Aircraft Reference Books - Vintage Airfix


Aircraft reference books

All these titles are available to purchase from Pen and Sword.

Contents:
- British Aircraft of the Second World War - By John Frayn Turner. Reviewed by Vintage Airfix.
- Fighters Under Construction in World War Two - By Graham Simons. Reviewed by Vintage Airfix.
- Flight Craft 16: The Hawker Hunter in British Service - By Martin Derry, Neil Robinson. Reviewed by Vintage Airfix.
- Flight Craft 18: British Military Test and Evaluation Aircraft - By Neil Robinson. Reviewed by Vintage Airfix.
- Flight Craft 7: V-Bombers - Valiant, Vulcan & Victor - By Martin Bowman, Dave Windle. Reviewed by Vintage Airfix.
- Lionel Morris and the Red Baron - By Jill Bush. Reviewed by Vintage Airfix.
- MESSERSCHMITT Bf 109 - By Chris Goss. Reviewed by Vintage Airfix.
- The English Electric Lightning - By Martin Bowman. Reviewed by Vintage Airfix.
- The Handley Page Victor - By Roger Brooks. Reviewed by Vintage Airfix.
- The Royal Navy Wasp - By Larry Jeram-Croft, Terry Martin. Reviewed by Vintage Airfix.
- 'Sam' Marshal of the Royal Air Force the Lord Elworthy - By Richard Mead..
- 1 Group Bomber Command - By Chris Ward..
- 1 Group: Swift to Attack - By Patrick Otter..
- 100 Group (Bomber Support) - By Martin Bowman..
- 16 Air Assault Brigade - By Tim Ripley..

 


 

Result Pages:  1  2  3  4  5 ...  [Next >>]  Displaying 1 to 15 (of 691 Books)

British Aircraft of the Second World War

By John Frayn Turner

British Aircraft of the Second World WarDescription:

This unique book, now republished, was the first of its kind to be published on British aircraft of the Second World War. Aviation enthusiasts and aero-modellers can see British aircraft as they really were, through magnificently reproduced colour photographs. Each of the forty-nine types of aircraft is accompanied by a brief 'biography' together with tables of the most important marks and their specifications, engine, span, length, height, weight, crew number, maximum speed, service ceiling, normal range and armament. There is also a section on British aircraft in action, which includes accounts of outstanding exploits by the pilots of different types. John Frayn Turner, the well-known aviation author, has chosen the pictures and provided the text.

Vintage Airfix Review:

An absolute must for any aeronautic enthusiast or WWII historian. The amount of detail on a huge amount of aircraft of the era is outstanding and the way it's presented makes it the perfect base for further research on a specific aircraft.

All the images, both black and white and colour are of a superb quality. The section on British aircraft in action, including accounts of pilots exploits, is fascinating.

This is the kind of book that, as a boy, I would take with me everywhere and bore my parents with. I loved it.

Return to Top

 

Fighters Under Construction in World War Two

By Graham Simons

Fighters Under Construction in World War TwoDescription:

A wide variety of military fighter aircraft were developed and utilized during the course of the Second World War. Development was dictated by the imperatives of war, and the Second World War saw fighter combat on a larger scale than any other conflict to date. This book profiles some of the most important fighter aircraft employed during the conflict, such as the iconic Spitfire, Hurricane, Typhoon, Bristol Beaufighter and De Havilland Mosquito, charting the developmental course of each craft in turn. The book works to illustrate the skill and initiative of the engineers who designed and created such aircraft, as well as the pilots who went on to fly them. This is a vivid account of the development and exploits of some of the most important fighter aircraft employed during one of the most pivotal periods of military and aviation history.

Vintage Airfix Review:

This book is a must for the World War 2 enthusiast. From the first chapter, which reveals the innovation used and in-depth information on the Spitfire production. To the DH Hornet, a long-range fighter destined for the war against Japan, but 'was too late to see war service'.

It has some fantastic, previously unseen pictures from the construction off the British fighters, engines and weaponry and details the struggles of constructing, the now, iconic machines when man power and resources where limited.

