Dark Sky, Black Sea: Aircraft Carrier Night and All-Weather Operations by Charles H. Brown
One of the aviator's greatest challenges--and fears--is flying in foul weather from an aircraft carrier. With only instruments to guide them, pilots are under constant pressure to keep their aircraft under control as the author of this book knows well. Charles Brown is a veteran naval aviator who participated in many of the operations he describes and helped develop the tactics to make such operations possible. His book addresses that significant but frequently overlooked part of carrier history: the ability of carrier combat units to fly and fight at night and in any weather condition.
From the early experiments on the USS Langley in the 1920s, the work traces the changes in the aviator's training, operational techniques, and tactics as technological improvements were made. It shows how the addition of the angled deck and mirror to the carrier, for example, had a dramatic impact on night flying. It chronicles developments before and during World War II as well as the Korean, Vietnam, and Cold Wars and closes with a vivid description of naval air combat during the Persian Gulf War, a time when night flying operations had become common.
As the book illustrates, technological advances in both carrier systems and airplanes have reduced the dangers of night/all weather operations over the years, provoking some of today's aviators to claim, "The night belongs to us." Brown believes they have achieved the right to claim at least partial ownership. He reminds readers that the developments described are one of the primary reasons carriers remain a major combat force in the U.S. military. Accented with lively anecdotes by participants, this is the first book to provide comprehensive coverage of the subject and will appeal to everyone interested in aviation.