioning as a self-contained expeditionary force. During the interwar period, the support of USMC amphibious operations became a key element of Marine aviation doctrine, and the small force gradually grew. But in December 1941 came the rude awakening. Within hours of Pearl Harbor, heroic Marine aviators were battling the Japanese over Wake Island. 

In the summer of 1942, when Allied airpower was cobbled together into a single unified entity – nicknamed 'the Cactus Air Force’ – Marine Aviation dominated, and a Marine, Major General Roy Geiger, was its commander. Of the twelve Allied fighter squadrons that were part of the Cactus Air Force, eight were USMC squadrons. It was over Guadalcanal that Joe Foss emerged as a symbol of Marine aviation. He organized a group of fighter pilots that downed 72 enemy aircraft; Foss himself reached a score of 26. Pappy Boyington, meanwhile, had become a Marine aviator in 1935. Best known as the commander of VMF-214, he came into his own in late 1943 and eventually matched Foss’s aerial victory score.

Through the parallel stories of these two top-scoring fighter aces, as well as many other Marine aces, acclaimed aviation historian Bill Yenne examines the development of US Marine Corps aviation in the South Pacific.


GNA: Flashpoints

The Cold War years were a period of unprecedented peace in Europe, but they also saw a number of localised but nonetheless very intense conflicts in which air power played a vital role. The postwar years saw a revolution in aviation technology and design, and these conflicts saw some of the most modern technology of the NATO and Warsaw Pact forces deployed, alongside some relatively obscure aircraft types.

Flashpoints describes eight of these Cold War conflicts: the Suez Crisis of 1956, the Congo Crisis of 1960–63, the India-Pakistan Wars of 1965 and 1971, the Arab-Israeli Wars of 1967 and 1973, the Falklands War of 1982 and the Iran-Iraq War of 1980–88. In each of these campaigns, both sides had a credible air force equipped with modern types, and air power played a significant part in the outcome of the whole conflict. While some accounts of these conflicts have been previously published, none give a comprehensive, detailed and unbiased description of the events at a tactical level.

Highly illustrated, with some 250 images and maps, Flashpoints is an authoritative account of the most important small air wars of the Cold War.


GNA: The Mighty Eighth 

The US Eighth Army Air Force—known as the “Mighty Eighth”—was a combat air force established on February 22, 1944. It served primarily in Northern Europe on strategic bombing missions and in fighter combat against enemy aircraft, seeking to both destroy Germany’s ability to wage war and to gain control of the skies above Europe. Among the major operations it participated in were “Big Week” in February 1944; the D-Day landings in June 1944; and the defeat of the Luftwaffe and destruction of German industry. Eighth Army Air Force was the largest of the deployed combat Army Air Forces in numbers of personnel, aircraft, and equipment. At peak strength, Eighth Army Air Force had 40 heavy bomber groups, 15 fighter groups, and four specialized support groups.

This work provides a superbly illustrated and fully comprehensive exploration of the Mighty Eighth’s bomber and fighter planes, its incredibly brave pilots and crew, and its daring and dramatic operations. It also explores the careers of key personalities associated with the Mighty Eighth, such as Earle Partridge, James Doolittle, and William Kepner.


XPL: McDonnell XP-67 "Moonbat"     

Few aircraft in history have generated as much interest among aviation enthusiasts as the series of X-planes that sprang from the US Army’s Request for Data R40-C, focusing on high-altitude, high-speed, long-range bomber interceptors. These included the McDonnell Aircraft Company’s first-ever clean-sheet design, the XP-67. Its futuristic lines promised performance that it was ultimately unable to deliver, but development was still underway when disaster struck. Just before Army performance demonstration flights were scheduled to begin, an engine fire destroyed the only XP-67 prototype, leaving a host of unanswered questions about what might have been.

The authors of this book have uncovered new sources of information and a wealth of photographs and line drawings that document not just the XP-67 but also its immediate precursors within the McDonnell Aircraft design community, as well as alternative configurations for unbuilt variants aimed at different missions. These include never-before-published photos of all stages of construction including key airframe changes made after initial flight tests, showing in detail for the first time how the final configuration was evolved.