Convair Advanced Designs II - Secret Fighters, Advanced Aircraft, and Unique Concepts 1929-1973

Published: March 17th, 2014     
Book Cover
Book Cover
Author: Robert E. Bradley
Reviewed by: Hub Plott - IPMS# 31328
ISBN #: 978-0-85979-170-0
Other Publication Information: 280 pgs, 350+ B&W and color photos
Price: $39.95
Product / Stock #: AD170
Product provided by: Specialty Press

This book is a follow on companion book to the author's "Convair Advanced Designs that I was also fortunate to review for IPMS/USA! This book covers 41 different aircraft, some that were built and some that were only designs each is given its own chapter.

The list of aircraft covered is as follows:

  • Thomas Morse XP-13
  • PB-2A
  • P-66
  • XP-54
  • VP-43-3
  • XP-81
  • Vultee Model VF 4505
  • Vultee Penetration fighter
  • Vultee Design studies
  • Convair all weather fighter
  • XP-92
  • The Skate
  • XF-92A
  • F-102
  • F2Y-1 Sea Dart
  • AF VTOL Day Fighter
  • FY-1 Pogo
  • F-106
  • VTOL Model 2000
  • VXF Model 44
  • VTOL model 200
  • XBY-1
  • A-11
  • XB2Y-1
  • A-19
  • Vultee Model V-12
  • Vultee Vengeance
  • XA-41
  • TBY-2 Sea Wolf
  • XA-44/XB-53
  • Air Tanker designs
  • Army Attack studies
  • VA ASW(OS-117)
  • GETOL Studies
  • Convair Charger (Competitor to the OV-10)
  • AAFSS Model 49
  • LAAS study
  • A-8 Super COIN aircraft
  • ASX Model 21A-X Model 70
  • VTOL Model 84

One can see that quite a wide variety of aircraft are covered in this volume. The book does begin with a brief history of Convair and its components and prior companies. The author moves on into each of the various aircraft chapters. The book is divided into two parts. Part One covers the fighter designs and Part Two the attack aircraft! Where a prototype or production models were built the book has photos for the reader to view. Where the aircraft never got past the design stage there are drawings, artist renderings and pictures of models.

The book reads well and contains a lot of interesting information. Some examples are on page 25 there is a picture of the PB-2 with a powered turret and a RR Merlin 61 engine that was offered to European nations! The XP-54 pilot egress system is shown on page 37. Since a pressurized cockpit was required, Vultee sealed the canopy and the pilot would enter and exit via an articulated seat/cockpit floor assembly that lowered out of the bottom of the fuselage. Bail out was done via this system as well!! Discussion of the ASW aircraft competition between Convair and Lockheed that lead to the S-3A Viking was very interesting as both designs looked very similar and were close in performance and dimensions as well.

One of the most interesting and strange designs was done for the US Army. The AAFSS Model 49, AAFSS stands for Advanced Aerial Fire Support system. The Convair design was a ducted rotor concept VTOL design that in horizontal flight served as an annular wing and enhanced the rotor thrust in hover. The side by side cockpit had the unique ability to pivot 90 degrees for takeoff and landings and was equipped with ejection seats. While this design never made it to a prototype being built it is to me certainly the most unique aircraft in the book.

With so many aircraft covered I have tried to pick out a few chapters to discuss in this review. Each chapter covers its subject in good detail and with excellent photos and drawings. Many of the photos within were previously unpublished. There is much to be learned within these pages and the author gives a good detailed discussion on each design.

This is quite and enjoyable and informative read. There are many things within its pages that make me recommend this book to the modeler, scratch builder and aviation historian alike! All will find something of interest in this book. Quite a few of the aircraft covered are available in both 1/72 and 1/48 scale injection or resin kits. Many more we are still waiting on kits to come out. If you have the author's first volume you simply must buy this one too. You will be glad you did.

Our thanks to Specialty Press for the review copy and my thanks to IPMS/USA for the review opportunity! The book is available from Specialty Press's website or toll free number 1-800-895-4585 with a $6.95 shipping and handling fee added

  • Backcover
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