In the history of aviation there have been many attempts to produce aircraft of extraordinary proportions to expand the limits of technology and create new performance standards. With few exceptions, the early attempts did not become the successes envisaged until post-World War II when such aircraft as the Boeing B-52 long-range heavy bomber and the Boeing 747 'Jumbo Jet' airliner changed the face of aviation in both the military and civil roles. Big Wings is a well-researched, highly informative and sometimes nostalgic look at the sixteen most significant giants of the air. Each chosen aircraft is introduced and its raison d'?tre explained, then follows an in-depth review of the successful and failed technical aspects of the design, its operational history, first-hand accounts from those that had flown the aircraft and finally some startling facts and statistics.
The aircraft selected are as follows: Military - Douglas B-19, Boeing B-29, Consolidated B-36, Northrop B-49 and Boeing B-52, Airliners - Bristol Brabazon, Boeing 747 and Airbus A380, Heavy Lifters - Messerschmitt Me323, Consolidated XC-99, Lockheed C5 and Antonov AN-225, Flying Boats - Dornier Do-X, Martin JRM Mars, Hughes HK-1 and Saunders Roe Princess.
Philip Kaplan is a Californian author and art-director who know lives in Cheltenham with his English wife, also an author. He has a long-standing fascination with aviation and naval history and has had ten previous books published by Abbeville, Cassell, Random House and Aurum. To date his books have sold well over a quarter of a million copies world-wide.