Always a pleasure to review a book by this author, who is building a formidable portfolio of aviation titles. This book covers a period of aviation that has seen enormous changes but strangely been under-reported. Here is a book to correct this. Most Highly Recommended.
NAME: Cold War Jet Combat, Air-to-Air Jet Fighter Operations 1950- 1972 FILE: R2477 AUTHOR: Martin W Bowman PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword BINDING: hard back PAGES: 256 PRICE: £19.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: Air war, bombing, night fighters, Korea, Vietnam, Suez, Cold War, jet fighter, trans-sonic, super-sonic, range, radar, missiles, rockets, guns, infrared
IMAGE: B2477.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/mq66s4j LINKS: DESCRIPTION: Always a pleasure to review a book by this author, who is building a formidable portfolio of aviation titles. This book covers a period of aviation that has seen enormous changes but strangely been under-reported. Here is a book to correct this. Most Highly Recommended. The jet fighter saw action before the end of WWII in Europe but British and German jets never met in battle. After WWII, British and German technology was acquired or copied by many other countries and, by the Korean War, saw an explosion of designs coming into service for a new kind of war, the Cold War. Performance advanced very rapidly, the range of fighters was extended in many ways and new weapons systems and detection systems were introduced. Why this period has been so under-reported is something of a mystery. The flood of WWII histories may be a reason, and also a series of books about individual wars fought since 1945, but a comprehensive coverage of the period from 1950 to 1972 has been notably missing in literary inaction. The first generation jets lacked range and often suffered reliability problems, but the first challenge was in developing tactics to fully exploit the new technology. The gun was still the primary weapon and the few missiles available were unguided rockets. However, the guided missile was already about to enter service, even if the early models suffered a number of problems. The American Sidewinder was using infrared technology based on German research and although it was built as a munition designed to be taken from the box and mounted on the aircraft when required its relative high reliability of firing was not matched by its guidance system. The first Sidewinders stood little chance of killing the target unless the fighter was pointing away from the sun and directly up the enemy's jet tail pipe. The British Firestreak had a much more effective infrared guidance system, but was designed as a miniature rocket aircraft that required significant routine maintenance. The result was that successful launches had a considerably better kill rate than the Sidewinder, but a much lower rate of successful launches. This meant that several early jet fighters had guns and unguided rockets, rather than guided AAMs. The Royal Navy adopted the Sea Vixen, originally built to meet the RAF requirement for which the Javelin was to be ordered. The two seat Sea Vixen was fast, relatively small, equipped for four Firestreak guided missiles, but also equipped with two retractable rocket batteries either side of the nose wheel in space originally planned for the RAF mandate of four cannon. The Sea Vixen was the first fighter built without guns. Although the rockets were not equipped with guidance, they were effectively guided by radar because the radar operator navigator in the 'coal hole' ( a seat to the right of the pilot and at a lower level with only a tiny side window) was able to take over guiding the whole aircraft by radar and firing at massed Russian bomber formations. The many fantastic developments are all traced in this book with lavish illustration. A very enjoyable read.