Dennis D. McDonald (ddmcd@ddmcd.com) consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management. Follow him on Google+. He publishes on CTOvision.com and aNewDomain and volunteers with the Alexandria Film Festival. He is also on Linkedin. To subscribe to emailed updates about additions to this web site click here.

Phil Rowe's B-58A SUPERSONIC STRATEGIC BOMBER

Phil Rowe's B-58A SUPERSONIC STRATEGIC BOMBER

Book review by Dennis D. McDonald

Rowe's book is a good companion volume to George Holt Jr.’s THE B-58 BLUNDER: HOW THE U.S. ABANDONED ITS BEST STRATEGIC BOMBER. Holt's book is an unapologetic focus on the politics and infighting behind the B-58's eventual demise. Rowe provides a meat-and-potatoes view of what it was like to actually fly this aircraft.

A lot of folks new to this airplane ooh and ah about its performance. I certainly remember being enthralled by its futuristic beauty when I was a kid.

Rowe does some of that but also demonstrates that this performance came at a price with range, stability, and crew comfort suffering in the process.

The book is highly episodic with little continuity from one short chapter to the next. The author focuses on specific details -- navigation, low level flight, tires, constant recalculation of the center of gravity, what it was like to be on alert -- and these topics at first seem unconnected.

Still, you can't help but come away from this book with an appreciation of what our military put up with during the Cold War. The B-58 was part of a massive Doomsday Machine that, had it ever been unleashed in a hot war, we would still be picking up the pieces. B-58 operators understood this and most (but not all) survived flying this machine. That was quite an accomplishment.

To see some pictures of the B-58 at the Air Force Museum in Dayton Ohio, go here.

Review copyright (c) 2018 by Dennis D. McDonald

 

Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra's THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS VOL. 1

Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra's THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS VOL. 1

Jeff Shaara’s GONE FOR SOLDIERS

Jeff Shaara’s GONE FOR SOLDIERS