Crecy Publishing's American Secret Projects 2
|Author/Artists:||George Cox and Craig Kaston|
302 pages, hardcover,
Over the years, the 'secret projects' books have been quite popular with readers, and while the Luftwaffe and Soviets have been major draws, little has been done for the aircraft of the US.
This is the second volume that seeks to right this omission and is the initial book on airlifters. These are more frequently referred to as transports by people in the service. The purpose of these aircraft is the movement of goods, equipment and people from one place to another. This edition covers 1941 to 1961.
Prior to 1941, the majority of transports in the US military were either converted airliners or obsolete heavy aircraft with their defensive and offensive weaponry removed. A dedicated transport was rarely considered as many brass felt that the airlines would provide the capabilities when needed. It was also felt that aircraft would not be very useful in carrying heavy cargo, something that was routinely carried by trains or ships.
While there were cargo planes prior to WWII, it was this conflict which really showed the importance of air lift, especially the flying of materials from India to China over the 'Hump'. It was this as much as anything else that prompted the USAAF to seek designs for dedicated cargo/people haulers to meet specific military needs.
The book covers a wide variety of projects, including many which reached fruition such as the C-82, C-124 and 130 to name a few. There were quite a few more that never made it off the drawing board and some that did not make it past the mock-up stage. This also includes planes for air to air refueling aircraft and medium to light air cargo types.
In each case, as much information as is known is presented and that includes drawings, models or photographs. It is pretty clear that the authors have done an incredible amount of research to bring this all into a single volume. In fact, there was so much that another follow-on edition is planned to take us up to the modern era. It all 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.
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