Since the Wright brothers made their famed flight at Kitty Hawk in 1903, aviation has emerged as the indispensable arm of American military power. In this detailed and well-illustrated history, Charles J. Gross traces its development from the technological antecedents of the Wright brothers' triumph through the air war for Kosovo. Drawing on examples from all periods and all service branches, he explains the roles of politics, economics, and technology in shaping air power in the U.S. armed forces and assesses the actual impact of military aviation on warfare. Gross discusses major developments in aircraft, doctrine, training, and operations. He also provides discussions of airlift, in-flight refueling, military budgets, industry, and inter-service squabbling. He deftly sketches the evolution of the air arms of each of the different services and provides clear analysis of military budgets. He also provides assessments of the selected programs of Eisenhower, Kennedy, McNamara, and Nixon. Military professionals, scholars, civilian government policy makers and planners, and interested members of the general public will all rely on this book as an invaluable guide.
American Military Aviation