American Combat Planes of the 20th Century is an incredible reference for anyone who is interested in any American Combat Plane History.   There are 758 pages and 1700 b/w photos in this substantial labor of love by Ray Wagner, who has been passionately researching and writing about aircraft for over 50 years.   Whether you are already familiar with his past works, or just discovering this accomplished author for the first time... This is the book that you've been waiting for!

If you'd like to see the book's   Table of Contents ... Click here.   You can also browse the entire   Index Section   to get an idea of the extensive amount of information that is covered within this book.

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A- 1 Eaton     A- 4 Skyhawk     A- 6 & A- 7     Air Weapons     AV- 8 to A- 10     A- 20 Havoc     A- 22 Martin Maryland     A- 23 Martin Baltimore     A- 24 Douglas     A- 26 Douglas Invader     Attack Planes     B- 2A, F-111, F-117 Stealth    B- 17 Flying Fortress     B- 24 Liberator     B- 25 North American     B- 26 Marauder     B- 29 Superfortress     B- 32 Dominator     B- 35 Flying Wing     B- 36     B- 47 Stratojet     B- 50 Boeing     B- 52 Stratofortress     B- 57 Canberra     B- 58 Hustler     Biplanes     Biplanes, Army Pursuits     Bombers, B- 70 to Stealth     Bombers, First Big     Curtiss Falcon     CO- 1     DH- 4 De Havilland     F3D- Douglas Skyknight    F3H- McDonnell Demon    F4D- 1 Skyray    F4F Grumman Wildcats    F- 4U Corsair    F6F Grumman    F7F Grumman    F7U Vought    F9F G. Cougar    F9F G. Panther    F- 16 Fighting Falcon    F- 84     F- 86 Sabre    F- 89 to F-94    F- 100 to F-108    First Fighters    Flying Boats    GAX    Iraq to Afghanistan    Martin Bombers    Missile Era Fighters    Navy Fighers    Navy Flying Boats    O- 2 Douglas     P- 35 Seversky     P- 36 to 42 Curtiss     P- 38 Lightning    P- 39 Airacobra    P- 40 Line    P- 47 Thunderbolt    P- 51 Mustang Fighter    P- 61 Black Widow    P- 63 Kingcobra    P- 79 to P-81    P- 82 Twin Mustang    SB2C Helldiver    TBF-TBM Avenger    Thomas-Morse    Torpedo Planes    V- 11 Vultee    XB -28    XP -48 / 77   

CO-1 to CO-8

Fokker, Cox-Klemin, Atlantic

Page 2 FOKKER CO-4 (1923 version) FOKKER CO-4A

However, that would be a hazard in a crash landing, and was not used on the two CO-4s delivered in 1923 with a rounded radiator, larger tail, and other changes to meet Air Service standards. Five CO-4A two-seaters were delivered in 1924 with a streamlined nose and side radiators that could be extended as the temperature required. Three of these planes were service tested at Langley Field, armed with one fixed .30-caliber Browning and the usual two Lewis guns.

The last Fokker observation biplane tested by the Army was the Atlantic AO-l built by the New Jersey factory affiliated with Fokker. Essentially it was a CO-4 refinement with the circular radiator and was tested October 7, 1924.

Another foreign design tried in 1924 was the Cox-Klemin CO, a modified Heinkel HD 17 powered by a British 450-hp Napier Lion with internal supercharger. It was labeled the CK CO-2 and had no provisions for military equipment during Army tests.

The Engineering Division next offered the CO-5, which used the wings of the second TP-l fighter, but reversed them, putting the larger one above the fuselage to improve visibility downward. The first version was tested in October 1923 with 375-square-foot, single-bay wings and frontal radiator, but in November 1924 reappeared with wider 438-square-foot wings and a “chin” radiator. The data given here is for this version, but the picture shows the aircraft after a turbosupercharger and wider, two-bay wings were installed to enable it, as the XCO-5A, to set an American altitude record of 38,704 feet on January 29, 1926.

The last Engineering Division prototype was the XCO-6 (by now experimental aircraft had the X prefix). Designed by Jean Roche, it was first fitted with an inverted Liberty, but was tested on November 30, 1924, with a standard engine and chin radiator (later called the XCO-6B), and finally, became the XCO-6C test bed for an inverted air-cooled Liberty. Performance and flying qualities were said to be excellent, but the double-bay, wire-braced wing was bad for maintenance work. Three guns were provided. COX-KLEMIN CK-CO2 ATLANTIC AO-l

The officer’s board which met in December 1924 to evaluate observation planes considered the XCO-6 the best of the observation types discussed here so far, followed in order of merit by the AO-l, CO-5, CO-8 and the Cox-Klemin, but the Board stated that the new Curtiss and Douglas types were “so far superior to all of the others that no consideration should be given to the rest.” After this, the Army left all aircraft construction to private firms, and the McCook Field facility limited itself to testing. Since 1918, the Engineering Division had designed and built 27 prototypes, some of which had made important advances in the “state of the art.”

The observation board also agreed that the worst of the observation types tested was the “very poor” CO-7 that Boeing made by combining a standard DH-4M-l fuselage with a tapered wing and new landing gear. Three airframes were made: one without engine for static tests, the XCO-7A with a standard Liberty on November 29, 1924, and the XCO-7B flown with an inverted Liberty.

The last corps observation series aircraft was the Atlantic XCO-8. After that, all observation planes were numbered in a series from O-l to 0-63. The XCO-8 was simply a DH-4M-2 with the Loening wings used in the COA-l. Performance was better than on the standard DH-4, but inferior to the other types being considered. Twenty sets of Loening wings were ordered for use on DH-4s in airmail service.

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