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Book details
  • Genre:HISTORY
  • SubGenre:Military / Aviation
  • Language:English
  • Pages:840
  • eBook ISBN:9798350947311

Goodbye Beautiful Wing

by Terrence O'Neill

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Overview
"Goodbye Beautiful Wing" is a captivating blend of historical fact and aerodynamic intrigue, spanning a tumultuous decade during and after World War II. Terrence O'Neill masterfully weaves fiction into the narrative, revealing the flawed decisions and political machinations behind the procurement of the Convair B-36 bomber, and the forgotten legacy of the superior Northrop Wings. Aspiring aviators will be riveted by this gripping tale of technical ignorance, political maneuvering, and the quest for aerial superiority in the face of global conflict.
Description
Goodbye Beautiful Wing is the underlying true story of history's first intercontinental bomber... straining the technology of the times, costing billions and many lives. Taken from actual government microfilmed correspondence and records of Northrop B-35 "Wing", Convair B-36 "Big Stick" and Army Air Corps research and development, the author translates how these two radically different designs, which were awarded contracts in December 1941, were to meet the same goal: to carry five tons of bombs from the USA, for 5000-miles across the Atlantic Ocean to bomb Germany and return, in case England fell. Though the new bombers were not ready when the first atomic bombs in 1945 abruptly ended World War Two, but because the USSR openly threatened world conquest, the B-35 vs.B-36 competition continued. They both were modified to carry the five-ton atomic bomb, to a 4000-mile-target in the Ural Mountains in the USSR, and return. The Air Force Secretary Symington's technical ignorance, politics, and corporate greed caused choosing the mission-incapable B-36, cancellation of many current aircraft contracts, including a Navy aircraft carrier then already under construction, and a Congressional Investigation of charges of bribery by the Convair head Floyd Odlum. Symington cancelled a Northrop contract and scrapped a dozen B-35 airframes in front of the Norcrafters who built them, and the last flyable "Wing", refusing to save one for a museum.
About the author
Terrence O'Neill soloed in a Porterfield, at age 16, in 1946, four months after two atomic bombs ended WW II. At age 23, he transferred from Aero Engineering to get a BA in Journalism, Notre Dame, January 1953, during Korean War time, and enlisted in the Navy Air Corps. He flew P2Vs in Patrol Squadron FOUR in the Pacific until 1957. He married Cynthia Westermann in 1956. They have six children who they helped get educated. All have college degrees -- four have graduate degrees. Four are engineers, one a speech pathologist, and one a teacher-writer. After the Navy, O'Neill's day-jobs varied: a St. Louis newspaper reporter, an ITT tech writer, free-lance writer, and PR manager for Falstaff Brewing Corp. Part-time, in 1960 he bought, restored, and flew the last Waco. In 1967 he incorporated O'Neill Airplane Company to manufacture his design, a six-place lightplane, earning FAA Provisional Type Certificate A19CE in 1969, just as the genav market crashed, with his company. While an Admin Director for an engineering company, part-time he designed, built and flight tested his Magnum bush plane, but there was no market interest. The O'Neills flew Lancair 235/320 he built. In 1985 he started designing a state-of-the-art personal plane, a blended-wing-body. He studied R&D government records of the Northrop B-35 and B-49 Flying Wings, and to understand of flying wings, bought, improved and flew a Mitchell B-10 'wing'. His research spun-off inventing a roll-yaw stability device for swept wing aircraft, awarded US Patent 5,078,338. It also motivated him to write a novel titled 'Goodbye Beautiful Wing', exposing why the Air Force bought the inferior B-36 Peacemaker 'Stick' instead of the stealthy (1948!) B-35 Flying Wings. O'Neill has about 2500 hours and a Commercial Pilot license with single- and multi-engine, instrument, instructor ratings, is still flying.