What was it like to sit in the pilot's seat and take control of a P-51 Mustang in World War II? What about an F-14 Tomcat at the height of the Cold War? Or a Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor today? The cockpits of these fighter and bomber aircraft are revealed in Fighting Cockpits. Showcasing more than 50 of the world's most famous combat cockpits from early World War I aircraft to present-day fighters, this book includes more than 200 rich color photos from photographer Dan Patterson, as well as detailed history about combat cockpit development from aviation expert and historian Donald Nijboer.
In the beginning of the twentieth century, aircraft had open cockpits. Pilots during World War I had to bundle up with fleece-lined leather coats, sheepskin thigh boots, and woolen underclothing to avoid freezing in the cold air four miles up. There was no heating, no oxygen for high flying, no retractable undercarriage, no engine starter, no radio links with air or ground, no brakes to help with landing, and no parachutes. The pilot was afforded merely left and right foot pedals to control the rudder and a single central control stick to cause the nose of the plane to pitch up or down. Since then, the cockpits of fighters and bombers have seen quite an evolution, and the chronology is represented in Fighting Cockpits. Presented in large-format volume, this book will complete any history buff or aviation enthusiast's library.