Focusing on its design, development and deployment during the Cold War, this title charts the history of the groundbreaking B-58 Hustler bomber, the first large aircraft capable of Mach 2 at 63,000 feet. One of the most dramatic bombers of its day, the Convair B-58 came to epitomize the Cold War power of Strategic Air Command. Introduced only 12 years after the sound barrier was first broken, this iconic plane became the first large long-range supersonic bomber to take to the skies, a feat which had seemed far-fetched only a few years previously. Outstripping its contemporaries in terms of speed, and agile enough to escape most interceptors, the B-58 was a remarkable feat of engineering, setting 19 world speed records and collecting a host of trophies. The first operational bomber capable of Mach 2 at 63,000 feet, it was able to evade hostile fighters and represented a serious threat to targets across the Soviet Bloc. Supported by contemporary first-hand accounts, photography, and full-color illustrations, this study explores the history of this groundbreaking aircraft from its conception to its little-known testing for use in the Vietnam War.
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