B58 Hustler Units...

... from Osprey Publishing

Title: B-58 Hustler Units

Author: Peter E. Davies

Publisher: Osprey

ISBN: 978-1-4728-3640-3

Number 130 in the Combat Aircraft series from Osprey, this one covers an aircraft which had a relatively short service career but one which even now I love the look of. The large Delta winged Hustler was very much the product of post-WW2 thinking, with fast, high flying delivery of nuclear weapons being considered the way of the future.

The book tells us the development story, and changes to the engines as new ones became available, and the move from conventional ejector seats to individual pods. Unlike other heavy bombers, the pilot sat alone, in a fighter style cockpit, complete with fighter style joystick as well. It provides the story of the aircraft entering service, and how some early fatal accidents helped earn it a poor reputation, though that loss rate improved. The numbers planned were cut back, and in the end only 116 examples were built. We see the Service story and alternative missions such as reconnaissance as well as that of a bomber. It is all supported by a fine selection of archive images, some in colour and others in black & white. Most notable though must be the 10 pages of fine colour profiles. The individual profiles are detailed in the Appendix at the back of the book, and show some very colourful designs.

Another excellent book from Osprey, tackling this impressive and futuristic looking B-58 Hustler. As a Mach 2 bomber, it comes as no great surprise that when it was phased out, a number of aircrew were transferred to the then new 9th SRW, flying the Mach 3+ SR-71 Blackird.

Thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review copy.