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Valkyrie
North American's Mach 3 Superbomber

Specialty Press

 

S u m m a r y

Title and Author:

Speciality Press
Valkyrie - North American's Mach 3 Superbomber
by Dennis R. Jenkins and Tony R. Landis

Media: 9” x 9' soft covers; 264 pages; 500 black and white and 100 color images.
Price: USD$26.95 plus postage available online from Specialty Press
Review Type: First Read
Advantages: An excellent book detailing the Valkyrie; reduced price for this soft-back version
Disadvantages:  
Conclusion: This is an excellent book for both the modeller as well as the armchair enthusiast!  It tells the whole story of the XB-70 program, from its gestation and the challenges involved both political and developmental to the final flight of Air Vehicle 1 on 4 February 1969

 

Reviewed by Rodger Kelly


HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron.com

 

FirstRead

 

 

I never cease to be impressed with Specialty Press products.  They cover obscure aviation subjects and do so very, very thoroughly!

For the uninitiated, the North American Aviation XB-70 Valkyrie was a step along the evolutionary path of the US bomber.  The Valkyrie was designed in the late 1950’s for the United States Air Force's Strategic Air Command as a nuclear-armed deep penetration bomber.  With six-engines it was a large aircraft indeed and it was designed to flown at sustained speeds up to and including Mach 3 at an altitude of 70,000 feet where it would have been invulnerable to the fighters of the time.

The development of the anti-aircraft missile put paid to the Valkyrie’s future and the
B-70 program was terminated in 1961 after the two prototypes had been built.  The two
XB-70A aircraft that were built continued on though and were used as research aircraft for the design of large supersonic aircraft between 1964 and 1969.  One machine crashed following a midair collision in 1966 whilst the other is now exhibited at the United States Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio.

The book opens with forwards by Alvin S. White and Fittzhugh L. “Fitz” Fulton Jr. the pilots of the XB-70 on its first and last flights respectively and an authors’ preface.  What follows are eight chapters and seven appendices as follows:

  • Chapter 1 – An Expensive Diversion – The Atomic Powered Airplane
  • Chapter 2 – Technical Voodoo – High Hopes
  • Chapter 3 – The Elusive Mach 3 Fighter – XF-103 and XF-108
  • Chapter 4 – Another Diversion – High Energy Fuels
  • Chapter 5 – Politics And Continued Restructuring
  • Chapter 6 – The Flight Program – Half a Million Pounds at Mach 3
  • Chapter 7 – 1960s State-of-the-Art – Construction and Systems
  • Chapter 8 – No Apparent Threat – Military Systems
  • Appendix A – 129 Flights of the Maidens
  • Appendix B – The Valkyrie Pilots
  • Appendix C – A Pilot’s Perspective
  • Appendix D – Lessons for a Supersonic Transport
  • Appendix E – Interesting Facts
  • Appendix F – Notes and Citations
  • Appendix G – Index.

This is an excellent book for both the modeller as well as the armchair enthusiast!  It tells the whole story of the XB-70 program, from its gestation and the challenges involved both political and developmental to the final flight of Air Vehicle 1 on 4 February 1969. 

The book is softbound, measures 230mm x 230mm, comprises 264 good quality glossy pages and is lavishly illustrated with good clear images (100 colour and 500 black and white) as well as numerable technical drawings. 

Speciality Press are advertising the book at USD $26.95 which is excellent value as far as I am concerned.

 


 

Postscript

The term Valkyrie is from Norse mythology.  It is the name given to the warrior maidens who attend Odin, the ruler of the gods.  The Valkyries ride through the air in brilliant armor, directing battles, distributing death lots among the warriors, and conducting the souls of slain heroes to Valhalla, the great hall of Odin.

Thanks to Specialty Press for the review sample

Review Copyright 2008 by Rodger Kelly
This Page Created on 24 November, 2008
Last updated 24 November, 2008

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