Book Review: Project Terminated

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When it comes to covering the intriguing world of cancelled aircraft, vanished spaceship concepts and ‘what-if’ scenarios, there has never been anything quite like Erik Simonsen’s ‘Project Terminated.’ Unlike other books on similar subjects which often combine solid text with indifferent art, Simonsen’s book manages to bring these long-forgotten concepts beautifully to life with vivid, accurate photomontages that stand up to the closest scrutiny. Simonsen’s lavish illustrations are accompanied by a wide selection of archive photos and illustrations as well as a detailed, well-researched text that delves into the detailed background behind each project and its untimely demise.

As well as chronicling the technical story, Simonsen also reviews the sometimes more challenging political hurdles that were, in virtually every case, the cause of their final downfall. Simonsen, who is a well-known aviation photographer whose work frequently graces the pages and website of AW&ST, clearly enjoyed himself during the making of this book. This is particularly clear in the section for each case where the author also paints a picture of what the operational career of each project could have looked like, along with potential evolutionary twists and turns on the way.

F-108A Rapier (all illustrations Erik Simonsen)

Subjects covered include the Northrop YB-49A/YRB-49A Flying Wing, Avro CF-105 Arrow, North American F-108 Rapier and Republic Aviation XF-103 Thunderwarrior, Boeing X-20 Dyna-Soar (with a detailed overview of the company’s contemporary X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle – one of which is conducting a classified on-orbit mission as this is written), and Lockheed’s F-12B Interceptor. Others include the British Aircraft Corporation’s TSR.2, XB-70 Valkyrie, Rockwell’s B-1A/1B and XFV-12A. It also covers the ‘what might have been’ story of the Northrop F-20 Tigershark.

RAF TSR.2 and Lightning

U.S. Navy FV-12A - supersonic STOVL ahead of the F-35C

RB-49A

Missiles deploy from F-103As

USAF Boeing X-20 heads into orbit atop a Titan III

F-12B interceptor and YF-12A

Project Terminated
Famous Military Aircraft Cancellations of the Cold War
and What Might Have Been
Foreword by Walter J. Boyne

By Erik Simonsen

8.5" x 11"
224 pages
200 color and 25 B&W photos
Hardcover
$39.95

Crecy Publishing Ltd. (www.crecy.co.uk), and distributed in the U.S. by Specialty Press (www.specialtypress.com).

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