Author(s): FRANCIS BERNARD & CROSBY IRELAND
This meticulously researched and illustrated book is split into two sections, the first focusing on the history of the aircraft carrier, and the second of naval aircraft. Each section comprises a chronological history and a comprehensive directory featuring history’s most significant aviation ships or aircraft.
The history of aircraft carriers chronicles the first ships to launch primitive aircraft, such as kite balloons and airships, to today’s modern warships, capable of carrying whole fleets of naval jets and helicopters. There are fascinating features on key subjects, such as aircraft carrier battle groups and tactics, and informative commentaries on how developments in aviation technology have impacted on the design of the aircraft carrier.
Naval aircraft have evolved from the early days when biplanes were catapulted from converted destroyers to the jet aircraft patrolling the world’s seas today, and the second half of this book chronicles these massive leaps in technology. Spanning almost 100 years of aviation history, from early attempts to launch aircraft using ill-conceived modifications of land-based aircraft, through to today’s Harrier jump jets, unique for their vertical take-off capabilities.
The two directories feature over 300 of the world’s most important aircraft carriers and naval aircraft with full technical specifications for each. Each entry is accompanied by identification photographs, many of which are full colour and have never been published together in one volume. Finally there is a useful glossary containing definitions of some of the key terms of naval aviation technology.
Lavishly illustrated with over 1100 archive photographs, this unique book provides historians and enthusiasts with key information about aircraft carriers and naval aviation from the early 20th century to the present day.
Francis Crosby has had a deep interest in aviation since an early age. After qualifying and working as an archaeologist, in 1985 he joined the Imperial War Museum’s branch at Duxford, England, acknowledged as one of the world’s leading centres for aviation enthusiasts. Having held research and exhibition posts at the museum, he led Duxford’s Marketing Department for many years. He then established a marketing and business development consultancy and works with visitor attractions as well as heritage and cultural organizations around the world. He has written extensively on historic aviation and has acted as a consultant for the media and the publishing industry.