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33 von 34 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Project Terminated 5. März 2013
Von 1 minute ago - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Like many aviation enthusiasts, I have a fascination for cutting edge military aircraft that never made it past the prototype stage, or never even flew. From the origins of their development to the reasons for their cancellations -- technical, financial or political -- this book takes a hard look at a number of these projects. What sets it apart is how the author uses available data to project the service life of these airplanes, as if they had not been terminated. This is helped by the inclusion of deceptively realistic graphic illustrations.

Noteworthy is the welcome inclusion of a couple of important non-U.S. projects: the Canadian Arrow and British TSR-2.

The quality of the book, research, photography, sources, index, paper and print are all excellent. I recommend it.
14 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
You can't buy everything 30. Juni 2013
Von David C. Nilsen - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
The reason to buy this book is for all of the pretty pictures of airplanes that never were, and to imagine what might have been. The production standards are top-notch: high quality paper, binding, color on every page. It is a pleasure to hold and read.

That said, there is a current that runs through popular aviation books where the heroine subject aircraft was the greatest thing ever, and any effort to limit her numbers, retire her after 50 years, etc., can only be the result of wrong-headedness or criminality. This book reads a lot like that, except that there are 11+ heroines, and most of them got cut off far earlier, so the rhetoric about the wrong-headed criminality gets ramped up even higher, and with no real understanding of why "evil" politicians, military officials, and budget makers do what they have to do.

The bottom line is that you can't buy everything. There is a finite amount of time, effort, and money, and you must prioritize it where it will do the most good. Those decisions are made by fallible people, and can be wrong, and there are some cases in this book, especially the CF-105 Arrow and F-20 Tigershark, that are famous blunders. (But let me point out that the CF-105 cancellation resulted in the Canadian aerospace industry moving south en masse and taking jobs with NASA, so a Really Bad Day in Canada turned into a Really Good Day in the Sea of Tranquility.) And yes, sometimes fighter guys sabotage bombers or vice versa, and it's unsightly, and yes, Robert Strange McNamara's failures are legendary (only recently eclipsed by Rumsfeld's in the Pantheon of Bad SecDefs), but it's all because you can't buy everything. And this book's analysis is so thin that it doesn't get at any of that. What would we have had to do without that we DID buy instead? Three examples:

In one chapter the author argues that if we had built the B-70, it might have shortened the Cold War. Really? But if we'd bought the B-70 instead of 1000 Minuteman ICBMs, maybe we would have lost the Cold War. But we won the thing without the B-70, and without blowing up the world, so I say we take the win. Would B-70s have been cool? Sure, but they would have sure been expensive to operate. What other things would we have had to do without?

In two chapters, he complains that it was short-sighted that we didn't build the F-108, F-12B, and F-106X Super Dart interceptors (he even advocates that it would have been a good idea to have both the F-108 and F-12B at the same time, duplicating each other's missions), because what IF the Soviets had built a large supersonic bomber fleet that required us to have Mach 3 interceptors? But the Soviets didn't, not until they were going broke and collapsing, so we didn't need Mach 3 interceptors after all, and we won the Cold War without them. So the people who cancelled them made the right call, not a short-sighted blunder after all.

Finally, and this is the insidious part of the book, the author confuses his alternative timelines with reality, by assuming that breakthrough technologies needed for some of these projects would have magically worked out if we just hadn't cancelled them. In a caption for an F-103A fantasy picture he remarks, "The unique dual-cycle (turbo-ramjet) engine would have allowed for economical cruise flight until high Mach speed was required." That's a lot like saying that if we'd only given Ponce de Leon more time and funding we'd have a Fountain of Youth by now. (We still don't have dual-cycle turbo-ramjets because turbofans helped with fuel economy and we found out that high-Mach wasn't all that useful for most things.) The author never mentions that the Wright J67 engine (American version of British Olympus) that was supposed to power the XF-103 ran into development delays and was eventually cancelled. This was very common in the 1950s, when engines could not live up to their promised goals, and they and the planes built around them were dropped, redesigned and delayed (more money), or in some cases the planes limped on, never living up to their intended potential (F-102A, F3H, F7U, F11F, even the F-14A), and these engine problems were not really solved until the 1980s. The author does admit that the Air Force said the technology was not mature enough. Well, if the Air Force, which is generally not shy about spending taxpayer money, says it's not mature enough, they're probably right, notwithstanding the author's claim, "their [XF-103] innovative design work was awesome." But I suppose we could have thrown a whole lot more money at it and done without F-4s and B-52s or something. Interestingly, the author cites the F-35B JSF as evidence of why we should have built the XFV-12. So why if the JSF can't be made to work on time and on budget, the FV-12 program would have gone perfectly? Just like, "You can't buy everything," "You can't make everything that you can imagine work out on time and on budget."

So this is not an aviation history book. It is an aviation enthusiast fantasy wishbook, and there's nothing wrong with that. The opportunity to see very well-done CGI action shots of operational F-103s, CF-105s, TSR.2s, B-49s, F-108s, B-70s, F-106C/Ds, F-12Bs, etc., is a great deal of fun, and well worth the price of this well-made book. This does lead to one strange short-coming, however. Since we are talking about CGI, where once the model work is done all you have to do is create additional skins/drapes to lay over it, I am struck by how few paint schemes these fantasy aircraft appear in. The four shots of F-108s are all in the same 5th FIS markings, the three F-103 shots are all in the same 94th FIS markings, four of the F-12B shots are all in the same 49th FIS markings, etc. I would have liked to see a little more variation in color schemes and markings in the fantasy shots.

