Academic journal article Air & Space Power Journal

North American XB-70A Valkyrie

Academic journal article Air & Space Power Journal

North American XB-70A Valkyrie

Article excerpt

North American XB-70A Valkyrie, vol. 34, Warbird Tech series, by Dennis R. Jenkins and Tony Landis. Specialty Press (http://www.specialty press.com), 39966 Grand Avenue, North Branch, Minnesota 55056, 2002, 104 pages, $16.95 (softcover).

North American XB-70A Valkyrie, one of the latest entries in Specialty Press's Warbird Tech series, thoroughly covers an aircraft that will forever remain impressive. More than three decades after its final flight, visitors to the US Air Force Museum are still awed by the sleek craft's magnificent lines and its ability to fly at three times the speed of sound. Jenkins and Landis cover their subject from initial concepts, through program development, to several years of flight-testing. Additionally, this very well illustrated book devotes ample space to technical aspects of the XB-70's design.

The first portion pays considerable attention to the aircraft's conception and difficult development history throughout the 1950s. Jenkins and Landis cite the political, economic, and strategic reasons for the bomber program's demise and its ultimate incarnation as a high-speed experimental aircraft, emphasizing the then-prevalent view that intercontinental ballistic missiles would replace manned bombers. However, they scarcely mention the changes in tactical employment-from high to low altitude, demanded by the advancement of surface-to-air missiles-that doomed the B-70 as a bomber. …

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