I bring this to you reminding us of a time when the military industrial complex talking points included nuclear annihilation through the use of high speed, high altitude bombers. The US was developing high speed 70,000 feet bombers that would invade Russian or Chinese territory and then drop a bomb on a city and out run the back blast or any pursuers. Surface to air missile technology changed all of that.
“In his second book, Jared Zichek presents the comprehensive story of some of the most radical attack aircraft ever designed to operate from an aircraft carrier. These incredible projects were developed in 1948 to equip the USS United States, an immense 65,000-ton supercarrier that was to have been the core of the Navy’s nascent strategic nuclear bombardment capability. The ship was a substantial departure from traditional carrier design, with a fully retractable bridge that permitted the operation of aircraft of unprecedented size and weight. Two classes of attack aircraft were to have equipped this mighty ship: the Class VA, Heavy Attack and Class VA, Long Range Special Attack. Legendary aerospace companies such as Convair, Curtiss-Wright, Douglas, Fairchild, Lockheed, Martin, North American, Northrop, and Republic would each submit proposals to the competitions. Recently declassified, details of these fascinating projects are presented here for the first time.
Varying widely in appearance, these studies ranged from Douglas’s relatively small and modern Model 593 to their unconventional Model 1186 series, which was inspired by the X-3 Stiletto and featured a small parasite aircraft mounted atop a gigantic missile. They are representative of a postwar aerospace engineering revolution that produced great advances in high speed aircraft design, jet engine development, and offensive nuclear capability. Unfortunately for the Navy, the USS United States and its aircraft complement were abruptly cancelled on April 23, 1949 at the behest of the Air Force, sparking the infamous “Revolt of the Admirals.” Only one of the aircraft proposals would survive the cancellation and reach production; while smaller and less capable than its competitors, it would go on to have a long and distinguished career in the Navy. Featuring an authoritative text and hundreds of previously unpublished illustrations and photos, this book belongs in the library of any serious student of naval aviation and Cold War history.”