My suggestion for the author is that for his next book he do a full-on "What If" book where he goes ahead and posits an alternate future where the Soviets did build lots of supersonic bombers earlier, and where the skies are populated with these airplanes that "might have been cancelled in another world" and spread out his CGI palette even farther. I will buy that book as well.
39 von 46 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
deeply disappointing 2. Juli 2013
Von Henry Spencer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
The concept is good: a look at some of the more interesting canceled aircraft projects, illustrated with both photographs of things as they were, and paintings of things as they might have been. But this book doesn't live up to its potential.

The technical history can be described politely as superficial. Gushing claims and press releases are quoted verbatim (sometimes repeatedly), and critical analysis is absent. Sometimes the result is completely misleading; for example, nowhere in the XFV-12A chapter is it ever actually said clearly that the aircraft's much-hyped "ejector wing" system <em>simply didn't work</em>.

The political history is worse. Every project was canceled due to the sheer boneheaded stupidity of ignorant politicians, who inexplicably failed to grasp that this aircraft was vital to the survival of the Free World. (Oddly, even though they were all canceled, the Free World is still here.) One chapter after another of repetitive angry ranting gets very tiresome. While a few of the cancellations are hard to explain except by sheer stupidity, you'd never know from this book that all too often, there were daunting technical problems (the F-103 would <em>not</em> have been able to reach Mach 4), intolerable cost overruns (the two enormous XB-70As cost their weight in gold), or changes in priorities (the rise of ICBMs made defense against manned bombers a much less urgent problem, at a time of badly strained budgets).

Even the paintings, while well executed, ultimately fall rather flat. These are all combat aircraft, but they're mostly depicted "being airliners", i.e. cruising peacefully over landscapes; not one scene of actual combat appears. None of the fighters is shown so much as firing a missile. The bland, unimaginative paintings quickly get boring.

Someone could write a really great book on this theme. "Project Terminated", alas, isn't it.
20 von 23 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Fascinating Glimpses of Tantalizing Aerospace "What Ifs" 21. März 2013
Von Terry Sunday - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
"Project Terminated" is a history of selected, advanced, cutting-edge aerospace projects filled with inspirational stories of dedicated, capable design and development teams that pushed the aviation state-of-the-art to its limits as they created stunning technological triumphs of airborne engineering. Sadly, all of the 10 high-tech projects that author Erik Simonsen covers in this volume also feature boneheaded political decisions that chopped them off at the knees, in most cases just when they began to succeed. It's fascinating to consider what might have happened if these aerospace projects had gone into production and become operational. With detailed, easy-to-read text and over 250 illustrations, most of them spectacular CGI renderings, Mr. Simonsen shows how these "what if" projects could have changed the course of aviation and spaceflight.

The projects Mr. Simonsen covers are: 1) Northrop YB-49A/YRB-49A Flying Wing, 2) Avro CF-105 Arrow, 3) North American F-108 Rapier, 4) Boeing X-20 Dyna-Soar, 5) Lockheed F-12B Interceptor, 6) British Aerospace Corporation TSR-2, 7) North American XB-70 Valkyrie, 8) Rockwell International B-1A and B-1B, and 10) Northrop F-20 Tigershark. Entire books are available that document many of these projects in excruciating detail. The depth of their treatment in this single 224-page book is necessarily somewhat shallower. A high-level look at the most advanced air- and spacecraft projects of their time, and the shortsighted reasons behind their cancellations, "Project Terminated" should be of interest to any readers seeking a broad understanding of what can happen when technology runs afoul of politics and/or economics. The results, in the cases Mr. Simonsen describes, are not pretty.

The full-color CGI artwork in "Project Terminated" is worth the cost of the book in itself. Mr. Simonsen does not discuss how he created the renderings (such information would have made a great Appendix). Having dabbled in CGI aerospace art myself, I believe he rendered textured 3-D models against cloudscape and landscape backgrounds. The results are truly outstanding. Many of the renderings are half- or full-page size. Very well done, they show the vehicles in operational color schemes and markings, as they might have appeared in military service. On the other hand, the text could have benefited from the ministrations of a good editor to correct some minor grammatical and stylistic problems that, fortunately, do not detract much from the book's excellence.

"Project Terminated" is an ambitious, visually striking volume with fascinating facts and images of aerospace projects that deserved to succeed. It's distressing to learn how much money and resources the U.S., Canada and Britain wasted on them, and fascinating to think about "what might have been" had self-serving politicians and budget-cutters allowed them to continue.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Beautiful book, but misleading 31. August 2013
Von Gregory W. Edwards - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
I enjoyed and was frustrated by this book. It has wonderful pictures, but too many are paintings (digital?) and not photos. And there are errors, omissions, and misstatements. I am not an airplane designer nor a pilot, but I have read a bit and I noticed mistakes. For example in the first plane covered, the B49 (in various forms) it alludes to two major problems with the plane (stability for bombing and poor performance compared to the B47). However it does not actually say that these were why the plane was canceled*. And if you look at the performance data below and examine the stability problems with the B49 I think you will agree that the B47 was a much better airplane at that time. But the book does not say that, it just moans about the cancelation.

Enjoy the book, but check the facts yourself. You might also look at "Project cancelled: British aircraft that never flew" by Derek Wood for a similar book (Two of the airplanes are covered in both books, the Avro CF-105 and BAC TSR.2).

* The prototype B49 did set a transcontinental speed record from the west coast to Washington DC, in this the author is correct. However the next day the prototype B47 broke that speed record by about 100MPH and it had a longer range than the B49.
Per Wikipedia:
B49 495mph, combat radius 1615 miles
B47 607mph, combat radius 2013 miles
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