Aerospace historian Tony Landis and Cape Canaveral consulting engineer Dennis Jenkins's jet photo scrapbook provides the reader a most attractive, sixty- year chronology of USAF jet trainers developed since the end of WWII. Dozens of pictures from America's jet history are professionally organized. Short on time, I originally needed to take a quick look at this work, but turned out getting absorbed in every jet prototype. Pictures shared with my thirteen- year old son included shots of the developed jets from the Vietnam-era that I knew as F105's, F4's, and F-111's. Our interaction added to the enjoyment of this book, as I've never said much to him about those days (when I got a front row view of jet firepower). The book's beautiful front cover shows the sixth, and last, General Dynamics YF-16A, in spectacular red, white, and blue, while in test flight over Edwards, California. Interesting book captions are added; examples include an XF-92A sitting for unknown reasons in a county airport for years, and artwork of variants of the F-111 - proposed as part of Secretary of Defense McNamara's "commonality" concept. Less peculiar stories show the heroic dedication taken and success achieved to advance jet propulsion and protect our nation.
Landis and Jenkins compiled a superb history of powerful birds that I fully enjoyed. The book gets my highest recommendation, and I suggest it for any jet enthusiast, historian, or educator.
Reviewed by: Hodge Wood (2009)
The U.S. Air Force began developing jet fighters as World War II came to a close. The Cold War that soon developed saw a significant increase in fighter production programs as America tried to counter the perceived Soviet threat. World War II's best piston-powered fighters could barely top speeds in excess of 450 mph. But the post-war jets developed by the U.S. Air Force were soon breaking the sound barrier, flying to Mach 3, and Mach-4 capable aircraft were on the drawing board. U.S. Air Force Prototype Jet Fighters details the evolution of these aircraft, using dozens of never-before-published photographs from government archives.