American Secret Projects: Fighters and Bombers of World War 2

American Secret Projects: Fighters and Bombers of World War 2

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The latest title in the highly acclaimed Secret Projects series covers concepts developed by the US aircraft industry in the years immediately prior to and during World War 2.

Embracing both fighter and bomber proposals from the American Aircraft industry this new volume includes medium, heavy and intercontinental bombers, attack and anti-submarine aircraft, both for the USAAF and US Navy. Particular emphasis is placed on "Circular Proposals," -- a system of submitting designs against requirements circulated around the industry by the Army Air Force in the 1930s and early 1940s.

Incorporating information on the Hughes twin-engine studies which led to the spectacular XF-11, American Secret Projects also includes the Martin XB-33 four-engine heavy bomber developed at the same time as the Boeing, Chance Vought and Curtiss powered by a Wasp Major engine.

Drawings and photographs of un-built designs are combined with photographs of real aircraft to bring these American projects to life for the first time.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 192 pages
  • 210 x 280 x 20.32mm | 1,179.34g
  • Crecy Publishing
  • Classic Publications
  • Manchester, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 1906537488
  • 9781906537487
  • 151,473

Review quote

"Makes for a fascinating read and if you truly want to know what was going through the minds of American designers, then this one is very much for you. Highly recommended."--Scott Van Aken"Modeling Madness" (12/18/2015)
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Flap copy

Much has been written about the combat aircraft that the United States built in their many variants and fielded in their tens of thousands during WWII, but it may be useful to briefly review that list again: B-17, B-24, B-25, B-26, B-32, B-29, P-38, P-39, P-40, P-47, P-51, A-20, A-26, A-31/35, SBD/A-24, SB2C/A-25, F4F/FM Wildcat, F6F, F4U, TBF, PBY, PBM and a number of others produced in numbers under 1000, such as the Mars and Coronado. And this list does not even consider the number of transports, liaison and training aircraft that were built.

In looking at this list it is important to note that only two of these aircraft were actually designed and flown prior to 1937 - the PBY and the Boeing Model 299, the B-17's predecessor . NONE of the others were designed prior to 1937, but all the others had at least been committed to paper and many had flown prior to the U.S.'s entry into WII in December, 1941.

So while the incredible industrial might of the U.S. has been often and deservedly talked about, the amazing design and intellectual might behind it has been given very short shrift. The authors have dug deeply into original military and manufacturer's files to provide a look at dozens of aircraft that were designed and submitted but either lost in subsequent competitions to those built or were examined and rejected as independent submissions. Some examples: Bell's Model 3, 4, 11, 13, 16 and 22 fighter proposals, Fairchild Model 85 twin-Ranger-engine-powered fighter, XP-72 production version Hughes D-2/XP-73/XA-37 and D-5 twin-engine Duramold wooden attack aircraft Curtiss XP-71, a massive twin-engine bomber destroyer Martin 207 "convoy fighter" shown in two of its versions Burnelli XBA-1 and BX-AB-3 twin-engine light bomber/attack aircraft Douglas El Segundo Model 9 flying wing bomber Boeing Model 316/Y1B-20/B-20, Model 322, Model 333 and 333A, Model 384 and Model 385 multi-engine heavy bomber projects Boeing Model 352, 374, 376, 386, 387, 394, 398 and 400 Naval fighter projects Curtiss "Cab over Engine" Wasp Major Naval fighter Curtiss SB3C/A-40 dive bomber in the most accurate 3-view drawn to date Kaiser-Fleetwings Model 47 twin-engine Naval fighter Martin 180, 181 and 183 long-range twin-engine flying boat patrol bombers And dozens more are covered in 280 pages with nearly 450 photos, 3-views and artist concepts, many never before in print.
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Back cover copy

With all that has been written and rewritten about the United States' combat aircraft of WWII, it is nothing short of astounding how little has been put in print about the dozens of aircraft designs that were rejected to get there. Of the over two dozen different combat aircraft produced in quantity, only two had already been designed, accepted and committed to production by 1937. And yet by December 7, 1941 all the others had been designed, placed in competition against other designs, selected and in many cases the earliest variants were under production. Everything from the P-40 to the B-36 came to fruition during that period. Taking it all the way to 1945 brings us a dizzying array of aircraft designs and types. For instance, between 1942 and 1944, Boeing submitted no fewer than eight multi-engine, intercontinental bomber designs for consideration by the USAAF - ALL with wingspans over 200ft, one with a span of a whopping 277ft! The Navy competition that resulted in the F7F had more than a dozen different design submissions from roughly half a dozen manufacturers. And there are the virtually unknown Vought "flying flapjack" series of designs, including one fighter and one attack aircraft for the USAAF.

Internationally-known authors Tony Buttler and Alan Griffith have dug deeply into original files to provide specifications, histories and hundreds of photos, artist illustrations and 3-view drawings - many redrawn for clarity from the original factory submissions - to provide a detailed look at the creative genius of American designers that has remain hidden for over 70 years.

American Secret Projects is filled not only with aircraft that historians, aircraft enthusiasts and modelers have never heard of, but many they've never dreamed of.
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