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American Secret Pusher Fighters of World War II
by Gerald Balzer
Publisher: Specialty Press

39966 Grand Ave., North Branch, MN 55056

Web Site:
Binding:  Hardcover Height:




Pages:  182 No. Photos:

This story covers the development of three different experimental fighter projects. They are the Vultee XP-54, the Curtiss Wright XP-55, and the Northrup XP-56. All were part of an USAAC research study to explore unconventional designs in an effort to produce aircraft with higher performance than was obtainable by conventional designs of the period. These aircraft were all conceived in the early 1940s and carried on through WWII into 1946. When originally proposed, they all showed great promise, and were on the cutting edge of fighter design. Unfortunately, due to shifting military priorities, as the war progressed, it became clear that they all suffered from critical deficiencies that would preclude them from ever being serious candidates for mass production contracts. These problems varied from lack of a suitable engine, aerodynamic instability, and other factors. In the final result, they were the victims of overly long developmental programs and were overtaken by more conventional designs.

The book is very well written, and contains many interesting pictures and drawings that are presented for the first time. The result is that the reader is treated to a wealth of information about an area of U.S. aircraft manufacturing and development that is not very well known. We enjoyed the book, and highly recommend it to our members.

Paul Butler


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