To many, the XB-70 Valkyrie is one of those ‘missed opportunity’ projects, doomed by a mixture of politics, economics and a large dose of ill-fate, but represents arguably the peak of US supersonic flight technology in the mid-1960s.
This is the seventh in Osprey’s X-Planes series, and provides a detailed examination of this amazing aircraft, highlighting the political and military background to its development, testing and ultimate cancellation. As with many other such experimental projects, the failure of associated projects (F-103 and F-108 interceptors) caused huge increases in cost, as all design costs fell onto just two airframes. In addition to the type’s tortuous progress towards first flight, the actual testing features predominantly, including its milestone Mach-3 sortie and the highly visible issues with undercarriage and airframe coatings.
The engineering narrative is punctuated with first-hand observations and reports from the crews, providing a very human touch, while the photo-graphs and digital illustrations are excellent, revealing much about this mysterious aircraft.
This is an ideal reference for anyone interested in the XB-70 or 1960s aviation designs, regardless of whether they are a modeller.
North American XB-70 Valkyrie
ISBN: 978-1-4728-2503-2 Price: £12.99