Return to Top

 

Flight Craft 16: The Hawker Hunter in British Service

By Martin Derry, Neil Robinson

Flight Craft 16: The Hawker Hunter in British ServiceDescription:

The Hawker Hunter is one of Britain’s classic post-war jet aircraft. Initially introduced in 1954 as a swept-wing, transonic, single-seat day interceptor, it rapidly succeeded the first-generation jet fighters in RAF service such as the Gloster Meteor (see Flight Craft 13) and the de Havilland Venom. Powered by the then newly developed Rolls-Royce Avon turbojet, the Hunter’s performance transformed the RAF’s day fighter squadrons from the mid-1950s until the advent of the English Electric Lightning from the early 1960s (see Flight Craft 11).

Even then, as successively improved variants of the type were produced with increasingly more capable engines and expanded fuel capacity, the Hunter successfully transitioned into a strike/ground attack fighter-bomber and fighter reconnaissance platform. Two-seat variants were developed for training and other secondary roles with the RAF and the Royal Navy and a few remained in use until 2001, albeit with specialised MoD Test and Evaluation units – well over forty years after the type’s initial introduction. Hunters were also famously used by two RAF display teams, the ‘Black Arrows’, who looped a record-breaking twenty-two Hunters in formation, and later the ‘Blue Diamonds’ as well as the Royal Navy’s ‘Blue Herons’.

The Hunter saw combat service with the RAF in a range of conflicts including the Suez Crisis as well as various emergencies in the Middle East and Far East. The Hunter was also widely exported, serving with many foreign air forces, in which it also saw active service, which unfortunately lies outside the scope of this particular publication. Almost 2,000 Hunters were manufactured by Hawker Siddeley Aviation, as well as being produced under licence overseas and will remain one of the UK’s most iconic aircraft designs of all time.

Vintage Airfix Review:

For any enthusiast and/or modeller of the Hawker Hunter this book will be like catnip, you’ll find yourself drooling over every page. For it is ‘every’ page that has outstanding images of this classic post war aircraft.

As you would expect for a book in the Flight Craft series, there are some kit reviews and colour schemes and markings. There’s also a detailed section of the cockpit which will aid you in your kits cockpit detail.

A beautifully written book arranged in chronological order with a lot of helpful detail for the modeller.

Return to Top

 

Flight Craft 18: British Military Test and Evaluation Aircraft

By Neil Robinson

Flight Craft 18: British Military Test and Evaluation AircraftDescription:

It could be argued that the heyday of British military aircraft flight testing began in the 1940s, and continued throughout the three decades that followed, during the so-called Cold War period, and as such, the authors have purposely chosen the first 30 years, The Golden Years, 1945 to 1975, from the end of World War Two until the mid-1970s, as this was arguably the most exciting period with many wonderful and new types rubbing shoulders with wartime and immediate post-war designs that were utilised for development purposes, making for an eclectic mix of shapes and colour schemes.

Alongside the technical aspects of military testing and development, are the many and varied colour schemes and markings carried by the aircraft themselves – not only by the brand-new experimental designs, but by existing production machines, suitably modified, to greater or lesser degrees, to develop the technical advances in systems and weaponry.

Scores of different aircraft types are covered in British Military Test & Evaluation Aircraft The Golden Years 1945 - 1975, with over 65 rarely seen contemporary photographs from private collections, and, differing slightly from previous Flight Craft book formats, over 50 pages of specially commissioned full colour profiles and plan views, visually chronicling the diverse range of colour schemes and markings applied to these fascinating aeroplanes.

Compiled by Neil Robinson and Martin Derry, who have authored several other Flight Craft books, with informative background text by well known aviation historian Malcolm V Lowe and superbly executed illustrations by Mark Rolfe. As with other books in the Flight Craft series, although published with aircraft modellers in mind, it is hoped that most aviation enthusiasts will find something of interest here too.

Vintage Airfix Review:

There are many modellers who like to take a production aircraft kit and modify it to a variant of that aircraft. For those modellers, this book really must be in your library.

It has many interesting, one-off, aircraft from 1945 to 1975, an era when aircraft development was at its height and, in same examples, its wackiest.

The colour illustrations of test aircraft alterations and livery are beautifully aimed at the modeller to help to get that perfect model. This along with the description and photos of what, where and why these aircraft were developed will add to your knowledge and understanding of the golden years of aircraft development.

