Valkyrie: North American's Mach 3 Superbomber

Overview

The Valkyrie is one of the icons of modern aviation, which is curious considering only two were built and they flew just 164 times. Like the Maiden it was named for, the Valkyrie awed those around it. Beautiful in form, and almost unbelievable in function, the B-70 would have been the ultimate incarnation of Curtis LeMay's vision of a strategic bomber. The half-million pound aircraft was capable of flying over 2,000 miles per hour in excess of 80,000 feet, and doing it for hours at a time. Fantastic as the ...

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Overview

The Valkyrie is one of the icons of modern aviation, which is curious considering only two were built and they flew just 164 times. Like the Maiden it was named for, the Valkyrie awed those around it. Beautiful in form, and almost unbelievable in function, the B-70 would have been the ultimate incarnation of Curtis LeMay's vision of a strategic bomber. The half-million pound aircraft was capable of flying over 2,000 miles per hour in excess of 80,000 feet, and doing it for hours at a time. Fantastic as the Valkyrie appeared, it was not to be. The political and fiscal climate that existed during the 1960s strangled - then killed - the aircraft almost before it was born. This is the story of the largest Mach 3 aircraft ever flown - the North American Aviation XB-70A Valkyrie. Dennis R. Jenkins and Tony R. Landis have conducted extensive research in military, NASA, and company archives to find previously uncovered aspects of this fascinating program. Included are descriptions of the proposed bombing and navigation systems, defensive armament, electronic countermeasures, and early attempts at stealth technology. Accompanied by over 250 photos and dozens of illustrations, this in-depth history covers the entire B-70 program, not just the two aircraft that ultimately flew.

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Editorial Reviews

Scott Van Aken
To put it simply, this book is a must have for any aviation enthusiast.
Modeling Madness
IPMS
Recommended. If you're interested in aicraft development in the late 50s/early 60s, this book has a lot of information on projects which just never got off the drawing board, often for really good reasons.
—Jim Pearsall
Internet Modeler
Anything and everything you could want to know about the XB-70 is in this book. Excellent narrative and awesome photos.
—Chris Banyai-Riepl
Hyperscale
This is an excellent book for both the modeller as well as the armchair enthusiast.
—Rodger Kelley
Model Aircraft Monthly
I'm certain enthusiasts everywhere will welcome these affordable reprints of landmark titles. If you missed any of them the first time around, you're in luck now. All three deserve spots in every aviation library. Strongly recommended.
—David L. Veres
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580071307
  • Publisher: Specialty Press (MN)
  • Publication date: 9/15/2008
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Pages: 246
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Dennis R. Jenkins is a consulting engineer in Cape Canaveral, Florida, working on various aerospace projects including 20 years on the Space Shuttle and several on the stillborn X-33 program. He is the author of more than 30 other works on aerospace history.

Tony R. Landis was born and raised in Southern California and joined the Air Force right out of high school. He has had a life-long interest in aerospace history, and images from his photo collection have been published in hundreds of publications. He has been listed as a contributing photographer, editor, and artist in Wings/Airpower magazine and has worked at the NASA Dyden Flight Research Center for several years. Landis has authored several aviation books for Specialty Press.

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Table of Contents

Alvin S. White VI
Fitzhugh L. "Fitz" Fulton, Jr. VII
The Ultimate Bomber VIII
An Expensive Diversion - The Atomic Powered Airplane 1
Technical Voodoo - High Hopes for WS-110A 13
The Elusive Mach 3 Fighter - XF-103 and XF-108 43
Another Diversion - High-Energy Fuels 77
Politics - And Continued Restructuring 91
The Flight Program - Half A Million Pounds at Mach 3 121
1960s State-of-the-Art - Construction and Systems 183
No Apparent Threat - Military Systems 211
129 Flights of the Maidens 237
The Valkyrie Pilots 245
A Pilot's Perspective 246
Lessons for a Supersonic Transport 249
Interesting Facts 253
Notes and Citations 255
Index 261
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 15, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent, beautifully illustrated and extremely thorough history of the XB-70.

    This book is outstanding as are most specialty press publications. It covers every detail of the technology and history of the XB-70 program. Every one of the technological details is illustrated as well with engineering drawings. The historical aspects are illustrated with extensive photographs of the 2 XB-70s built.

    What really makes the book outstanding though, is that it has extensive coverage of the supporting XF-103 and XF-108 Mach 3 fighter programs as well. It even covers the flying saucer decoy, that was designed for the XB-70.

    All in all, an outstanding book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 20, 2010

    A must for the aircraft enthusiast or cold war historian. An extraordinary book on one of America's most amazing technological feats; a 500,000 pound aircraft that cruised at Mach 3.

    A superbly woven story of historical context, technical descriptions, and excellent photos. Certainly the best book on the Valkyrie that I have ever come across. One cannot help but be entranced by the photos of this beautiful machine. It still looks like tomorrow's high-speed aircraft even 50 years later. Designing, building and flying this aircraft is a testament to what America can imagine--the authors have done a great job capturing this. The book is well researched and is an in-depth resource (both depth & breadth) on the XB-70. If you have a question on the XB-70 it will most likely answered in this book.

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