Barrett Tillman

Barrett Tillman grew up on an Oregon wheat and cattle ranch, where he was exposed to agricultural aircraft at an early age. He learned to fly at age 16 in 1965 and became involved in restoration and flying antique aircraft. With his father he owned and operated two WW II navy planes: an N3N-3 biplane trainer and a Douglas SBD-5 dive bomber.
The latter led to his first book, an operational history of the Dauntless. Graduating from the University of Oregon with a journalism degree in 1971, Tillman worked full-time as a freelance writer. In addition to 25 books, he has also written some 400 magazine articles. He founded Champlin Museum Press in Mesa, Arizona, in 1982, and served as managing editor of The Hook magazine in San Diego 1986-89. Since 1990 Tillman has been a full-time writer and novelist.

Novels

His books are gripping reads and abound in "Easter Eggs" for military flight sim nuts. They also put the flying squarely into context as part of larger operations and strategic / tactical goals.
They get my highest possible endorsement.

The Sixth Battle

The Sixth Battle starts with a civil war in South Africa and develops into the most expansive naval battle scenarios I've come across!
The novel draws American and Soviet Carrier forces into an enormous battle in the Indian Ocean East of Africa. The descriptions of Carrier Aviation , Soviet and American, are woven into brilliant panoramas of Naval warfare. A huge range of flight operations are described including aerial refuelling, ground attack, intercepts and anti-ship.
The South African saw the MiG at that same moment. Pulling hard into the threat, the Cheetah temporarily spoiled Li's tracking. But the Korean was not concerned. Jamming his 2 throttles througth the afterburner detent, he pulled up, cutting a diminishing radius turn across the Cheetah's flight path. He immediately recognised the setup . Low to the ground, with the MiG high in his rear hemisphere, was no place to be.
He reversed his turn, hoping the MiG would commit to following him. With his head turned, straining against the force of 5 times normal gravity, he watched the Fulcrum slide out of view behind his tail. Timing was crucial now.
About 2,500 feet back, its pilot would surely be turning right, bringing his nose into line for a short - range missile shot. But he did not complete the turn. Instead he continued his roll underneath and stopped in knife - edge flight after 270 degrees. Then he pulled hard left.
He looked over his right shoulder. expecting to see the Fulcrum's belly sliding away from him.
What he saw turned his guts to ice.
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