By David Mondey
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Extra resources for Aircraft: An All Color Story of Modern Flight
Biggest and fastest of all the tail-first projects was the experimental XB-70A Valkyrie (78 abo\e right) built by North American in the L'S. Intended to supersede the B-52, the tail it was able to cruise for prolonged periods at a speed of (over 2,000 mph 3,220 km/h at 70,000 ft 2 1 ,300 m). Boeing's B-52 Siralofortress (77 top) is best described as brother' of its predecessor, the B-47, retaining the same type of flexible wing. In 1958 it represented the cornerstone of the West's 3 The first swept-vving jet bomber to be built in quantitywas the Boeing B-47 Stratojet (76 right) that began to equip the L'SAF's 306th (Medium) Bomb Wing in mid-1951.
The 'Connie' is typical of the final stage of development of the long-range piston-engined transports that preceded the fleets Providing safe and comfortable travel, the combined of piston-engined types, which included also the Boeing 377, Douglas jet age. 1649A Starliner, a million passengers across the Atlantic in their last full year of operations. ''—;-''';vv>''M;^y t> IB^ ^JlU^i *^ ^.
Tailored neatly around a powerful turbojet engine, its elongated fuselage and short-span wings made it look more like missile than aircraft. Not surprisingly, it needed a long take-off run, and the illustration shows a Lufttvaffe F-I()4G involved in a zero-length launch test, being hurtled into the air by a large booster rocket. ^ It was fortunate that Ling-Temco-Vought's F-8 Crusader (43 top) did not need a similar take-off run to Lockheed's Starfinhter, being an air-superiority fighter designed for operation from the US Na\y's aircraft carriers.