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The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Military Aircraft: 1914 to the Present Hardcover – July 1, 2001
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I am not into the depth of aircraft as some of the other reviewers,but have been keenly interested in military aircraft ever since a kid during WWII.I lived about 30 miles from a military airbase and watched thousands of planes flying overhead.One day,while watching a formation of Hawker Hurricanes at a distance;I saw two of them accidently collide.I can still see the two planes tumbling and spinning to the ground;while only one parachute appeared. Over the years ,I've watched numerous Air Shows and it was great to see all these planes appear in this book.Of course,of all the planes I've seen;they are but a miniscule amount of those that were designed,built and flown.
This book will become a very important addition to my library since I read a lot of military history;and am continually reaing about some plane I wish I had more information or pictures of. This book will solve that need.It will be fun to see if a plane is mentioned somewhere,but not covered in this book.But;I don't think that will happen very often.
And time marches on...relentlessly!
I was pleased that the F-117A Nighthawk stealth fighter was chosen for the cover.What an amazing aircraft and as favorite of many.What a day when it appeared at the CNE Airshow in Toronto in 1993.
"If we needed the door kicked in,the stealth(fighter) was the one to do it."..Gen.Lloyd Newton,original F-117A pilot
It was as sad as any Obituary ,when an article appeared in the Totonto Star on November 2,2006 ; with a picture of this plane telling us that itis being retired from active duty,after only 25 years.
A few interesting points about it;
"It flew over Bosnia,Panama,Iraq- the only plane to attack downtown Bagdad-and Afghanistan and "reshaped how the air force looked at strategic warfare."
"It was referred to as a fighter,though its main roles were bombing and reconnaissance.It wasn't particularly fast,not quite able to break the sound barrier.But no one ever managed to shoot it down."
"First flight was on June 18,1981;after only 31 months in development.Only 55 were built,the last in 1990. In 1992,Nighthawks flew non-stop from Hollman Air Force Base in New Mexico to Kuwait,an 18-hour flight that remains a record for single -seat fighters"
"Planes are now designed to be the deliver of weapons and not the weapon itself."..Paul Cabot,curator of the Toronto Aerospace Museum.
What a wonderful book for anyone interested in Military Aircraft.