Soviet Secret Projects Books


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3 November 2007
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In going back and actually reading the Bombers book I see it was indicated that there would be 3 volumes. Anyone know if the third volume is still coming?
AL said:
In going back and actually reading the Bombers book I see it was indicated that there would be 3 volumes. Anyone know if the third volume is still coming?

What was the 2nd one? Fighters?
Yeah, fighters. I would think the third volume would have been like the British series and would have covered the pre-war and war years.
Direct from Tony Buttler:

The statement that there might have been three volumes was made in error. We really only seriously looked at the two. There were suggestions for a possible WW2 volume, but a lack of project material, and economics, ensured that it didn't happen.
I hope I'm not duplicating things, but anyway:

Have just read the fighters book (great) and working my way through "bombers".

I think both books are excellent, and I take my hat off to the authors. The imagination of the Soviet designers knew no bounds, and it seems to have been a benefit of the Soviet system that a LOT of prototypes got to make it to the flight line. (How we would have loved to see just ONE Avro 730, or ONE Fairey Delta III, take to the sky!) It's nice to see that the British weren't the only ones suffering from "cancellation-itis". What's more tragic? To get your stop notice halfway through construction, or (as for some Soviet products) just days before first flight of the fully-built aircraft? It's also interesting to see the reasons a lot of these projects failed, and that even Soviet spendthrift had its limits. On the other hand, the political intrigues are interesting: very different in some cases - the RAF and the Ministry may have grown weary of Teddy Petter at times (e.g. over the Midge/Gnat and dropping the ball on Red Dean), but we never hear of, e.g., Sydney Camm plotting against him (or against Saunders-Roe or Fairey or Gloster, for instance) - and surprisingly similar in others, e.g.Krushchev's fondness for missiles scotching a number of aircraft projects, though he never went as far as Sandys - I wonder what sorts of conversations those two have in the afterlife!

The only possible criticism I have, and it's a minor one, is references to the missile armaments of the fighters that made it into service, or at least to the flight test line. For most of the former, the missile armaments were well known in the West by the AA-(number) designation and the codenames (e.g. Atoll, Aphid, etc.). I think it would have been a very useful thing to have included these names in brackets when first describing a missile by its Soviet designation. I can certainly understand omitting to do this for a text bound for Russian/former Warsaw Pact readers, who would be more likely to know the missiles by their 'real' designation (e.g. K-13), and for more modern missiles which might not have received an AA- code, but the Western enthusiast who picks this book up 'cold' might be helped by historical context.

I think histories of Soviet and US missiles would also be well received, especially given that the travails of the British guided missile industry have already been described so beautifully by Messrs Gibson and Buttler. I for one would love to know what the "Yanks and the Reds" went through, as I'm sure it was equally frustrating at times! :)

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