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   

Iraq to Afghanistan

F-16, B-1B, B-2A

Page 1

How things have changed for pilots since young Americans flew Spads in 1918! The F-16 pilot in his pressurized air-conditioned cockpit has computer control over flying and navigation, an array of weapons, and has an ejection seat for escaping his plane. Spad pilots had no computer or parachute.

Even more dramatic was the change in the world below him. When Wright’s first airplane flew, the United States had only recently become an imperial power after the Spanish-American War. President Theodore Roosevelt had an impressive Navy and small Army, but American forces seemed smaller than those of at least seven other empires that straddled the world. F-16

The century’s last decade found the United States the only super power, able to project its strength into any part of the world. At the heart of its power were the airplanes produced by its national wealth and technology. The cost of air power had become too high to allow any other nation to become a credible contender for world power.

The Cold War had vanished by 1992, as the USAF was noticed for humanitarian missions such as flying medical supplies to Mongolia, Lithuania, and other places once considered hostile territory. On March 4, two B-52s landed in Moscow on a friendship mission, and on March 24 the United States signed the Open Skies Treaty, allowing unarmed reconnaissance flights over any of the 25 signatory nations.

Symbolic of the new era was first American military band to parade in Moscow, the AFRES Command Band in May 1992. The “most far-reaching nuclear arms reduction pact in history”, START III, was signed by Presidents George H. Bush and Boris Yeltsen on January 3, 1993.

Reorganization of the USAF in June 1992 meant the end of both SAC and TAC as their combat aircraft were combined in the new Air Combat Command (ACC), while cargo and tanker aircraft joined the Air Mobility Command (AMC). The new United States Strategic Command now controlled long-range Air Force and Navy ballistic missiles. B-1B

Nuclear weapon capability had been removed from the B-1Bs in 1995, as confirmed by Russian inspectors. So the first combat mission, Operation Desert Fox, centered on two Oman-based B-1Bs releasing 63 500-pound Mk 83 bombs each. President Clinton ordered that attack on Iraqi Republican Guards barracks on December 17, 1998, in response to Saddam Hussein’s expulsion of United Nations inspectors. Navy fighters supported that mission, as well as a second raid the following night.

Coalition air forces flew 40,000 strike sorties in 30 days as air skirmishes continued over the Iraq no-fly zones and F-16s downed two MiGs and bombed an airfield. Operation Provide Comfort, a no-fly zone to protect Kurdish people in Northern Iraq, continued from 1991 into the next century.

The need for precision bombing led to development of the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) glider bomb family, satellite-guided by their own individual GPS to hit targets up to six miles away. The 2,000-pound GBU-31 is the first of these weapons to be used in combat.

Conflict in the former Yugoslavia led to Operation Allied Force with 9,000 NATO sorties being flown in 30 days. Two B-2As flew the first of 45 combat missions all the way from Missouri on March 24, 1999, each launching 16 GBU-31s. Eight B-1Bs and 18 B-52Hs flew from Fairford, England, to drop Mk 82s on Serbian targets. On May 1, B-1Bs dropped 168 bombs on the Novi Sad oil refinery. 86th FW F-16s shot down four Serbian attack planes in Bosnia.

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