Winter Reading

What happens when we get a massive winter for the record books? One way to kill time is to open a good book, and the Missouri Aviation Historical Society has some new featured books that are a must read for any aviation enthusiast!

Curtiss XP-55 Ascender


By Gerry Balzer


The Curtiss XP-55 Ascender was a tailless swept-wing WWII pusher fighter design born out by the USAAC 1940 fighter competition. The USAAC was looking for a fighter to counter the threat of the German Bf-109 and the Japanese Zero and replace the obsolete P-35s, P-36s and the front line P-40s just entering service. From this competition three unusual pusher prototypes were ordered, the Consolidated XP-54, Curtiss XP-55, and the Northrop XP-56. A low powered full scale flying model (model CW 24B)was built out of wood and cloth to substantiate the flying qualities, and was first flown on 2 December 1941. The XP-55 mock-up was completed in August 1942, and the first of three XP-55s was completed on 26 June 1943 with its first flight being conducted on 13 July 1943. The first aircraft was destroyed on 15 November 1943. Changes deemed necessary were incorporated in the second airframe in which performance testing began on 16 September 1944. Although the much more capable P-38, P-47, and P-51 had entered service, research into the XP-55s unusual design continued. The third XP-55 had entered flight testing in April 1944 and was used at Eglin Field for armament tests before being lost during a war bond rally display on 27 May 1945. By then the program had been terminated. Today, the second XP-55 presides in restored condition at the Kalamazoo Air Museum. 

[Ordering Info]

Wingspan – From J-3 to Mach 3


From the skies over Vietnam, to test flying at the edge of space; in the left seat over the Atlantic, and around the racing pylons at Reno – George André’s tale of a life at the controls of a stunning variety of aircraft takes the reader on an unforgettable ride.

This book will be featured and available to buy at our February meeting, as author George Andre recalls his exciting career as a test-pilot flying the SR-71, among many other achievements. [Ordering Info]

The McDonnell F3H Demon (E-book) 


The F3H Demon in Detail & Scale not only follows in the proud tradition established by the popular Detail & Scale Series of military aviation publications for more than a quarter of a century, it takes it to a whole new level!  The publication provides an extensive detailed look at this U. S. Navy jet fighter from the late 1950s and early 1960s.  Because it is in digital format, it has far more text and photographs, more color, and more artwork than could be included in the printed books in the Detail & Scale Series.

[Download Info]