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X-Planes (Hardback)

German Luftwaffe Prototypes 1930-1945

WWII Aviation All Frontline Books World War Two Aviation Aviation Reference Photo Books

By Manfred Griehl
Frontline Books
Pages: 312
ISBN: 9781848325555
Published: 19th July 2012



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Renowned German aviation specialist Manfred Griehl has collected a unique and valuable selection of photographs of Luftwaffe projects that never made it into battle. They remained on the drawing board or at prototype stage either because they were deemed unsuitable or the developers simply ran out of time and the projects never went into production.

Most photographs come from the development sites and testing grounds of the major manufacturers of Nazi Germany: companies such as Dornier, Junkers, Focke-Wulf and Heinkel all received funding from the government to develop bigger and faster aircraft. A huge amount of private testing went on with major organisations such as Daimler-Benz, BMW and Siemens investing huge amounts in new engine systems and other advances such as radar.

This book also details the innumerable alterations that were made to existing service aircraft to equip them for new roles. There are examples of Fw190s developed for the delivery of chemical and toxic weapons, the high altitude Junkers EF 61, the early prototype WNF 342 helicopter as well as numerous examples of developmental jet fighters that could very well have been realised had it not been for the effectiveness of the Allied bombing campaign in restricting the supply of necessary materials.

The author has done some fine research into these interesting 'X-craft' and their prototypes...

... This is a fascinating collection of information, and the author must have spent years assembling the data as so much original material was destroyed or taken away by the victorious allies and as he mentions, hidden away on various archives so that it is now pretty much impossible to unearth. For reference on the many and varied aircraft types designed under the banner of the Third Reich, this is just packed with interesting information for the aircraft historian, modeller and enthusiast.

Military Modelling - Robin Buckland

“X-planes” is a fascinating look at an amazing chapter in aviation history.

Toy Soldier & model figure

This is a book for the enthusiast; many of the machines described and illustrated will be familiar to historians of the period. Perhaps the most valuable part of this book is the explanation of the complex organisation behind the development and trials of the numerous aircraft that were intended for military and civilian use during the Third Reich.

The Bulletin - Military Historical Society

With numerous photographs thorough, is a book for the enthusiast.

Perhaps the most valuable part of the book is the explanation of the complex organisation behind the development and trails of the numerous aircraft that were intended for military and civilian use during the Third Reich.

The Bulletin - Militay Historical Society

By the title alone you know you will like this book and I am pleased to say it does not disappoint once you get inside. This one is a cracker from first to last.

The author details the many test sites where development took place and it helps to illustrate the huge amount of effort that went into the growth of German air power.  The author draws our attention to the fact that while it could do next to nothing about the manufacturing power of it’s enemies the Luftwaffe made the huge mistake of developing too many types while not sticking to the manufacture of successful models.

The book then turns into an illustrated directory of aircraft types. It details them alphabetically by manufacturer showing the types taken way beyond the drawing stage. For the majority this means finished machines, indeed many of which are the production types we all know. However, a great many others are a fascinating mix of concepts and competition designs which did not get beyond the prototype stage. Helicopters and autogyros mix in with the whole polyglot of gliders, floatplanes and sundry jets the German boffins are famous for.

This is another of those dip in and out books I really enjoy.


About Manfred Griehl

Manfred Griehl was a renowned aviation expert and the author of Luftwaffe X-Planes: German Experimental Aircraft of World War II.

Perfect Partner

Luftwaffe X-planes (Hardback)

From jet planes and high altitude aircraft to radar-equipped fighters configured to deliver chemical weapons, numerous Luftwaffe planes were designed and reached prototype stage but never made it into mass production or battle. Luftwaffe X Planes is a definitive, revelatory guide to the remarkable range of secret planes that the Third Reich failed to complete. Despite the Allied authorities' ban on research, countless aircraft were designed and tested by the Luftwaffe and German manufacturers before World War II. The research went ahead at secret evaluation sites in Germany, Switzerland, Sweden…

By Manfred Griehl

Click here to buy both titles for £37.99
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