Military Aircraft of the Cold War

Title: Military Aircraft of the Cold War
Editor: Jim Winchester
Publisher: Amber Books
ISBN: 978-1-908696-71-7
This hardback is new from Amber Books, though was originally published back in 2006 I believe. It covers 121 aircraft, and that does include some helicopters, all from the Cold War era. A couple of years ago when my youngest daughter was doing her history GCSE, one of the topics they did was the Cold War. My first reaction was 'history'? I am one of those who grew up and spent a large part of my life living with the threat of the Cold War and suddenly it struck me, anyone under the age of about 25 will have little or no idea of what that meant. For me the collapse of the Berlin Wall was one of the most memorable and unexpected events of my lifetime in that it happened peacefully. That was way back in 1989.
So what about the book then? Well, each subject has a two-page spread and it is arranged simply in alphabetical sections, Aerospatiale to Boeing, British Aerospace to Douglas, English Electric to Martin and so on. Every spread has a section for a simple introduction, then a photo file highlighting the main features of the aircraft and a more extensive Profile that details the history of the development and service for each type. Then add panels for Facts and Figures, including speed, range, ceiling, armament, powerplant(s) and dimensions, along with one on Combat Data which compares it with two other similar aircraft types. So for example the C-130 Hercules is compared with the smaller C-123 Provider and the larger C-141 Starlifter. The classic Lightning is compared with the Mirage III and the Swedish Draken.
The development of military aircraft during this period continued at a rate which has slowed considerably since the end of the Cold War, maybe we won;t see this rate of change and sheer variety of types in the years to come. From the early Deltas like the Dagger or the huge Hustler, and of course the classic Vulcan, from F86 Sabre and Mig 15 to the later Tornado and Viggen there are loads here to keep you interested.
Thanks to Casemate Publishing, the distributors in the UK for our example, it is available now.

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