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Jet aircraft and rocket fighters - Luftwaffe: books

A book on aircraft of the Luftwaffe? Here are books on the history and development of German jet aircraft and rocket fighters from World War II.

Luftwaffe X-Planes - German Experimental Aircraft of World War II

From jet planes and high altitude aircraft to radar-equipped fighters configured to deliver chemical weapons, numerous Luftwaffe planes were designed and reached prototype stage but never made it into mass production or battle. Luftwaffe X Planes is a definitive, revelatory guide to the remarkable range of secret planes that the Third Reich failed to complete.

Despite the Allied authorities' ban on research, countless aircraft were designed and tested by the Luftwaffe and German manufacturers before World War II. The research went ahead at secret evaluation sites in Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and the USSR.
After the outbreak of the war this work continued. Many projects remained on the drawing board or at prototype stage because either they were deemed unsuitable or, as is the case with most of those in this selection, the developers simply ran out of time and the projects never went into production.

Renowned aviation expert Manfred Griehl has painstakingly assembled a valuable selection of images which shows the remarkable range of projects dreamed up by the German designers. Had these innovative projects ever been realised the course of the World War II could have been dramatically different.

Author:Manfred Griehl
Specs:80 pages, 24.5 x 17.5 x 1.5 cm / 9.7 x 6.9 x 0.59 in, hardback
Illustrations:numerous b&w photographs
Publisher:Pen & Sword Books Ltd (GB, 2015)
Book: Luftwaffe X-Planes - German Experimental Aircraft of World War II

Luftwaffe X-Planes - German Experimental Aircraft of World War II

Language: English

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X-Planes - German Luftwaffe Prototypes 1930-1945 (hard cover)

Renowned German aviation specialist Manfred Griehl has collected a unique and valuable selection of photographs of Luftwaffe projects that never made it into battle. They remained on the drawing board or at prototype stage either because they were deemed unsuitable or the developers simply ran out of time and the projects never went into production.
Most photographs come from the development sites and testing grounds of the major manufacturers of Nazi Germany: companies such as Dornier, Junkers, Focke-Wulf and Heinkel all received funding from the government to develop bigger and faster aircraft. A huge amount of private testing went on with major organisations such as Daimler-Benz, BMW and Siemens investing huge amounts in new engine systems and other advances such as radar.

This book also details the innumerable alterations that were made to existing service aircraft to equip them for new roles. There are examples of Fw190s developed for the delivery of chemical and toxic weapons, the high altitude Junkers EF 61, the early prototype WNF 342 helicopter as well as numerous examples of developmental jet fighters that could very well have been realised had it not been for the effectiveness of the Allied bombing campaign in restricting the supply of necessary materials.

Author:Manfred Griehl
Specs:288 pages, 23.5 x 18 x 2.7 cm / 9.25 x 7.1 x 1.06 in, hardback
Illustrations:profusely illustrated
Publisher:Pen & Sword Books Ltd (GB, 2012)
Book: X-Planes - German Luftwaffe Prototypes 1930-1945 (hard cover)

X-Planes - German Luftwaffe Prototypes 1930-1945 (hard cover)

Language: English

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X-Planes : German Luftwaffe Prototypes 1930-1945 (paperback)

In this superb illustrated guide, renowned German aviation specialist Manfred Griehl has collected a unique and valuable selection of photographs of Luftwaffe projects that never made it into battle. They remained on the drawing board or at prototype stage either because they were deemed unsuitable or the developers simply ran out of time and the projects never went into production.

There are examples of Fw190s developed for the delivery of chemical and toxic weapons, the high altitude Junkers EF 61, the early prototype WNF 342 helicopter as well as numerous examples of developmental jet fighters that could very well have been realised had it not been for the effectiveness of the Allied bombing campaign in restricting the supply of necessary materials.

Much of this development work went on to have an important influence on aircraft design in both the East and the West after the Second World War, making this book an essential source not just for those interested in Hitler's Luftwaffe but also in the history of military aviation in general.

