Engineer’s view on Lightweight Fighter (LWF) program

Books that make you who you are

Recently, I bought two books by Herbert A. Hutchinson who was a Chief System Engineer USAF LWF Program Office. The books are

Inside History of the USAF Lightweight Fighters, 1900 to 1975

As the book’s title says its about the history of fighters development in US Airforce. But what makes this book stand out of the likes is its emphases on engineering aspects of the fighter planes. Herbert Hutchinson brings unique perspective being an aerospace engineer.

The F-16 Fighting Falcon Multinational Weapon System, 1972 to 2019

This second book has some overlapping material with the book above. And it is focused mostly on nitty gritty details of the transition from YF-16 prototype to full blown F-16 fighter as it’s known today. By the way F-16 is the most numerous 4th generation fighter in the world.

Why these books?

As I wrote in a number of post previously here, here and here, the most interesting books about engineering topics, such as aviation, space, physics or mathematics are those that are written by engineers, physicist and mathematicians who can explain the subject from personal point of view. In the case of Herbert Hutchinson books he provides lots of valuable advice as an experienced system engineer and manager to fresh engineers. I find this advice crucial because you do not find this knowledge and experience transfer that often when you join a company as junior engineer.

As such these books resemble to me

Engineering is the core human activity

I hope you got what I had in mind. Well, if you like these topics as I do, then I guess you may find the books above more than interesting.


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