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Flying Aircraft Carriers of the USAF: Project FICON By Brian Lockett
Paperback: $39.95
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Project FICON (Fighter conveyer): In the early 1950s, the Air Force conducted a series of experiments to establish the feasibility of carrying, launching, and retrieving jet reconnaissance airplanes... More > from giant Convair RB-36 bombers. It was hoped that the bombers would carry the reconnaissance jets to the perimeter of the Soviet Union and then release them to penetrate the air defenses. Tests of the concept were conducted in 1952 and 1953 with a Republic F-84E Thunderjet and the YF-84F Thunderstreak prototype. Twenty-six Republic RF-84F Thunderflashes and ten Convair GRB-36D carriers were modified for the project. In 1955, a squadron of carriers was established at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. A squadron of parasites was established at nearby Larson Air Force Base. Training operations began in December 1955, but the composite aircraft system faced competition from the Boeing RB-52B, Lockheed U-2, and the development of aerial refueling.< Less
Project FICON Handbooks By Brian Lockett
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Reprints of the Air Force Flight and Maintenance Handbooks for the Convair GRB-36D FICON carrier aircraft. It contains: Utility Flight Handbook USAF Series GRB-36D-III/RF-84F Composite... More > Aircraft Utility Flight Handbook GRB-36D-III FICON Aircraft Supplemental Handbook Maintenance Instructions USAF Series GRB-36D-III Aircraft< Less
Flying Aircraft Carriers of the USAF: Project FICON By Brian Lockett
Hardcover: $74.75
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Hardcover edition contains 20 color illustrations. Project FICON (Fighter conveyer): In the early 1950s, the Air Force conducted a series of experiments to establish the feasibility of carrying,... More > launching, and retrieving jet reconnaissance airplanes from giant Convair RB-36 bombers. It was hoped that the bombers would carry the reconnaissance jets to the perimeter of the Soviet Union and then release them to penetrate the air defenses. Tests of the concept were conducted in 1952 and 1953 with a Republic F-84E Thunderjet and the YF-84F Thunderstreak prototype. Twenty-six Republic RF-84F Thunderflashes and ten Convair GRB-36D carriers were modified for the project. In 1955, a squadron of carriers was established at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. A squadron of parasites was established at nearby Larson Air Force Base. Training operations began in December 1955, but the composite aircraft system faced competition from the Boeing RB-52B, Lockheed U-2, and the development of aerial refueling.< Less
Balls Eight: History of the Boeing NB-52B Stratofortress Mothership By Brian Lockett
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It has been asserted that the Boeing NB-52B Stratofortress, carrying Air Force serial 52-0008, can lay claim to being the airplane that has seen and participated in more history than any other single... More > airplane. For forty-five years, the NB-52B was a fixture at Edwards Air Force Base. While the NB-52B is most famous for launching the three North American X-15 rocket planes, it continued to serve in the role of launch platform for a multitude of programs until its final mission on November 16, 2004. It was the oldest flying B-52 by nearly ten years. The book is 200 pages long. It contains 246 color photographs, 89 black and white photographs, and 2 other illustrations.< Less
Painting Guide for the Boeing Stratofortress Motherships By Brian Lockett
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This document tracks the changes to the appearance of the two Boeing B-52 Stratofortresses that were modified to carry and launch the North American X-15 rocket planes. The two NB-52s went on to... More > launch the X-15A-2, Northrop HL-10, Northrop M2-F2, and Martin-Marietta X-24A. The NB-52A retired in October 1969, but the NB-52B soldiered on until November 2004, launching a wide variety of unmanned research vehicles and parachute test devices. The appearance of the NB-52s changed many times over the years. These changes are illustrated in this document. There are fourten sets of illustrations for the NB-52A and eighteen sets of illustrations for the NB-52B. The Stratofortress motherships are popular subjects for modelers. Their special missions capture the imagination. The liberal application of DayGlo orange, DayGlo red, and yellow makes them a couple of the most colorful B-52s. This document will help modelers to reproduce the correct appearance of either Stratofortress for any particular mission.< Less
