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  X-Plane Crashes: Exploring Experimental, Rocket Plane & Spycraft Incidents

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Author Topic:   X-Plane Crashes: Exploring Experimental, Rocket Plane & Spycraft Incidents

Posts: 4046
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 04-09-2008 08:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
X-Plane Crashes: Exploring Experimental, Rocket Plane & Spycraft Incidents, Accidents & Crash Sites
by Peter W. Merlin and Tony Moore
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Specialty Press (MN) (September 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158007121X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580071215
More info provided by Peter Merlin:
Aerospace archeology involves the research and study of the remains of aircraft, spacecraft, aerospace vehicles, and associated equipment - particularly those that were destroyed in crashes. It combines sleuthing skills and hands-on fieldwork. This book tells the story of how two aviation enthusiasts turned a unique hobby into a serious effort to preserve an important part of the history of flight research and development. Following an explanation of the nature of "X-Planes" and the origin of the X-Hunters Aerospace Archeology Team, the main body of the book has been divided into chapters that include stories about unusual aircraft and those who flew them.

Subjects include the fabled flying wings of Northrop, supersonic rocket planes from the era of The Right Stuff, the hypersonic X-15 that probed the edge of space in the earliest days of manned spaceflight, exotic fighter and bomber prototypes, Lockheed's super-secret Blackbird spy planes, and craft flown by such legendary test pilots as Chuck Yeager, Scott Crossfield, and Howard Hughes. Each story, illustrated by numerous rare historic photos, ends with a first-hand account of the team's search for the crash site and what they discovered. The X-Hunters have located numerous crash sites of exotic aircraft from Edwards Air Force Base and the mysterious Area 51, and recovered relics for public display in several museums. Every expedition combined C.S.I. skills with X-Files persistence, and a dash of Indiana Jones-style adventure.

The book mostly covers incidents from the 1940s through the 1970s - widely considered to have been the golden age of test flying when civilian agencies, industry, and military services pushed the known limits of aeronautical technology and ushered in the Space Age. The text includes narrative histories drawn from personal interviews, archival materials, and recently declassified documents. The authors also examine the subject from the unusual perspective of a series of expeditions to recover tangible evidence of these historic events. Previous books about aviation archeology have mostly been chronological lists of basic data with occasional detailed narratives. Subject matter has consisted mostly of warbirds (WWII-era combat aircraft) and commercial airline disasters. This is the first such book to focus on experimental research aircraft mishaps and incidents involving vehicles that operated at the edge of space, hence use of the term "aerospace archeology."

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