75 Years of the Israeli Air Force

Volume 1 - The First Quarter of a Century, 1948-1973

Bill Norton

The Israeli air force is one of most-published upon military flying services of the last 70 years. Based on more than 30 years of research, this volume provides the so far most comprehensive, most in-depth, and most critical review of its operational history since inception in 1948. This is the first volume in a three-volume mini-series.
Date Published :
November 2020
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
Middle East@War
Illustration :
112 b/w & color photos. 15 color profiles, 1 color plate of unit insignia, 5 b/w maps, 9 tables, 2 diagrams
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781913336349
Pages : 96
Dimensions : 11.7 X 8.3 inches
Stock Status : Available


In May 2023, Israel will be celebrating the 75th anniversary of its founding as a state, and also the 75th anniversary of the establishment of its air force.

The maturation of what was once the Israel Defense Force/Air Force (IDF/AF), and since 2005 is the Israeli Air-Space Force (IASF), is a fascinating study of a military force working to meet shifting obligations under multiple impediments while being repeatedly tested in combat. Many factors over the seven and a half decades shaped its air fighting capability, not the least being the demands of the evolving battlefield, uncertain funding, available weapons, and quality of personnel. Tactics and doctrine were, in turn, shaped by government policies, international pressures, and confronting adversaries likewise evolving. When the trials in war, or combat short of war came, success was a measure of its weapons’ suitability, relevancy of training, and experience of personnel.

This volume documents this evolution of the Israeli air force throughout its history by examination of all of these factors. It stands apart from many other books in performing this examination in a more dispassionate and critical manner, without the common hyperbole. A great deal of space is devoted to description of constant shifts in its equipment – especially aircraft and other weapons – and its organizational structure over time.

A summary of the geopolitical milieu in which Israel and its military institutions have dwelled over the 75 years helps to explain the material acquisition and tactical choices while placing in context the operations in which they were employed.

Written at a time of historical challenges for Israeli Air and Space Force, and the Israel Defense Forces as a whole, this is an exclusive, highly informative and richly illustrated source of reference and is the first volume in a three-volume mini-series.

About The Author

William J. Norton is retired from a flight test engineering career that spanned 40 years, including 20 years as a US Air Force officer. This included serving as aircrew aboard test aircraft. He has held numerous positions in many organizations on dozens of aerospace programs spanning all aircraft types. He has penned scores of technical papers, seventeen books, and a multitude of magazine articles. Bill holds a Masters in Aeronautical Engineering and has taught technical courses at the college-level. In addition, he is a civil pilot with numerous ratings, restored and operates a DHC-1 Chipmunk, and built a Rutan Long-EZ. Bill is married to the lovely Anya Victoria.


"...a useful addition to the aviation buff or modeler’s book shelf."

- Air Power History

" Packed with incredible archival photos, color profiles of key aircraft and renderings of unit insignia, this history of the IAF’s first quarter century is highly recommended."

- Aviation History Magazine

"This book will be of great interest to aircraft modelers and aviation historians alike."

- AMPS Indianapolis

"...[a] well-researched, analytical overview of the air force, peppered with anecdotes."

- Historical Miniatures Gaming Society

"A really interesting read and a great collection of images to accompany the text."

- Military Model Scene

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