I recently stumbled across a terrific USAF-published historical reference document that I didn't know existed, The Encyclopedia of US Air Force Aircraft and Missile Systems, and thought that I'd share it with all. I didn't see it mentioned in the forum, so my apologies if this has been covered previously.
The Encyclopedia of US Air Force Aircraft and Missile Systems, is over 1000 pages and was published in two volumes by the US Air Force Office of Air Force History. The first volume describes Post WWII Fighters 1945-1973 (including landmark fighters of WWII and experimental fighters post WWII). The second volume describes Post WWII Bombers 1945-1973 (including experimental bombers post WWII). Each volume contains a section on each aircraft, describing its development (origin, design challenges, operational problems, and modifications), production decision dates, program changes, test results, procurement methods, technical data, operational characteristics, production totals, unit costs, and more. Missile Systems, despite being included in the title, are not included in these volumes (I surmise that there may have been a third volume but have not located it as of yet).
Three pdf files are available to download here, about 3/4's down the webpage: https://aeroantique.com/pages/downloads
As I've said in my prior posts, these documents were published by the government using our tax dollars, so we've already paid for them. I hope that you find them as interesting and as useful as I have.