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Until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the MiG Design Bureau had a near monopoly on the supply of fighter aircraft to the Soviet Air Force and the nations within Moscow's sphere of influence. Yet the early designs of Mikoyan and Gurevich are not widely known; the MiG-1 was the fastest fighter in the world in 1940 and the improved MiG-3 was more than a match for the Bf 109F at high altitude. Other early designs included high-altitude fighter prototypes, rocket-powered aircraft and the MiG-9, the first pure jet-powered Soviet fighter. Updated with 7 pages of new material and illustrated with more than 100 photographs, plus 10 color profiles, detailed line drawings. 56 pages.
The Soviet Tupolev SB was one of the most outstanding bomber designs of the interwar years. It saw service in Spain and China, and was the backbone of the Soviet bomber force when the Nazi's invaded the Soviet Union in 1941. Includes the ANT-40-1, SB-2-M-100, SB-2-M-100-A, Avia B-71, Avia B-71A, Avia B-71B, SB-2-M-100, SB-2-M-100-A (Modified), SB-2-M-103, SB-bis-3, PS-40, PS-41, PS-41 bis, SB-MMN, and USB variants. Also covers operations in Poland, Finland, and the Russo-German War, as well as aircraft in foreign service. Over 100 photos, 38 line drawings, 10 color profiles; 50 pages.
The Sepecat Jaguar is an Anglo-French strike aircraft, having served with the British, French airforces, and several export customers. Includes Jaguar A/GR.1, trainer variants, British and French service, Naval trials, as well as service with Oman, Ecuador, India, and Nigeria. Also covers combat operations in Iraq, Senegal, Chad, South America, and the Balkans. 97 photos, 26 line drawings, 10 color profiles; 50 pages.
Operational history and development of Russia's IL-4 bomber, reconnaissance, and torpedo aircraft. Includes the DB-3S, DB-3B, DB-3T, DB-3TP, DB-3T (Experimental), Capsule DB-3, TsKB-30, DB-3M, TsKB-30 N-1, DB-3F, DB-3F, IL-4, IL-4TK, and IL-6 variants. Also covers the DB-3F in German and IL-4 in Finnish service, Approximately 90 photos, b/w line drawings, 10 color profiles; 50 pages.
British WWII Naval Fighter that superceded the Fairey Fulmar in the Fleet Air Arm, and remained in British Service into the mid 1950s. Includes the F.1, F.1A, FR.1, NF.1, T.1, TT.1, NF.2, T.2, F.3, T.3, FR.4, TT.4, NF.4, FR.5, NF.5, AS.5, T.5, TT.5, AS.6, TT.6, AS/T.7, T.7D, U.7, T.8, U.8, and U.9 variants. Also covers Firefly operations in the Pacific, Malaya, and Korea, as well as Fireflies in foreign service. 90 photos, 17 line drawings, 10 color profiles; 50 pages.
Andrew Jackson Higgins's New Orleans boat-building firm, Higgins Industries, constructed numerous vessels for the US war effort during World War II. Among these were 78-foot Patrol Torpedo (PT) boats. While not as well-publicized as the 80-foot Elco PT boats, the 209 boats built by Higgins fought alongside their New Jersey-constructed counterparts, earning a reputation for ruggedness in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Pacific. This profusely-illustrated volume showcases the details of Higgins PTs preserved in Massachusetts, Texas, and even an operational example in Oregon - the sole operational World War II PT in its original configuration. More than 80 color photographs of these preserved vessels are augmented by nearly 40 vintage photos illustrating rarely seen fine details of the wooden shipbuilders' craft. Illustrated with over 120 photographs.
