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North American A-5 Vigilante: books - history and technology

A book on the North American A-5 Vigilante? Here are books on the history and technology of North American combat aircraft.

A-5 Vigilante - Pilot's Flight Operation Instructions

North American's A-5 Vigilante served for nearly two decades as an all-weather supersonic strike aircraft and reconnaissance platform. An outgrowth of studies begun in 1953, the prototype first flew in 1958.
Originally designed to operate as a nuclear delivery system, the Vigilante was at the time of its introduction the largest and most complex aircraft to operate from a carrier.

Carrying a crew of two, the Vigilante was equipped with two General Electric J-79 turbojets, and utilized a single tailfin. It featured a high-mounted swept wing with aluminum-lithium alloy skins and no ailerons.
The Vigilante featured cutting-edge technology and was one of the first aircraft to use fly-by-wire systems and a heads-up display, as well as inertial navigation among other advanced systems. As a result of shifts within the Navy's nuclear strategy brought on by the advent of the nuclear ballistic missile submarine, the A-5 never served in a strategic role. Instead most were converted to the RA-5C reconnaissance platform.

Beginning in 1964, Vigilantes flew missions in Vietnam. Although extremely fast and maneuverable, the RA-5C's combat record was far from stellar. Difficult and expensive to maintain in the field, the Vigilante also compiled a dubious loss record. Out of 156 built, 18 aircraft were lost in combat and nine more succumbed to accidents during the Vietnam conflict.

After 1974, a phase out of the Vigilante began with smaller, less complex fighter aircraft taking on the recon role. The RA-5C was deployed for the last time in 1979.

Originally printed by the U.S. Air Force, this A-5A Vigilante flight operating manual taught pilots everything they needed to know before entering the cockpit. Originally classified "Restricted", this manual was declassified long ago and is here reprinted in book form.

Author:U.S. Navy
Specs:330 pages, 25.5 x 20.5 x 1.7 cm / 10 x 8.1 x 0.67 in, paperback
Illustrations:numerous photographs and drawings
Publisher:Periscope Film (USA, 2012)
Series:Pilot's Flight Operation Instructions

RA-5C Vigilante Units in Combat (Osprey)

Developed from the A-5 nuclear bomber and used in a reconnaissance role, the North American RA-5C Vigilante was the largest and fastest aeroplane ever to operate from the deck of an aircraft carrier. During the Vietnam War it sustained the highest loss ratio of any American aircraft in that conflict.
This volume includes compelling accounts of combat missions over key communist targets, where crews dodged Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAMs) and anti-aircraft fire to secure all-important mission photographs. Written by a Vigilante combat veteran this book is crammed full of action-packed first-hand accounts.

Contents: Background and Development - Escalation 1964-68 - Highway Patrol 1969-71 - War Finale 1972 - Other Days, Other Missions 1964-79 - Cruises - units involved, with dates - Vigilante losses.

Author:Robert 'Boom' Powell
Specs:96 pages, 24.5 x 18.5 x 0.7 cm / 9.7 x 7.3 x 0.28 in, paperback
Illustrations:photographs and drawings (in b&w and colour)
Publisher:Osprey Publishing (GB, 2004)
Series:Combat Aircraft (51)
Book: RA-5C Vigilante Units in Combat (Osprey)

RA-5C Vigilante Units in Combat

Language: English

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Last update:15-06-2024