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Secret Projects: Flying Wings and Tailless Aircraft

overscan (PaulMM)

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/Secret-Projects-Flying-Tailless-Aircraft/dp/1857803205/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1251112432&sr=8-13
 

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robunos

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1. XLNT!

2. My credit card hurts!!

3. When's it expected???

cheers,
Robin.
 

XP67_Moonbat

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I'm getting a mop. Gotta swab the drool I left while reading the description. :D
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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I have received the following message from the author Bill Rose, who says the description on Amazon is quite inaccurate. Please read what he says below.

Can I just mention that the book does not cover drones, UCAVs or von Braun space gliders. It does look at early Vulcan proposals, but not the later delta, the Javelin or for that matter aircraft like the Mirage. These planes were not secret projects and deltas fall outside the scope of the book.

Nor is Flying Wings and Tailless Aircraft a history of the flying wing as suggested in this description. It is an attempt to examine projects and designs that are little known, or were/are secret.

To give you a taste of what's included, the British chapter contains (amongst a number of projects) details of the Baynes BAT, Vicker's Swallow and HP.117. The German chapter covers quite a lot of familiar ground, such as the Hortens, Lippisch, Vogt, etc. Plus post-war testing and influences. The largest chapter covers American designs and naturally a fair amount of space is devoted to Jack Northrop's wartime and immediate post-war work. This eventually leads on to the B-2, A-12A, oblique wings, Next Generation Bomber, etc. And finally, there is a chapter on various interesting Russian designs.

I've given you a very sketchy outline of the book and I don't want to oversell it, or give too much away before publication. I simply wrote this book because its a subject that has interested me for a long time.
 

Orionblamblam

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[size=10pt]Can I just mention that the book does not cover drones, UCAVs or von Braun space gliders. It does look at early Vulcan proposals, but not the later delta, the Javelin or for that matter aircraft like the Mirage.

Wow. Public relations FAIL on the part of whoever pened the Amazon description.
 

Retrofit

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Can I just mention that the book does not cover drones, UCAVs or von Braun space gliders. It does look at early Vulcan proposals, but not the later delta, the Javelin or for that matter aircraft like the Mirage. These planes were not secret projects and deltas fall outside the scope of the book.

Nor is Flying Wings and Tailless Aircraft a history of the flying wing as suggested in this description. It is an attempt to examine projects and designs that are little known, or were/are secret.

As it is presented by its author, this book jumps right on top of my wishing list for Christmas Easter!!!

BTW, I am still wondering why this frontier between "tailless aircraft" and "deltas"? In some books the frontier is set on the leading edge sweep: Less than 45°, it is a tailless aircraft, more than 45°, it is a delta.(Sorry for the Horten H-XIIIa)
My question is probably "naive", but are there precise parameters (like span/chord/area/L.E. sweep/T.E sweep,etc...) to determine a delta wing vs a highly sweptback wing?
 

red admiral

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My question is probably "naive", but are there precise parameters (like span/chord/area/L.E. sweep/T.E sweep,etc...) to determine a delta wing vs a highly sweptback wing?

In most places the different seems to be defined by the trailing edge. If it's swept rearwards, its a swept wing. If it's unswept it's a delta wing. If it's swept forward it's a tapered delta.
 

robunos

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In most places the different seems to be defined by the trailing edge. If it's swept rearwards, its a swept wing. If it's unswept it's a delta wing. If it's swept forward it's a tapered delta.

Then what about the BiCh-26 shown in the cover art??
It has a forward _and_ rearward swept trailing edge.
I've always thought of this aircraft as a delta, so it shouldn't be here... ??? ???


cheers,
Robin.
 

red admiral

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robunos said:
Then what about the BiCh-26 shown in the cover art??
It has a forward _and_ rearward swept trailing edge.
I've always thought of this aircraft as a delta, so it shouldn't be here... ??? ???

As it doesn't have much of a fuselage, I'd term it as a flying wing.
 

Retrofit

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red admiral said:
My question is probably "naive", but are there precise parameters (like span/chord/area/L.E. sweep/T.E sweep,etc...) to determine a delta wing vs a highly sweptback wing?

In most places the different seems to be defined by the trailing edge. If it's swept rearwards, its a swept wing. If it's unswept it's a delta wing. If it's swept forward it's a tapered delta.

Red amiral

Thanks a lot!
Is there also a relation (or ratio) between the root chord and the span, i.e. root chord > span/2, or something like that ?
 

saturncanuck

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My pre-order with Amazon was placed two days ago!

Got it at a pre-order proce too!

Late Christmas present?
 

robunos

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I HAVE IT!!

I HAVE IT!! ;D

Review to follow, but for now, just some brief first impressions.