Return to Top

 

Flight Craft 7: V-Bombers - Valiant, Vulcan & Victor

By Martin Bowman, Dave Windle

Flight Craft 7: V-Bombers - Valiant, Vulcan & VictorDescription:

Britain's desire to stay at the leading edge in the design and development of modern jet powered aircraft was born in the later stages of the Second World War. The Royal Air Force sent requests to the leading aircraft manufactures for a variety of specifications, amongst which was one for a long-range heavy bomber. Three designs were accepted and eventually went into production – these became the V-Bomber Force.

The Vickers Valiant, Vulcan and Victor saw prolific and varied service during the course of their careers. This book contains fabulous colour profiles (created by Dave Windle) of all three types in different operational modes, configurations and colour schemes. Martin Bowman has written detailed descriptions and photographs to create the perfect enthusiasts reference. This enhanced and revised edition (the book was initially published in 2009) comes complete with model-making content as well as a host of brand new design features, making for a lively new addition to our esteemed Flight Craft series.

Vintage Airfix Review:

There are some great images, in this book, of these famous aircraft that can be used to aid and inspire all modellers. I particularly like the pictures of the Victor as a fuel tanker, refuelling a Lightning which will make for an easy but impressive diorama.

This book is an informative overview of the V-Bomber Force aircraft that will benefit all aircraft modellers research of these ground breaking aircraft of the Cold War.

Return to Top

 

Lionel Morris and the Red Baron

By Jill Bush

Lionel Morris and the Red BaronDescription:

Nineteen-year-old Lionel Morris left the infantry for the wood and wires of the Royal Flying Corps on the Western Front in 1916, joining one of the world’s first fighter units alongside the great ace Albert Ball. Learning on the job, in dangerously unpredictable machines, Morris came of age as a combat pilot on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, as the R.F.C. was winning a bloody struggle for admiralty of the air.

As summer faded to autumn, and the skies over Bapaume filled with increasing numbers of enemy aircraft, the tide turned. On 17 September 1916, Morris’s squadron was attacked by a lethally efficient German unit, including an unknown pilot called Manfred von Richthofen. As the shock waves spread from the empty hangars of No.11 Squadron all the way to the very top of the British Army, the circumstances surrounding Morris’s death marked a pivotal shift in the aerial war, and the birth of its greatest legend.

Told through previously unpublished archive material, the words of contemporaries and official records, Lionel Morris and the Red Baron traces a short but extraordinary life; and reveals how Morris’s role in history was rediscovered one hundred years after his death.

Vintage Airfix Review:

This is not just another 'Red Baron' book, it's practically a complete historical account of the Great War.

Mainly following Lionel Morris, a family member of the author, there are sections on others key players of the RFC and the Great War.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to anyone with any interest in WWI, RFC or early war machines.

Return to Top

 

MESSERSCHMITT Bf 109

By Chris Goss

MESSERSCHMITT Bf 109Description:

The most iconic German aircraft of the Second World War, the Messerschmitt Bf 109 was the Luftwaffe’s principal fighter from 1939 until 1942 when the superior Focke-Wulf Fw 190 came into greater prominence. The Bf 109 served in every theatre of the war, though in this book the author examines the Tip and Run era, D-Day and the Eastern Front.

In the later years of the war, the Bf 109 fought with some success in the defence of Germany against Allied bombers. The Bf 109 was the most produced fighter aircraft in history and more aerial kills were made with this fighter than any other aircraft. Indeed, A total of 105 Bf 109 pilots were each credited with the destruction of 100 or more enemy aircraft; thirteen of these men scored more than 200 kills, while two scored more than 300. The Bf 109 was flown by the three top-scoring fighter aces of the war: Erich Hartmann, the top-scoring fighter pilot of all time claiming 352 victories, Gerhard Barkhorn with 301 victories, and Günther Rall, who claimed 275 victories. All of them flew with JG 52, a unit which exclusively flew the Bf 109 and was credited with over 10,000 victories, chiefly on the Eastern Front.

The Bf 109 was also supplied to several of Germany's allies, including Finland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Slovakia.

In this selection of unrivalled images collected over many years, the operations of this famous aircraft in the latter part of the Second World War are portrayed and brought to life.

Vintage Airfix Review:

The 109 was an awesome aircraft and has a unique place in aviation warfare history. This beautiful book will be a great addition to any enthusiast, historian or modeller. The images are inspirational to the modeller and the in-depth history is fascinating. A great publication.

