As with all Haynes warbird manuals, there is lavish full-colour illustration throughout and drawings, together with an amazing amount of detailed information. This is a book, which should appeal to a wide readership and is highly recommended.
NAME: North American F-86 Sabre, 1947 onwards (all day-fighter variants), Owners’ Workshop Manual
CLASSIFICATION: Book reviews
AUTHOR: Mark Linney
BINDING: Hard back
SUBJECT: Jet fighter, day-fighter, swept wing, first generation, second generation, MiG-15, Korean War
DESCRIPTION: When the jet engine was developed in Britain and in Germany during World War Two, the Germans adopted the axial turbine and the British employed the centrifugal configuration. Early German engines had short lives and low general reliability, but British engines proved durable and reliable. Along with a great quantity of other technology, the British sent examples and design documents to the US, where they were copied and used in the attempts by the US aircraft industry to catch up. Britain decided to develop two fighters. The Meteor employed two engines in wing pods to achieve the performance from the relatively low powered first generation engines, keeping the inlet ducts and exhaust pipes short, straight and simple. The small Vampire/Venom employed a single engine, straight wings with fuel tanks at their tips and a twin boom tailplane to ensure a very short tailpipe to reduce power loss. In Germany a number of designs were started but the only fighter produced and operated in volume was the Me-262, which used two engines in wing pods and swept leading edges to the wings. British and German jets never met in combat but both were used operationally, the German aircraft against massed daylight bomber formations and the British Meteor against German UAV V-1 flying bombs. At the end of 1945, Germany lay in ruins and Britain was in a serious economic condition, although this did not stop the Atlee Government presenting jet engines and other weapons technology to the USSR. British jet development proceeded slowly as the Government could not afford to re-arm with the new technologies and US development was remarkably slow until the Russian threat was fully appreciated during the Berlin Blockade. The first test for the new jets was to be during the Korean War. Britain and the US had built their first generation jet fighters as straight wing aircraft even though both countries had captured German research that indicated advantages in wing sweep. Where the British aircraft companies decided to concentrate swept wing configurations on their second generation jet fighters, the US decided to introduce a half way house by equipping straight wing fighters with new swept wings and tails, creating a half generation. The Sabre sits in this category and was hurried into service after the MiG-15 appeared over Korea. The Sabre became the only UN Forces fighter able to compete on equal terms with the MiG-15, although the first MiG shot down by a British fighter was a kill earned by a Fleet Air Arm pilot flying a Sea Fury piston engine propeller fighter. The Sabre was built under license in Canada with canon armament and adapted by Fiat into a twin jet. This handbook does a first rate job in providing an overview of the Sabre from the straight wing XP-86 onwards. From the introduction to the Sabre story, the author covers the Sabre at war. The main part of the manual follows the restoration of US-built Sabre 48-178 in the UK and its operation by the Golden Apple Trust from Duxford, England. The restored MiG-15, also flown from Duxford is compared. As with all Haynes warbird manuals, there is lavish full-colour illustration throughout and drawings, together with an amazing amount of detailed information. This is a book, which should appeal to a wide readership and is highly recommended.