Author(s): John Fredrickson
During the waning days of World War II, a frenzied race was underway in rubble-strewn Europe as US and Soviet forces sought to seize advanced German weapons technology. Over the next quarter century, North American Aviation (NAA) would enhance these spoils of war into fearsome weapons in America's arsenal. There's the swept-wing F-86 Sabre jet fighter, which would go on to be the only Allied warplane to outmaneuver a Soviet MiG-15 over Korea. X-15 rocket planes carried humans to the boundaries of space, setting speed and altitude records that still hold today. The story of these weapons and the engineers who nourished them is a fascinating look into postwar corporate history of the NAA and its impact on US aviation and space history.