The development of unmanned aerial vehicles actually predates the development of piloted aircraft. Although manned aircraft more than overtook the unmanned variety in importance throughout the 20th Century, unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs are now poised to become a key component of air warfare. UAV evolved extensively and saw extensive action during Operation Desert Storm - the war against Iraq in 1991 - and since then the floodgates have been opened. The US Navy sees 2 main advantages in using UAVs - endurance and cost effectiveness. UAVs can stay aloft 2 or 3 days and ground operators can be rotated on a regular schedule; they also use less fuel thus reducing operating costs. Newer roles, such as bombing, are also being considered for UAVs, some of which will be equipped to carry a weapon pod or bomb rack, a valuable attribute over high-risk battlegrounds. Illustrated with 170 photographs, plus color profiles and detailed line drawings; 64 pages.
Beginning in 1966, the Allison Division of General Motors built 1,562 M551s with primary armament being a 152-millimeter gun/launcher capable of firing conventional ammunition or the Ford-built Shillelagh anti-tank missile. The Sheridan was indeed a unique vehicle that served the US Army over 3 decades. While it was conceived as a light Armored Reconnaissance/Airborne Assault Vehicle that had both amphibious and airborne assault abilities, the casual observer, and most in the military, saw the M551 Sheridan as a tank. Whatever the conception, this vehicle proved an asset to the Army in Vietnam, Panama, and Operation Desert Storm. With a 4-man crew, this 6-cylinder Detroit Diesel engine-powered vehicle, though retired, has yet to be replaced by a more suitable military asset. Illustrated with 91 color photos, 8 b/w photos, 7 color profiles, 3-view drawing, vehicle development illustrations, and 2 colorized camouflage patterns; 60 pages.
Italian military planners saw the need for highly mobile artillery early in the 20th Century. Accordingly, Italy began mounting anti-aircraft weapons on truck chassis prior to WWI, giving birth to the autocannone, a weapon concept which would soldier through both World Wars. Inspired by the German half-tracks equipped with 88mm guns, the Italians reprised the autocannone with their 90/53 guns on a heavy truck chassis. Other vehicles, some captured, were mated with a wide variety of weapons, often in the field. A unique and lavishly-illustrated survey of the various weapon combinations devised by the Italian military from the inception of the autocannone until the end of WWII. Illustrated with more than 200 photographs, plus color profiles and detailed line drawings; 56 pages.
The MiG-17 'Fresco' followed the MiG-15 'Fagot' into Soviet Air Force service and evolved into a highly maneuverable, reliable and easy-to-maintain air combat fighter. One of the most widely exported fighters of all time, the MiG-17 saw service in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, including combat in a number of air forces around the world. Every detail of this Cold War fighter aircraft is illustrated with over 200 color and b/w photos, line drawings and 12 color profiles; 80 pages.
The AH-64 Apache, considered by many to be the world?s premiere armed helicopter, has been in service with the US Army for more than 2 decades. Designed principally as an antitank helicopter to combat large Soviet armored formations invading Western Europe, the Apache has had a major renaissance in recent years. Its stunning victories over Iraqi armor during Operation Desert Storm gave the Apache a well-deserved reputation as a tank killer second only to the A-10 in lethality. Yet again, in the mountains of Afghanistan, the Apache has returned to its roots, performing deep attack missions, convoy escort, and close combat attack in support of US troops on the ground, proving its versatility and effectiveness. A detailed look illustrated with more than 200 color photographs, color profiles and detailed line drawings; 80 pages.
The USS Pampanito, a Balao-class fleet submarine, was commissioned in late 1943 and went into action in the Pacific at the height of WWII. During her patrols from early 1944 through mid-1945, Pampanito prowled the sea lanes of the western Pacific, decimating the convoys that were the life blood of Japan s far-flung maritime empire. By the time she was ordered back to Pearl Harbor for overhaul in the summer of 1945, Pampanito had sent 5 Japanese ships - 27,332 tons to the bottom. But Pampanito s proudest day was 15 September 1944 when she rescued a total of 73 British and Australian prisoners of war who had survived the sinking of a convoy taking them to Japan as slave labor. Today, Pampanito is a floating museum permanently docked at San Francisco s Fisherman s Wharf. Illustrated with 265 highly detailed photographs, color profiles, and intricate line drawings. 80 pages.