X-Planes of Europe: Secret Research Aircraft of the Golden Age 1946-1974

Published: August 5th, 2012     
Author: Tony Buttler and Jean-Louis Delezenne
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery - IPMS# 14003
Company: Hikoki Publications
ISBN #: 978-1-9021092-1-3
Other Publication Information: Hardcover, 300 pages, unpublished photos and drawings, appendices
Price: $56.95
Product provided by: Specialty Press

Many Americans are familiar with the X-Planes developed in the USA. You would be hard-pressed to find an aircraft modeler who is not familiar with the X-1, X-3, X-15, and any of the other experimental aircraft developed over the years. Ask those same modelers to describe the HP.115 XP941, the XG900, or the Payen PA-49, and you might be greeted with a blank stare.

In 300 pages this excellent publication makes available much information about the X-Planes of Europe for the first time. The authors, Tony Buttler and Jean-Louis Delezenne, are experts in their chosen fields. Tony Buttler was a metallurgist for 20 years before becoming a freelance aviation historian specializing in the design and development of military aircraft. X-Planes is Buttler's 16th book and he has also written a large number of articles for aviation magazines.

Jean-Louis Delezenne worked as a Research Editor for Wings and Airpower magazines. He has also worked as an aviation photographer and has been published in several magazines.

Through the inclusion of hundreds of photographs, both b&w, and color, supported by scale drawings and cutaway drawings, this book represents a compendium of the history, development, successes, and failures of the X-Planes of Europe. The authors include the usual notes and commentary about the development of the subjects that are highlighted in the text. In addition, interviews with the pilots who flew these X-Planes are, when available, included.

The book is a fascinating story detailing the development of the X-Planes of Europe, their flight histories, and even includes a list for those airframes which survived the often harrowing and always dangerous flight programs.


This book is highly recommended for its technical content, excellent photography, and mostly for the enjoyable read that it represents. Thanks to Specialty Press for supplying a review copy to IPMS/USA, and to IPMS for the review space.

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