Author:Manfred Griehl
Specs:288 pages, 25.5 x 20.5 cm / 10 x 8.1 in, paperback
Illustrations:profusely illustrated
Publisher:Pen & Sword Books Ltd (GB, 2015)
Book: X-Planes : German Luftwaffe Prototypes 1930-1945 (paperback)

X-Planes : German Luftwaffe Prototypes 1930-1945 (paperback)

Language: English

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Rocket and Jet Aircraft of the Third Reich

Throughout much of the Second World War the Nazis' military technology was far more advanced than anything the Allies could produce. Part of the German arsenal were rocket and jet aircraft, the first of which, the Heinkel He 178, first took to the air on 27 August 1939. It was followed by other icons of aviation such as the Messerschmitt Me 262 that had an engine with a thrust of 1,350lbs, and the famous V-1 (Doodlebug), over 9,500 of which were fired at Britain resulting in 22,892 casualties.

In this book, aviation historian Terry C. Treadwell tells the story of the planes and weaponry that represented the cutting edge of aviation technology. He details their design, development and application and the struggles of those who built them.
The German scientists and engineers were always under pressure from the German High Command during the conflict, and as it drew to a close they were caught between the Allies who wished to control them, and the SS who would stop at nothing to prevent them falling into Allied hands.
Complimented by over 200 illustrations, "Rocket and Jet Aircraft of the Third Reich" provides unrivalled insight into the aircraft that made Germany an almost indomitable enemy.

Author:Terry C. Treadwell
Specs:192 pages, 25 x 18 x 1.9 cm / 9.8 x 7.1 x 0.75 in, hardback
Illustrations:200+ photographs and drawings
Publisher:The History Press Ltd (GB, 2011)
Book: Rocket and Jet Aircraft of the Third Reich

Rocket and Jet Aircraft of the Third Reich

Language: English

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The Ultimate Piston Fighters of the Luftwaffe

The development of aviation engines in Germany was revolutionary during closing stages of the War. In 1945, the Daimler Benz, Jumo and BMW engines in service, equipped with power boosting systems, generated 2,000 hp. There were prototypes that could generate 3,000 hp and BMW/Argus projects could reach 4,000 hp.

To benefit from their extreme performances, Blohm und Voss, Daimler Benz, Dornier, Focke Wulf, Heinkel, Henschel, Messerschmitt and Skoda designed an impressive series of fighters that never left the drawing board. The reason was the decision taken by the Oberkommando der Luftwaffe to mass-manufacture the iconic and revolutionary Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighter.
This lost generation of projects were quickly forgotten and after years of research have been recovered and presented in this book.

Profusely illustrated with technical drawings and fascinating data and information on the Luftwaffe's most radical fighter projects, Justo Miranda chronicles these revolutionary designs that might have changed the course of the war.
A fascinating book for the military historian, modellers and those interested in aviation, this shows how advanced German scientists were towards the end of the Second World War and how the beloved Spitfire and Mustang would have been instantly superseded by radical Nazi fighters.

Author:Justo Miranda
Specs:144 pages, 25 x 17 x 1.4 cm / 9.8 x 6.7 x 0.55 in, hardback
Illustrations:154 drawings
Publisher:Fonthill Media (GB, 2013)
Book: The Ultimate Piston Fighters of the Luftwaffe

The Ultimate Piston Fighters of the Luftwaffe

Language: English

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The Ultimate Flying Wings of the Luftwaffe

It might have happened. With the Allied forces pushing into Germany, a desperate Hitler launched the next breed of German aircraft. Imagine a strange triangular bomber that could not be detected by radar or intercepted by fighters launches an inextinguishable ball of fire over London which destroys the city and its surroundings up to the sea.
Or perhaps a black boomerang of sixty meters drops two tons of anthrax over Washington and New York, making them uninhabitable for fifty years. A bombing raid experiences massive casualties, savaged by an armada of new German fighters, a like that the Allied gunners had never seen before.
They are dart shaped, too fast for the gunners to take aim, so the new Nazi flying wings and triangles decimate the bombers with their cannon fire and missiles that were automatically activated by photo-electric cells.

