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The Supersonic BONE (Hardback)

A Development and Operational History of the B-1 Bomber

Aviation Afghanistan Photographic Books Colour Books Cold War

By Kenneth Katz
Imprint: Pen & Sword Aviation
Pages: 392
Illustrations: 300 colour illustrations
ISBN: 9781399014717
Published: 28th February 2022

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RRP £35.00

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When the B-52 Stratofortress entered operational service with the US Air Force in 1955, work was already underway on defining its successor. The B-70 Valkyrie, a Mach 3 jet bomber, was one option. Although two XB-70A prototypes flew, the B-70 never went into production. Out of the subsequent Advanced Manned Strategic Aircraft program came the B-1A bomber, which flew at high speed and low altitude to evade enemy air defenses. The B-1A was cancelled in favor of fitting the B-52 with cruise missiles. The B-1, known as the BONE, was revived in 1981 as the improved B-1B to boost American military power and be a symbol of American strength at the peak of Cold War tensions. The B-1B entered service in 1986 with several deficiencies. The resolution of most of these issues coincided with the end of the Cold War.

After the Cold War, the B-1B lost its primary nuclear mission but remained relevant by transforming into a high-speed, long-range, high-payload delivery platform for conventional precision-guided munitions. The first combat use of the B-1B was in 1998 in Iraq. The BONE has proved a highly effective combat aircraft in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and the former Yugoslavia.

This superbly researched and illustrated book traces the BONE’s long development and operational history in fascinating detail.

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About Kenneth Katz

Educated in aerospace engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Michigan, KENNETH P. KATZ has over three decades of experience as an US Air Force officer, flight test engineer, and project manager. He is currently employed as a staff project engineer for a major aerospace contractor. Katz has a commercial pilot certificate with instrument rating, flight experience as an observer and crewmember in over 20 types of military aircraft and is a Senior Member of the Society of Flight Test Engineers.


He is the author of three patents, several conference papers, and two previous books about the subject of modern military aircraft.


Katz currently lives in Connecticut in the United States.

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