Jet Fighters of the U. S. Navy and Marine Corps is a two-book series that describes the entire history of American Naval jet fighters, from the very beginning when many thought that the onset of military jets would mean the end of naval carrier-based aviation, to today when the fifth-generation stealth jet F-35B/C Lightning II has begun its service with both the Navy and Marine Corps. Also covered by the books is the history of how American aircraft carriers evolved from the ESSEX class ships that won World War II with propeller-driven aircraft to the mighty supercarriers of today. The thirteen aircraft covered in Part 2 begin with the Chance Vought F-8 Crusader, the first Navy and Marine jet fighter able to routinely exceed supersonic speeds, and which brought U. S. Navy jet fighters on par in performance to their land-based counterparts. As with Part 1, the scope of this publication includes all Navy jet fighter designs that reached at least the flying prototype stage, so the F11F-1F Super Tiger, F5D Skylancer, and XF8U-3 Crusader III, each of which was developed from an existing aircraft design, are all covered. Also included is the F-111B, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara’s vision of a be all, do all aircraft for both the Navy and the Air Force. It was a concept which, at that time, was simply not possible to achieve. All of the fighters covered here in Part 2 that became operational with fleet squadrons saw, and continue to see, plenty of combat around the world. The Navy and Marines have also operated three different types of jet fighters, as well as other types of aircraft, strictly in a training role, that of serving as adversary aircraft in dissimilar air combat training (DACT). These include the American built F-5E/F/N Tiger II and F-16 Fighting Falcon, and the Israeli F-21A Kfir. These fighters are also included in this publication. As this book is published in 2020, the primary jet fighter for the U. S. Navy is the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, and the F-35C is just beginning to enter the inventory with the Navy’s first fleet squadron being declared operational in 2019. Meanwhile F-35Bs are already serving in considerable numbers with the Marines as they replace both the AV-8B Harrier II and eventually some F/A-18 Hornets. Together, Jet Fighters of the U. S. Navy and Marine Corps, Part 1 and Part 2, cover every jet fighter that has been designed, built, and at least reached the flying prototype stage since the FH-1 Phantom first took to the air in 1945. The remarkable history of these aircraft, the problems faced, the solutions developed, and the successes achieved provide incredibly interesting reading for the aviation enthusiast. The print edition of Jet Fighters of the U. S. Navy and Marine Corps, Part 2: Mach 1 and Beyond features 113 pages, 208 high resolution photographs, 188 of which are in colour, and 10 full colour profiles.
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