Posted:  April 24, 2015

Hornet: The Inside Story of the F/A-18The fascinating true story of the controversial development and deployment of the supersonic fighter jet that changed aerial warfare foreverThe McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet was born in 1978, a state-of-the-art supersonic fighter and attack aircraft with a top speed of Mach 1.8, more than one thousand miles per hour. It was versatile, fast, and reliable, and no war machine in the air could match it. The marines adopted it first, followed by the navy, impressed by its incomparable ability to engage in close aerial combat while at the same time efficiently delivering explosive payloads to designated enemy targets. It became the aircraft of choice for the US Navy's famous Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron in 1986 and served ably in combat from its first mission--America's launched air strike against Libya that same year--through 1991's Operation Desert Storm and well beyond. Yet the Hornet has always been shrouded in controversy, and while still in its planning stages, it sparked an unprecedented political battle that nearly doomed the miraculous machine before it could take flight.Orr Kelly, the acclaimed military author who has notably chronicled the remarkable histories of the US Navy SEALs and other branches of America's Special Forces, tells the fascinating true story of the F/A-18 Hornet--how it came to be, how it almost wasn't, and how it forever altered the way our nation's wars are fought.

The plans for a new jet fighter began after a spy plane took a photo of a Russian T-4 plane, much like the F-111, that we were using and had been since May of 1965. So two men who at one time friends were tasked by congress and a committee to come up with a new aircraft. The author takes you back in time to the very beginnings of flight and through some of the development from WWI. He does give credit to Germany, France, and Britain for different improvements that were made during the war. He also gives you a look into some of the pilots of that time as well. He then talks about that lack of any real improvement in aircrafts for the U.S. during this time. It was not for the lack of trying, for men were coming up with plans but were being voted down. Along with building up the Navy. It really wasn’t until the attack on Pearl Harbor that really got the ball rolling. Again once the war was over nothing was done until 65 with that being a new fighter jet. Now seeing that the Russians had a jet equal or more powerful had gotten people attention in the Pentagon. Both the Marines and the Navy wanted their hands in the project and a say so in the design. The back fighting between the two branches along with the aviation contractors coming in towards the end really caused for a bitter fight. As the story goes along the Marines get the contract but the plane has flaws because it cannot meet the specs for carrier landings which is what they mostly needed the aircraft for. A very good book in looking at all of the fighting it takes to get something done. Overall a good book. I got this book from net galley.  I give this 3 stars.

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LET’S WELCOME SOPHIE SINCLAIR AUTHOR OF: Rad-Reader:  Where did the idea for this story come from? ...