Flying Aircraft Carriers of the USAF: Wing Tip Coupling By Brian Lockett
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During and after World War II, aircraft designers were faced with the problem of increasing the range of strategic bombers. Dr. Richard Vogt, a German immigrant to the United States, proposed that... More > floating wing panels carrying fuel tanks could be attached to the wing tips of an airplane with hinges to extend its range. The floating wing panels would support their own weight, without increasing the load on the airplane’s wings. The Air Force initiated a project to simulate floating wing panels with a piloted light plane that coupled to a larger airplane in flight. Soon the scope of the project expanded to explore the possibility of towing fighters coupled to the wing tips of bombers.< Less
Flying Aircraft Carriers of the USAF: McDonnell XF-85 Goblin By Brian Lockett
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The P-85 Goblin was the only airplane that ever flew which was designed from scratch to be operated entirely from another airplane. The development of the B-36 by the Consolidated Vultee Aircraft... More > Corporation of Fort Worth, Texas resulted in a requirement for fighter protection for the bomber at distances from any friendly base that far exceeded the range of currently available escort fighter airplanes. Due to the inability of contemporary fighters to escort B-36 bombers all the way to their targets, the Army Air Corps initiated Project MX-472, Unconventional Fighter Design Studies, on December 3, 1942. The primary objective of the project was the development of a suitable method of protecting the B-36 on long-range bombing missions. The McDonnell Aircraft Corporation designed the P-85 Goblin to fit entirely within the confines of the bomb bay of the B-36. The little fighter was just fifteen feet long with a wing sapn of twenty-one feet.< Less
Rocket Launches From Vandenberg Air Force Base, 2010 calendar By Brian Lockett
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Photos of thirteen rocket launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base: Pegasus-XL/Wide-Field Infra-red Explorer (WIRE) March 4, 1999 Atlas-IIAS/Terra December 18, 1999 Delta II/Gravity Probe B, April... More > 20, 2004 Minotaur/Streak September 22, 2005 Titan IV/National Reconnaissance Office satellite, October 19, 2005 Minuteman III, February 16, 2006 Minuteman III, April 2, 2008 Target Launch Vehicle, September 24, 2008 Delta-II/GeoEye 1, September 6, 2008 Delta II/Jason 2, June 20, 2008 Delta II/COSMO-Skymed, October 24, 2008 Taurus/Orbiting Carbon Observatory, February 24, 2009 Delta-II/Worldview 2, October 28, 2009< Less
North American T-28A Trojan N81643, 2010 calendar By Brian Lockett
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A dozen photos of North American T-28A Trojan N81643. It served the Air Force as 49-1643. Norman B. Dennis Jr. of Brookneal, California registered it as N9674C in 1966. Robert Eggmann of Belleville,... More > Illinois registered it as N28RE in 1978. Edward A. Buerckholtz of Chesterfield, Missouri registered it as N81643 in 1985. It has been registered to Round Power Limited of Reno, Nevada since March 4, 2004. Its owner, Gregg Weitzman, had it restored in the colors of a T-28A that was flown by the Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base in the 1950s. It is based at the Santa Barbara Airport.< Less
North American T-28A Trojan N81643, 2011 calendar By Brian Lockett
Calendar: $16.95
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A dozen photos of North American T-28A Trojan N81643. It served the Air Force as 49-1643. Norman B. Dennis Jr. of Brookneal, California registered it as N9674C in 1966. Robert Eggmann of Belleville,... More > Illinois registered it as N28RE in 1978. Edward A. Buerckholtz of Chesterfield, Missouri registered it as N81643 in 1985. It has been registered to Round Power Limited of Reno, Nevada since March 4, 2004. Its owner, Gregg Weitzman, had it restored in the colors of a T-28A that was flown by the Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base in the 1950s. It is based at the Santa Barbara Airport.< Less