It's a fairly slim volume, 144 pages, but as I only paid £17.50,
and got free shipping, that's not too bad.
After the render-fest that was 'Japanese secret projects', this
volume returns to the familiar format, mainly monochrome, with
photos, line drawings, and the occasional colour image.
Content wise, it starts with an introductory chapter, giving an overview
of flying wing evolution, from the earliest days of flight, to the
present day, then the following chapters detail the various aircraft
covered by country, Britain, (wartime)Germany, USA, and USSR/Russia.

More to come...


cheers,
Robin.
 

saturncanuck

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OMG

I am sooooooooooooooooo jealous. I pre-ordered and I won't see mine unitl May.

I paid $25, so what that is in UK money......

I look forward to your review..
 

robunos

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I paid $25, so what that is in UK money......

just checked with an online exchange rate calculator,

$25 = £16.23 so... if you've got free shipping, that's
a bargain...


cheers,
Robin.
 

saturncanuck

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robunos said:
I paid $25, so what that is in UK money......

just checked with an online exchange rate calculator,

$25 = £16.23 so... if you've got free shipping, that's
a bargain...


cheers,
Robin.

Well, technically, they don't charge my card until they ship so lets do the exchange rate then.
 

Sundog

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Mine arrived today. If you don't have any books on flying wing/tailless aircraft, I think it's a great buy.

For myself, only about 10% to 20% was new to me, but I particularly enjoyed seeing the three views of the Vickers' Swallow demonstrator design. I would have liked more on the Handley Page Aerobus, as one of the later versions with the low aspect ratio wing is one of my favorite airliner designs. That being said, compared with all of the books I have on the subject, this is a great overview of the subject.

Overall, it's a great addition to the series.
 

saturncanuck

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Thanks for your review, Sundog.

I am sure much of the info has been published before, but, like many in the series, it will be nice to have them all in one place.

Now, I REALLY can't wait. Mine is supposed to be here May 5.......
 

sagallacci

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Just got my copy too. While it tries to cover a lot of different designs, the depth of coverage seems slight to me. However, it does include a lot of Brit material that I was unaware of. Give it a B-.
 

robunos

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Review of 'Secret Projects: Flying Wings and Tailless Aircraft'


This volume will be familiar to anyone possessing any of the previous titles in this series.
A slim volume, at 144 pages, hardbound, and cleanly printed on good quality art paper.
The cover painting is dramatic, showing a flight of USAF B-49 bombers, under attack by
soviet Cheranovsky BICh-26 fighters.
The contents: There are six chapters, plus an introduction, and ending with a glossary, and
an index.
The chapters are :-

1. British Tailless Aircraft
2. German World War II Flying Wing Development
3. US Flying Wings (1935-1950)
4. US Flying Wings (1950-1990)
5. US Manned Tailless Aircraft (1980-2030)
6. Soviet Tailless Designs

The introduction, starts with the statement that "the flying wing is the purest form in aviation",
and then goes on to briefly outline the advantages, and disadvantages, of the flying wing form.
This is followed by a brief historical overview, from Leonardo da Vinci onwards. The suitability
of the flying wing to the application of stealth technology is also briefly touched upon.
There then follows short section explaining the authors criteria for determining what constitutes
a tailless aircraft. Despite the author "avoid(ing) setting definite limits on what kind of aircraft...",
deltas are thin on the ground here. The author likewise explains the paucity of unmanned aircraft
covered here, and that "this book is not a definitive reference work containing examples of
every known (tailless)design".

The first chapter, 'British Tailless Aircraft', describes a miscellany of projects, some built, others
not, from immediate pre-WWII times up until around the early 1960s.
In the reviewer's opinion, this chapter could have done with some re-structuring. For instance, the
Armstrong Whitworth projects to specification B.35/46 are discussed immediately following the
A.W. 52, but the Avro projects to the same spec., (the early Vulcan designs)are not discussed
until six pages later. That said, there is some good stuff here, especially on the Swallow, the small
research version really does look like it belongs in 'Star Wars'. I will not describe the other aircraft
contained here, or in the other chapters, in detail, suffice to say that most of them are well
documented elsewhere.

The next chapter, 'German World War II Flying Wing Development', is the antithesis of the previous
one.
Following a short section introducing Junkers, the Hortens, and Lippisch, the chapter's contents
are arranged alphabetically by manufacturer, and chronologically within theses sub-sections.
No surprises here, as these projects have been heavily described elsewhere. The author does
touch on the supposed stealthiness of the Horten 229, and discounts any deliberate attempt at
LO properties. Also, the J8M1Japanese version of the Me 163B is described.alomg with it's
German 'parent'.

Skipping ahead now, to the final chapter, 'Soviet Tailless Designs', this is also 'by the numbers'
stuff,as most of the projects here, have also been seen elsewhere. The exceptions to this are
the Ilyushin Il-52, and the Myasischev M-67 series, which the reviewer believes, have only
recently been publicised through the 'Avico' website. There is also a drawing of the Stal-5.