These things never happened. However, the construction of secret flying wings had commenced at the start of 1945 and one extraordinary new fighter took to the skies on its only test flight. If these radical fighters of the Luftwaffe had been pressed into service earlier, they may well have changed the outcome of the Second World War.

Profusely illustrated with technical drawings and fascinating data and information on the Luftwaffe's most radical fighter and bomber projects, "The Ultimate Flying Wings of the Luftwaffe" chronicles these revolutionary designs.
A fascinating book for the military historian, enthusiastic modelers and those interested in the more extreme side of World War 2 aviation, this book shows how advanced German scientists were towards the end of the Second World War and how close Hitler may have come in winning after all.

Author:Justo Miranda
Specs:248 pages, 25.5 x 18 x 2.5 cm / 10 x 7.1 x 0.98 in, hardback
Illustrations:132 b&w drawings
Publisher:Fonthill Media (GB, 2014)
Book: The Ultimate Flying Wings of the Luftwaffe

The Ultimate Flying Wings of the Luftwaffe

Language: English

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Vertical Takeoff Fighter Aircraft of the Third Reich (Luftwaffe Profile Series)

Technical history of Germany's World War II experiments with vertical takeoff aircraft, including the Natter and other rare and unusual types.

Author:J. Miranda, P. Mercado
Specs:40 pages, 28 x 21.5 x 0.3 cm / 11 x 8.5 x 0.12 in, paperback
Illustrations:70+ b&w and colour photographs, profile drawings, drawings
Publisher:Schiffer Publishing Ltd (USA, 2004)
Series:Luftwaffe Profile Series (17)
Book: Vertical Takeoff Fighter Aircraft of the Third Reich (Luftwaffe Profile Series)

Vertical Takeoff Fighter Aircraft of the Third Reich

Language: English

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Captured Eagles - Secrets of the Luftwaffe

The growth in size, lethality, and technology of the German Luftwaffe was of concern to some defense planners in the United States before American entry into the war. Learning about the Luftwaffe became a significant effort once the conflict broke out in Europe.
From defectors with German aircraft to battlefield trophies and combat crew reports, the race to understand German aero technology took on sometimes heroic proportions.

After the war, German technology infused American aerospace developments in many ways: German ribbon parachutes were evaluated for high-speed bailouts; sweptwing leading edge slat technology benefited the F-86 Sabre; overall comprehension of sweptwing benefits to fast jet aircraft was validated; pulse jet V1s and supersonic V2 rockets boosted American drone weapon, ballistic missile, and space exploration efforts.

In this volume Frederick A. Johnsen traces that path of discovery.

Author:Frederick A. Johnsen
Specs:304 pages, 24 x 16 x 2.9 cm / 9 x 6.3 x 1.14 in, hardback
Illustrations:numerous b&w and colour photographs
Publisher:Osprey Publishing (GB, 2014)
Book: Captured Eagles - Secrets of the Luftwaffe

Captured Eagles - Secrets of the Luftwaffe

Language: English

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Related titles:

Jagdgeschwader 5 : Luftwaffe's JG 5 Eismeerjager

Jagdgeschwader 5 : The Luftwaffe's JG 5 'Eismeerjäger' in World War II

Werner Girbig

English | hardback | 306 p. | 2012

Kampfgeschwader 51 Edelweiss

Kampfgeschwader 51 Edelweiss - The Complete History of Kg 51 in World War II

Wolfgang Dierich

English | hardback | 336 p. | 2015

German Elite Pathfinders: KG 100 in Action

German Elite Pathfinders : KG 100 in Action

Manfred Griehl

English | paperback | 72 p. | 2016

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Last update:20-04-2024