United States Military Aircraft Since 1909 Hardcover – 16 Mar 1989
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766 pages, illustrated throughout
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Top Customer Reviews
Though apparently limited by it's date of publication this book still sets the standard to which others aspire and not always successfully.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
That's a big statement, but in this case it's true. Originally published in 1962 and revised in 1972 and 1989, Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, combined their knowledge (and photo collections) to produce a epic book.
Simply, it gives a history of every aircraft type operated by the US Army and Air Force. In addition to outlining the development of the aircraft, it gives some operational details (the authors purposely omitted a list of every unit that operated the type to keep the book a reasonable size) along with photos, excellent three-view drawings and a list of serial numbers.
Also included is a bief history of American military aviation, a review of colors and markings, and something not often seen, a complete list of designations which will tell you what unproduced types were (example: the F-103 a a Delta-wing mach 3 interceptor project) but not illustrate them.
Sadly, both Swanborough and Bowers have passed away. I'd love to see a new revised edition of this book.