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Early Jet Fighters (Paperback)

British and American 1944 - 1954

WWII Aviation Korean War

By Leo Marriott
Imprint: Pen & Sword Aviation
Series: Images of War
Pages: 134
Illustrations: 200
ISBN: 9781526727770
Published: 2nd May 2018



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In almost 200 archive photographs Leo Marriott traces the course of the development of British and American jet fighters during the first pioneering decade of their production. In many ways the period from 1944 to 1954 was one of the most exciting and innovative in the history of military aviation. Rare images show the first jet fighters flown by the RAF towards the end of the Second World War and takes the story forward to the most advanced designs that played a key role in the war in Korea. The range of experimental and operational warplanes that were conceived and built during this short time was remarkable.

The initial straight-wing jets began with the Gloster Meteor and Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star which were later superseded by the first operational swept-wing fighters such as the Hawker Hunter, North American F-86 Sabre and Grumman F9F-6 Cougar. Development of all these benefited greatly from German Second World War advances in aerodynamics that were exploited by the British and Americans when the war ended.

Progress was so swift that, by the mid-1950s, the prototypes of the next generation of truly supersonic fighters were starting to appear, and these are featured in Leo Marriott's fascinating selection of images. He even includes a variety of prototypes which for various reasons did not result in production orders, as well as several unusual concepts such as flying boat fighters and mixed-power designs.

Early Jet Fighters: British and American 1944-1954 is a graphic and informative introduction to an extraordinary stage in the evolution of the modern warplane.

Featured in

Flights Path , May - July 2019

As featured in

Family Tree, June 2019

As featured by

Air Fan, February/March 2019

In softback format and reasonably priced, this book provides a fascinating insight into a period of unparalleled aircraft development. The author provides a fulsome tribute to British ingenuity and the debt owed by the USA to early UK designs.

Society of Friends of the Fleet Air Arm

Rare images show the first jet fighters flown by the RAF toward the end of World War II and takes the story forward to the most advanced designs that played a key role in the Korean War.

Read the full review here

Midwest Book Review

As featured in

RAF News 10/8/18

This new addition to the ever popular Images of War series is a really good one...

I think the aviation historians along with modellers will enjoy this one, telling the story of such an important period in the history of jet aircraft development and with some rare photos which provide some great detail.

Read the complete review online here.

Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland

About Leo Marriott

Leo Marriott has written numerous books on aviation, naval and military subjects including Treaty Cruisers, Catapult Aircraft, Jets at Sea, Early Jet Fighters: British and American 1944-1954, Early Jet Bombers 1944-1954 and Early Jet Fighters 1944-1954: The Soviet Union and Europe. He is now retired after a fifty-year career as an air traffic controller but still maintains his pilot’s licence. Apart from aviation and naval history, his other interests include sailing, photography and painting.

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