By Stephen Budiansky
No unmarried human invention has remodeled struggle greater than the airplane—not even the atomic bomb. Even earlier than the Wright Brothers’ first flight, predictions abounded of the devastating and bad outcomes this new invention may have as an engine of battle. hovering over the battlefield, the aircraft turned an unstoppable strength that left no spot on the earth secure from assault. Drawing on strive against memoirs, letters, diaries, archival documents, museum collections, and eyewitness bills through the boys who fought—and the boys who constructed the leap forward innovations and concepts—acclaimed writer Stephen Budiansky weaves a bright and dramatic account of the airplane’s innovative transformation of contemporary warfare.
On the internet: http://www.budiansky.com/
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Additional info for Air Power: The Men, Machines, and Ideas That Revolutionized War, from Kitty Hawk to Iraq
The initial batch was issued to the Lipetsk test flight facility and the V-VS’s 116th Istrebitelniy Aviatsionniy Polk (IAP, “Fighter Aviation Regiment”) in Belarus for service tests. The aircraft quickly became a huge disappointment to test and fighter pilots alike. 55G turning limitation. Worse, it was accident prone – resulting in two complete redesigns of the wings – and the Sapfir-23 proved chronically unreliable, requiring two developmental iterations to become operational. Consequently, service trials were excruciatingly protracted (four years), during which time only another 90–120 examples were produced because of the fits and starts caused by trying to incorporate major design changes while aircraft were moving down the assembly line.
The new RP-25M was paired with the AVM-25 analog computer and TP-26Sh-1 IRSTS mounted beneath the nose. The Smerch-A radar (NATO name “Foxfire”) – a powerful transmitter that Belenko said could “kill [fry] a rabbit at 1,000m”. (Foxbat Files) The MiG-25PD completed its test program and entered production in 1978, with the MiG-25PDS (Perekhvatchik Dorabotannyy v Stroyou – “field-modified interceptor”) upgrades being installed from early 1979 as MiG-25Ps returned to the Gorky factory for overhaul.
Compared with the products of the Mikoyan and Gurevich (MiG) design bureau, the F-4 was large and heavy. Its engines smoked when not in afterburner and consumed its fuel at alarming rates when they were, its radar was longer-ranged but could not see targets below its own altitude, its longer-ranged missiles were hobbled by visual identification (VID) requirements and it had no gun for close-in combat. But most of all, the F-4 lacked the maneuverability needed to deal effectively with the more nimble MiGs.
Air Power: The Men, Machines, and Ideas That Revolutionized War, from Kitty Hawk to Iraq by Stephen Budiansky