Now, onto the stuff everyone's interested in, the US projects.
The first of these chapters, 'US Flying Wings (1935-1950)', starts with the Boeing model 306
studies, then moves onto the Northrop flying wing story.As well as the development of the
N-1M, N-9M, XB-35 and XB-49, the author touches on the Consolidated flying wing proposal
for the XB-36, and the large Burnelli Bomber designs. The later, Turbodyne powered, H-bomb
carrying, B-49 derivatives are also mentioned, along with the 'B-36 conspiracy'. Brief mention
is also made of the nuclear flying wings.
Mention is also made of the Convair flying wing PB4Y-2 replacement, and of Lockheed nuclear
flying wing bomber.
The chapter then moves on to the Northrop Flying wing fighters, the XP-56, and the jet and rocket
prototypes, before closing with the X-4.

'US Flying Wings (1950-1990)' opens with a brief history of 'Project Bald Eagle' the USAF high
altitude spyplane, before moving on to the Skunk Works involvement, in particular the CL-278-1-2
flying wing, and then the Gusto II project.This is then followed by the *huge* CL-1201 projects.
Then come the F7U Cutlass and F4D Skyray, the Lockheed CL-187 bomber project, and the
Northrop N-381 tailless S-3 Viking replacement. Then come the Lockheed CL-1170 series of
maritime patrol aircraft, which to the reviewer at least, look like scaled down versions of the
CL-1201 shape. The chapter then concludes with the story of the A-12 Avenger II, including a
mention of 'Cold Pigeon', and 'Sneaky Pete'.

'US Manned Tailless Aircraft (1980-2030)' is the last chapter of the 'trilogy', and opens with the
various studies leading to the B-2. Now, it's been the reviever's understanding that the two rival
designs for the ATB requirement, were Senior Peg (Lockheed), and Senior Ice (Northrop).
However the author states, "As a a result, Lockheed was contracted to study a light bomber
under a highly classified program called Senior Peg and Northrop was asked to produce
proposals for a more advanced nuclear bomber under the code name Senior Ice."
There is a very interesting drawing of the Lockheed CL-2102-2, which shows upward folding
wingtips, rather than the tails usually shown on 'Senior Peg' images.
The chapter then moves on to a history of the B-2 itself, before discussing such projects as
Senior Citizen, 'B-3' Next Generation Bomber (2018 bomber), FB-22, and F/A-XX.
A section on the Blended Wing Body concept the follows, before ending with a look at the
Oblique Flying Wing.

Okay, conclusion time. In the opinion of the reviewer, this book falls short. As an overview of
the subject, the reviewer can think of several projects that should have been included, but
weren't. at the same time, some those that were included, could have been covered in more
depth, but weren't.
The bottom line? Think of this book as being the equivalent of a Wikipedia page. A good
first reference, which seves as a jumping-off point for further information, to be found
elsewhere.

7 out of 10.

Other than being a member of this forum, I am not connected with the author, publisher,
producer, or contributors to this book in any way, shape or form.



cheers,
Robin.
 

saturncanuck

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I received my copy on Firday and must agree moslty with Robin.

The book is very good and has much info on these projects. However, it seems to be more of an overview and more details would have been nice. Also a bit thin. The real Gem is some of the photos, many of which I had not seen before.

Overall, a worthy addition to the series. Yes, 7 out of 10 but worth the money.

David
 

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I got my copy past week via Amazon U.K.
I only can agree with what is told about the book before..
A good first step into the subject and an a perfect companion
to Les Ailes Volante by A.Pelletier.
The Hill bomber projects and the Consolidated two engined designs were new to me.
A bit a pity that no ref. list is presented at the end of the book.
 

saturncanuck

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For those of us with TCM, they are playing "The Incredible Mr Limpet" on Friday. Somenice shots of the YB-49 in flight.
 

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An even better idea is to watch the 1950's version of "War of the Worlds" and then, immediately afterwards, watch "Independence Day".

Those who have seen both films will know exactly what I'm getting at.
 

saturncanuck

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pathology_doc said:
An even better idea is to watch the 1950's version of "War of the Worlds" and then, immediately afterwards, watch "Independence Day".

Those who have seen both films will know exactly what I'm getting at.

Yes, Northrop Flying Wing vs Northrop Flying Wing.....
 

quellish

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SaturnCanuck said:
pathology_doc said:
An even better idea is to watch the 1950's version of "War of the Worlds" and then, immediately afterwards, watch "Independence Day".

Those who have seen both films will know exactly what I'm getting at.

Yes, Northrop Flying Wing vs Northrop Flying Wing.....

And the only operational use of TSSAM!
 

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