Return to Top

 

The English Electric Lightning

By Martin Bowman

The English Electric LightningDescription:

The early 1950s were a boom time for British aviation. The lessons of six years of war had been learned and much of the research into jet engines, radar and aerodynamics had begun to reach fruition. In Britain, jet engine technology led the world, while wartime developments into swept wing design in Germany and their transonic research programme were used to give western design teams a quantum leap in aircraft technology.

The English Electric Lightning emerged at this time. This supersonic fighter aircraft of the Cold War era is perhaps best remembered for its amazing take-off performance, its exceptional rate of climb and its immense speed. Here, Martin Bowman takes us on a photographic journey, illustrating the various landmarks of the Lightning's impressive operational history.

Vintage Airfix Review:

When I first saw this book, it sparked a memory of the first time I heard the sound of the Lightning and, it would appear, it isn’t just me. In the first few pages, the unique sound of the Lightning is mentioned.

This book, from the Images of War series, has all that you would expect. Great images and details of variants and missions.

From a modeller’s perspective, I would love to have seen some colour images in here. But as an aircraft enthusiast it’s a great addition to my library and memory.

Return to Top

 

The Handley Page Victor

By Roger Brooks

The Handley Page VictorDescription:

Some aircraft inspire passion, others nostalgia, but others, often the unsung heroes, are more of a connoisseur's choice. The Handley Page Victor easily falls into this last category.

In this follow-up to The Handley Page Victor: The History and Development of a Classic Jet, Volumes I and II, Roger Brooks extends his earlier historical narratives, this time offering an action-packed and riveting memoir of a career spanning forty years.

The book charts changes as they occurred in the aeronautical industry from the 1950's onwards and, as such, it should appeal to both individuals who were caught up in events at the time as well as students of the era. In addition to the aircraft itself, Roger worked extensively with tankers, refuelling the Victor as it took part in a variety of operations in the fraught Cold War era. He brings all aspects of his career to life across these pages, offering the kind of details that can only be gained by first-hand experience.

Vintage Airfix Review:

This book is a great read and a unique insight into a great aircraft with some personal stories from the time.

Some of the detailed information that Roger discloses can be a little to technical but for the enthusiast it is a book that you will not be able to put down.

Return to Top

 

The Royal Navy Wasp

By Larry Jeram-Croft, Terry Martin

The Royal Navy WaspDescription:

This book tells the story of the first helicopter in the world designed from the outset to be deployed at sea, in Destroyers and Frigates. It is primarily based on the words of those who operated it. Designed from the outset to cope with the restricted space of a warship both for stowage and flight operations it proved an immediate success. Its original role was to act as a weapon carrier to launch torpedoes and depth charges on submarine contacts out of range of the parent ship’s weapons range. Soon, it also took on a second primary role of air to surface attack using wire guided missiles. The flexibility of the machine was such that it was able to conduct a plethora of secondary roles from visual search to collecting the all-important ship’s mail. Wherever the Royal Navy was deployed on operations a Wasp was there. The book has accounts of operations around the world particularly during the Cold War of the Seventies and the Falklands War where amongst other things it had the honour of being the first RN platform ever, to fire a guided missile at a surface target.

However the story doesn’t end there. Although the aircraft went out of service in the Royal Navy in 1988, it continued to operate with other navies around the world. To this day there are still several airworthy examples flying. The second part of the book gives accounts of these machines and brings the story of the Wasp completely up to date.

Vintage Airfix Review:

The WASP is a fascinating helicopter with an interesting background and in this book, you gain a new respect for it and the people involved in its development and the pilots who flew it over the years.

It's a well-presented book with some great images, some of which are close ups of components that will be useful for the advanced modeler.

Return to Top

 

'Sam' Marshal of the Royal Air Force the Lord Elworthy

By Richard Mead

'Sam' Marshal of the Royal Air Force the Lord ElworthyDescription:

This biography of Sam Elworthy, arguably the most distinguished RAF officer of the post War era, is long overdue. Born in New Zealand, but educated at Marlborough College and Trinity College, Cambridge, Elworthy was called to the Bar but, with his love of flying, was permanently commissioned into the RAF in 1936. After distinguished active service, earning a DSO and DFC commanding a Blenheim squadron, he became ‘Bomber’ Harris’s liaison officer to Eisenhower, achieving the acting rank of air commodore aged 33.

