This is an illustrated encyclopedia with more than 900 photographs and illustrations. This is an illustrated guide to some of the planet's most powerful aircraft, with over 900 stunning colour and black and white photographs and illustrations. It takes you through the history and evolution of civil, military and specialized aircraft, from the first fighters of the early 20th century to the bombers of World War II to commercial turbo-jet powered airliners. It includes many of the most famous aircraft ever built, including the American Lockhead Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon and the UK Avro Vulcan. Specification boxes tells you the role, weight, dimension and crew for each machine, while specially commissioned illustrations and diagrams bring each craft to life. This fully illustrated reference book charts the history of aviation, from the pioneering achievements in aeroplane development of the early 20th century, to the powerful and lethal jet fighters used in the world wars, and the jumbo commercial crafts familiar to travellers today. The first half of the book contains chapters covering Early Fighters, the Role of the Fighter and Bomber, Military Aircraft, Civil Aircraft and Specilized Aircraft. The entry for each plane is accompanied by detailed specifications, stunning drawings and historical photographs. The informed and accessible text, accompanied by colour pictures that bring each craft to life, make this an essential read for any aircraft enthusiast.