Many Say This Sleek Bomber Prevented World War III. One Thing''s for Sure--Its Breakthrough Design Echoes in Jets to This Day. "We had both apprehension and confidence as we prepared for the first flight. I and many others did not know what was coming.'¬ Those were the thoughts of experimental test pilot Robert Robbins as he released the brakes and prepared to take a "truly radical airplane" aloft for the first time. It was the only time in his life Robbins ever prayed before a test flight. But the XB-47 was unlike anything he--or anyone else--had ever flown. Poised on Runway 13 of Boeing Field on the afternoon of December 17, 1947, the first-ever jet bomber looked frighteningly futuristic. Thirty-five-degree swept wings, strut-mounted jets, swept horizontal and vertical stabilizers, and a long, aerodynamic fuselage set it apart from all but the most experimental aircraft of its day. Plumes of black smoke spewed from the XB-47''s six podded jet engines as the watching crowd of engineers, company officials, and family members held their breath. Would it take off, fly, and land? Robbins and fellow test pilot Scott Osler would soon find out... Time travelers from today could have broken the suspense. One glance at the aircraft would have told the story. For the XB-47''s profile is echoed in nearly every commercial airliner on every runway at every airport around the world, more than 50 years after that first flight. The B-47 would go on to become the prototype for a generation of military aircraft, and more than one generation of passenger plane. It made history and set standards. In many ways, it made the Boeing company itself. And if that weren''t enough, many credit the B-47 with being the major deterrent to World War III. This insightful, detailed portrayal of one of the world''s most influential aircraft lets you share with its creators some of the most exciting moments in aeronautical history. Professional aviation writer and pilot Jan Tegler''s B-47 Stratojet takes you along on heart-pounding test flights, gives you the controls of nuclear-armed B-47s, and walks you into hangars to meet the crews whose work made the B-47 fly and fly again. Packed with illustrations, including revealing technical diagrams, color and black-and-white photographs--many never before published--and interviews with leading figures in aviation history, this consummate telling of the B-47 story is the milestone book on a turning-point aircraft. B-47 Stratojet will be a long-time source of pride and pleasure to anyone fortunate enough to read and own it. B-47 Stratojet features: *More than 150 illustrations and photos showcasing B-47 design, development, systems, uses, and operation. *Insiders'' stories of testing, evaluation, and acceptance--from labs and wind tunnels through government contracts. *Exciting first-hand accounts of flying this high-performance plane, the first nuclear jet bomber. *Details and photos of "odd duck" B-47s modified for unconventional uses such as hurricane hunting. The Walter J. Boyne Military Aircraft Series The Sky Warriors of Yesterday, Today, & Tomorrow Each volume in The Walter J. Boyne Military Aircraft Series provides an extensively illustrated look at America''s top combat aircraft, from pre-WWII to conflicts yet to come. Internationally renowned, Walter J. Boyne is a former USAF Command Pilot and the number one aviation author. He is also past Director of the Smithsonian Institution''s National Air & Space Museum, and co-founder of Wingspan, Air & Space Channel, the first cable television channel devoted exclusively to aerospace subjects. It never gained a nickname, nor served in combat. "One can only thank God that the B-47 never had a chance to gain such a reputation," writes Series Editor Walter J. Boyne in his introduction to this book, "for it was designed for nuclear warfare." During the early years of its operational career, the B-47 was far ahead of Soviet aircraft and antiaircraft weaponry. Its certain abilityTegler, Jan is the author of 'B-47 Stratojet Boeing's Brilliant Bomber' with ISBN 9780071355674 and ISBN 0071355677.