From Kites to Cold War

The Evolution of Manned Airborne Reconnaissance

  • Format:
    Hardcover
  • Pages:
    328
    pages
  • Illustrations:
    From Kites to Cold War tells the story of the evolution of manned airborne reconnaissance.
  • Published:
    November 15, 2019
  • ISBN-10:
    1682474658
  • ISBN-13:
    9781682474655
  • Product Dimensions:
    9 × 6 × 1 in
  • Product Weight:
    23 oz
Hardcover $49.95
Member Price $29.97 Save 40%
Book: Cover Type

Overview

From Kites to Cold War tells the story of the evolution of manned airborne reconnaissance.

Long a desire of military commanders, the ability to see the terrain ahead and gain foreknowledge of enemy intent was realized when Chinese airmen mounted kites to surveil their surroundings. Kite technology was slow to spread, and by the late nineteenth century European nations had developed the balloon and airship to conduct this mission.

By 1918, it was obvious that the airplane had become the reconnaissance platform of the future. Used successfully by many nations during the Great War, aircraft technology and capability experienced its most rapid evolutionary period during World War II. Entering the war with just basic airborne imagery capabilities, by V-E and V-J days, air power pioneers greatly improved imagery collection and developed sophisticated airborne signals intelligence collection capabilities. The United States and other nations put these capabilities to use as the Cold War immediately followed. Flying near the periphery of and sometimes directly over the Soviet Union, airborne reconnaissance provided the intelligence necessary to stay one step ahead of the Soviets throughout the Cold War.


About the Author

Editorial Reviews

"Tracing the progression from the first visual observers suspended beneath balloons to aerial photography and later electronic signals and communications exploitation, From Kites to Cold War ably illustrates how each exquisite airborne intelligence capability demanded more than just another magic black box bolted to an aircraft; innovative organizations and skilled operators were crucial to transforming the once-futuristic concepts into the ubiquitous intelligence products of today. With the US military currently reimagining its airborne intelligence enterprise, Morton’s superb analysis is a must read, offering timely and vital historical context to current deliberations." —Steven Fino, author of Tiger Check: Automating the US Air Force Fighter Pilot in Air-to-Air Combat, 1950-1980
"Morton chronicles the value of manned aircraft for observation, intelligence, and reconnaissance well before the advent of powered flight right up to the present. Wide-ranging and informative, this account emphasizes the importance and continued relevance of the first military mission for powered flight in engaging and thoroughly researched prose." John Terino, Chairman, Department of Airpower, USAF Air Command and Staff College
“Few think of Benjamin Franklin as an airpower proponent. Yet this Founding Father was enthusiastic about the balloon’s military potential. Not just as a tool for reconnaissance, but as a means of moving troops behind enemy lines. From Kites to Cold War: The Evolution of Manned Airborne Reconnaissance by Tyler Morton delivers this nugget among several surprising revelations in this history of aerial reconnaissance…. [This] is a fascinating look at a neglected part of history: reconnaissance. History buffs will enjoy Morton’s book.” —Galveston Daily News
From Kites to Cold War is an essential read for anyone involved in the present or future of airborne ISR. Morton’s well-written history of the first 200 years of airborne reconnaissance provides an appreciation of how the capability evolved into its modern form, particularly how the vision and adaptability of airborne reconnaissance advocates were crucial to progress. For the same reason, this book is also a useful read for those in the innovation game or involved in future force design. Although Morton’s aim was not to write a book on military innovation, this is essentially what it is. It is an instructive tale of vision, hype, experimentation, and adaptation that provides useful points of discussion and debate for those charged with integrating experimental technologies and ideas into future force structure.” —From Balloons to Drones
“If you want to know about image intelligence (IMGINT) this is the book to get…. The book is well referenced, dozens of pages of citations as a matter of fact as well as the same with end notes. This book is aimed squarely for the shelves of those following the unfolding history of this vital intelligence field—and its effect on historical events.” —Seattle Pi
From Kites to Cold War is an essential read for anyone involved in the present or future of airborne ISR. Morton’s well-written history of the first 200 years of airborne reconnaissance provides an appreciation of how the capability evolved into its modern form, particularly how the vision and adaptability of airborne reconnaissance advocates were crucial to progress. For the same reason, this book is also a useful read for those in the innovation game or involved in future force design…. It is an instructive tale of vision, hype, experimentation, and adaptation that provides useful points of discussion and debate for those charged with integrating experimental technologies and ideas into future force structure.” —Defense.info
“Extensively researched, this volume provides an excellent introduction into the origins and growth of manned airborne reconnaissance and the significant contributions this form of intelligence gathering made to intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), particularly over a period of some two hundred years.” —The Strategy Bridge
From Kites to Cold War is well shaped to provide researchers, aficionados or just interested readers with what they require…. An ideal reference book for military libraries, as well as for those wishing to research further the absorbing topic of airborne reconnaissance.” —Aerospace

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