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Aerogram March 2013
If you’re behind with your reading, Friend John Baxter brings you up to date
with just some of the titles that might interest you, here and overleaf.
American Bomber Aircraft
Development In World War 2
This is an exceptionally good work on US
bombers, not only for the wealth of information
but the excellent illustrative content to
complement its extensive text.
Published by Midland Publishing and written by
Bill Norton, this lavishly illustrated volume covers
not just a wide range of bombers but also their
equipment and associated development. It
covers the rapid advances in aerodynamics,
engine, turbo-superchargers, bombsights,
bombs and rockets, radar, guns and turrets –
and that’s just in the first chapter!
Operational information is quite limited, as you
would expect from the title, however, the
historical and technical aspects are
chronologically presented within each chapter
and things technical are easily manageable so
you’re not bogged down in heaps of techno-
terms. The amount of material presented is
remarkable, quite informative and well written.
Aircraft types covered include B-17, B-18, B24,
B-25, B-26, B-29, B-32 plus A-20, A-26, PB2Y,
PB4Y and Hudsons, Baltimores, Marylands,
Venturas, early Neptunes without going into
project aircraft, of which there are many. There
two pages on the huge XB-19, for instance, with
two very nice b&w photos and one in colour.
Most of the photos are new, and they’ve been
presented so well that the crispness is
staggeringly brilliant! There are several, excellent
contemporary colour pictures along with a wealth
of b&w three-views, cutaways and illustrations of
This impressive book is available from Hyland’s
Bookshop in Melbourne
www.hylandsbookshop.com.au or 03 9654
7448 for about $50.
Many thanks to Ms Orietta Colussi of DLS for the
From The Cockpit #16
I doubt that you could call the Fairey Barracuda
an aesthetically pleasing aircraft, but it was
functional and in time of war, that’s of far more
importance. This latest release from Ad Hoc
Publication’s ‘From The Cockpit’ series (No 16) is
a really impressive volume. Chock full of amazing
photos and superb colour profiles, it pleasantly
surprised me somewhat with its content.
It follows the standard format for Ad Hoc with its
A4 size, stiff card covers and glossy stock
throughout its 144 pages which contain 163
black &white photos (many I believe not
published previously) and 30 superb, full colour
profiles plus a double page full colour 4-view.
Much of the text is anecdotal with previous crew
members recalling their times in the type. The
author, Robert McCandless contributes the
majority of information, naturally.
Now, I’m not normally one who enjoys a large
amount of anecdotal recollections but this one is
a bit of an exception. It covers the history of the
type from development to training and service
life extremely well. The photo captions are very
informative and not the least bit anecdotal. I can’t
recall a better, or even any, book like this on the
Fairey Barracuda, so this one fills in a gap very
nicely indeed. I’d not read previously of wing
failings and instability problems that the type
suffered – and not just through ‘pilot error’ with
regard to the former. Recommendation – if you
have little or nothing on the Barracuda, then this
should suit you admirably – pardon the pun.
This is really a great book for any aviation, Fleet
Air Arm or World War Two enthusiast at a very
good price. It is available from Platypus
Publications for about $48 plus postage.
Many thanks to Ley Reynolds of Platypus
Publications for the review copy.
Fighters, Bombers, Reconnaissance
and Observation Types 1939-1942
Usually, I’m a bit annoyed when a publisher
combines two separate publications into one and
offers it at a cheaper price than the two
combined, especially if I’d already purchased the
two previous copies. This title, though, is an
exception. I already had the two previous and
smaller editions of Histoire and Collections French
Aircraft (Planes and Pilots series) in my library
and thought them ‘very special’ as Bruce
MacAveney likes to tell us! This combination is not
only A4 size, stiff card covers and 160 pages, it
is slightly revised and updated – and it’s a bit
cheaper! I find having all this info within the one
volume also suits me better.
Obtaining anything of quality covering the French
Armeé de l’Air in English isn’t easy. This is an
impressive book written by Dominique Breffort
and as the two separate titles are somewhat
difficult to find in Australia and if you missed out
on them, then don’t hesitate.
Okay, it’s a very close reproduction in layout to
the originals and the photos have been
occasionally ‘re-positioned’ within the text layout,
and you get six larger profiles to the page instead
of four, but there are seven pages of unit badges
that are not within the originals. The colour
profiles by André Jouineau are excellent and the
b&w photos come up well on the glossy stock.
Text is spaced out a bit more and makes for
easier reading. It’s quite well translated even if the
sentences are sometimes overlong.
My recommendation is to get this one –
especially if you want something decent on
French Aircraft of the period and you missed out
with the earlier publications. It is available from
Hyland’s Bookshop in Melbourne
www.hylandsbookshop.com.au or 03 9654 7448
for about $75.
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