S u m m a r y
||Warbird Tech Series No.
34 - "North American XB-70 Valkyrie" by Dennis Jenkins and Tony Landis,
||Soft cover; 8½" x 11" in
portrait format, 104 pages plus covers
USD$16.99 available online from Specialty Press
compared to existing publications; good use of colour photographs; great
coverage of construction, powerplants and structural details; detailed
||No large three-view
foldout (but only a semi-miss!)
Reviewed by "Bondo"
Warbird Tech XB-70
Valkyrie is available online from
Bondo has a special relationship with the XB-70 going back to 1966.
On the morning of 8 June he and about ten other navigation school students were
slogging their sweaty way in a T-29 from Mather AFB in Sacramento down through
central California on the route fondly remembered by thousands of USAF navs as
Overland South. Just north of LA we received a radio transmission on
Guard from LA Center advising all aircraft to stay well clear of a radial and
distance off the Peach Springs (AZ) VORTAC. When our aircraft commander queried
LA Center, they refused to elaborate. Only when we landed back at Mather did we
learn that the Number Two XB-70A had been lost north of Edwards in a midair
collision with an F-104 flown by America's then premier test pilot, Joe Walker.
The ill-planned PR photo event (featuring General Electric jet engines) not only
resulted in a tragic loss of life for two of the three pilots involved, but
represented the same monetary cost as if the carrier Enterprise had sunk.
Although at the time the future of the XB-70 was somewhat in doubt due to rapid
changes in Soviet strategy and aeronautical development, the crash was to be the
beginning of the end for the program, and in 1969 the surviving Number One ship
was flown to Wright-Patterson AFB for display in the USAF Museum.
Bondo and other members of the C-133A crew that delivered the X-15A-2 to
Dayton that same year were treated by the museum staff to a VIP
behind-the-scenes tour up into the cockpit of the huge bomber.
Although the Bondo Industries library was already populated with at least
three B-70 books (both editions of Steve Pace's Aero Series 30 as well as an
XB-70 Photo Chronicle by John Campbell and Garry Pape) this 104 page Warbird
Publication brings welcome additional material, pix and improved production
values such as glossy paper, better resolution and more color. Because we're
talking about just two airframes, much of the book's content has already been
covered in the above-mentioned publications, but this new entry may well be the
best of the group.
The historical lead-in to the subject is quite detailed and even includes
background on three of Bondo's recent completed projects, the
F-108 Rapier and
Being a fan of aircraft construction techniques, I especially appreciated added
pix of the bird's fabrication, many of which processes were truly cutting edge.
Ditto for powerplant details and special systems such as the Alert Pod and
Appendices included near the book's end (and not as well detailed in the earlier
pubs) are in-depth coverage of high energy alkyl borane fuel, a test pilot's
perspective (flight test summary) and an XB-70-derived SST.
Of the XB-70 books currently available, I'd say this would be the one to buy.
The only "semi-miss" I could find was the lack of a large three-view foldout
such as included in the first edition of the Steve Pace book.
Thanks to Karin of
Specialty Press for the review sample
Review Copyright © 2003 by
"Bondo" Phil Brandt IPMS 14091
This Page Created on 14 July, 2003
Last updated 24 August, 2003
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