The inside story of the American military's transition into the jet age, as told by a flyer whose life depended on its success. With anecdotes about fellow pilots as well as precise technical information, Donald S. Lopez interweaves his own story with the history of the jet plane, revealing how airmen coped with both exhilarating successes and sometimes tragic failures. Excerpts from an actual flight test report provide insights and glimpses of the numerous, often subtle, design factors that are weighed against each other in developing a machine that must defeat its adversaries at high altitudes, high speeds, and crushing G-forces.
Donald S. Lopez is the deputy director of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum and a former pilot with the 23rd Flying Tiger Fighter Group in China. He is the author of several books, including Into the Teeth of the Tiger (1986).