This book looks at the various aircraft currently or recently used by the US Air Force's Special Operations Command, an organisation that provides a variety of unusual services to the US military, including combat-rescue missions and the operation of flying control rooms, capable of controlling quite sizable ground operations.
Five of the eight types of aircraft covered are actually variants of the C-130 Hercules, starting with the AC-130 Hercules Gunship, the longest serving of any of the aircraft covered, with a combat career that stretches from the 1960s to the present day. The most recent is the very impressive CV-22 Osprey Tilt-Rotor aircraft, which only entered service in 2006, after a very lengthy development programme. There is also a brief look at the STOL version of the Hercules produced in 1980 for use in a possible second attempt to rescue the American hostages in Iran.
Each chapter begins with a description and history of the aircraft in question. This is followed by a series of profiles showing different paint schemes, and finally by a detailed walk-around. These walk-around sections are very impressive, filled with detailed colour photographs of just about every aspect of each aircraft's exterior and most of the interiors (with fewer interior shots on the more modern aircraft for understandable reasons). These sections will be absolutely invaluable to the expert modeller, providing details views of some of the more obscure corners of each aircraft.
1 - Special Operations, History and Overview
2 - The AC-130 Gunship
3 - The MH-53 Pave Low
4 - The MC-130 Combat Talon
5 - The CV-22 Osprey Tilt-Rotor
6 - The MC-130P Combat Shadow
7 - The EC-130 Commando Solo
8 - The MC-130W Combat Spear
9 - The MH/HH-60G Pave Hawk
Appendix I: Glossary of Terms
Appendix II: XFC-130J Credible Sport
Appendix III: Aircraft Specifications
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Author: Rick Llinares and Andy Evans