After serving in India and Pakistan, Elworthy held senior positions in Fighter Command before becoming Commandant of the RAF Staff College, Deputy Chief of the Air Staff and then C-in-C of the tri-service Middle East Command, where he saw off the first threat to Kuwait from Iraq. In 1963 he was appointed Chief of the Air Staff, fighting the RAF’s corner successfully during a time of defence cuts, and in 1967 became Chief of the Defence Staff, managing the withdrawal from East of Suez and strengthening the UK’s role in NATO.

In retirement, Elworthy became Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle and the Lord Lieutenant of Greater London. He was made a Baron in 1972 and a Knight of the Garter in 1977. In 1978 he and his wife, Audrey, returned to their homeland of New Zealand, where he died in 1993.

The RAF’s Centenary year is a fitting moment for the publication of this outstanding airman’s biography.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

Return to Top

 

1 Group Bomber Command

By Chris Ward

1 Group Bomber CommandDescription:

During the period immediately before the Second World War, the RAF modified its command structure to rationalize for rapid expansion. Bomber Command was divided into six operational groups, each flying the same type of aircraft, including Wellingtons, Sterlings, and Lancasters. Chris Ward presents us here with the history of 1 Group Bomber Command, having previously acquainted us with the histories of 3, 4, 5, and 6 Groups in four highly acclaimed volumes, published by Pen and Sword. He continues with characteristic ease, quality of research, and narrative pace, to present us with an operational record of the groups activities during a particularly dramatic period of aviation history.

The book contains individual squadron statistics, their commanding officers, stations and aircraft losses. It provides an exhaustive reference for one of the RAF's most important operational groups.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

Return to Top

 

1 Group: Swift to Attack

By Patrick Otter

1 Group: Swift to AttackDescription:

Patrick Otter presents us here with a wellresearched and accurate account of the largely 'forgotten heroes' of 1 Group, RAF Bomber Command during the Second World War. The narrative moves at a lively pace, combining appropriate levels of detail regarding operations, aircraft, bases and incidents, with background details that set the squadron's exploits within the wider context of unfolding war.

Aerial combat reached an entirely new level during the Second World War, conducted on a scale never experienced before, powered by a range of technological advances. Against this backdrop, tales of the sheer determination and bravery of young British, Commonwealth and Polish aircrews are relayed; these were men who never hesitated when it came to giving all they had to the cause of ultimate victory, regardless of the personal cost.

This is an overdue tribute to a major contributing factor towards the ending of the Second World War in Europe, highlighting the superiority of the RAF equipment made available and tactics adopted as the war developed. The humanity and professionalism of the participants, flung against amazing odds, shines through and a real feeling of engagement at the forefront of events is conveyed through these tales of squadron fraternity amongst the men of 1 Group. 

Complete with maps and photographic illustrations throughout, it serves as a fitting tribute to this particular branch of Bomber Command, their losses, victories and enduring legacy.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

Return to Top

 

100 Group (Bomber Support)

By Martin Bowman

100 Group (Bomber Support)Description:

As part of the AHT series, the airfields and interest in this book are concentrated in a particular area - in this case Norfolk. The growing importance of the 'electronic war' in the air in 1943 caused the creation of 100 Group to fly both defensive and offensive sorties employing highly secret Radio Counter Measure equipment. The Group flew from airfields at Foulsham, Great Massingham, Little Snoring, North Creake, Swannington and West Raynham. The aircraft flown were Halifax, Beaufighter, Mosquito and Fortress. The Group included RAF Squadron numbers192, 169, 23, 171, 199, 214, 157, 85, 141 and 239. This book looks at the history and personalities associated with each base, what remains today and explores the favourite local wartime haunts where aircrew and ground crew would have sought well-deserved entertainment and relaxation. Other museums and places that are relevant will also be described and general directions on how to get them included.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

Return to Top

 

16 Air Assault Brigade

By Tim Ripley

16 Air Assault BrigadeDescription:

After the SAS, 16 Brigade is the most high profile formation in the British Army but to date there has been no complete history of its operations and activities. The aim of this book is to produce a history of Britain's Elite Rapid Reaction Force 16 Air Assault Brigade. It will provide a historical narrative of 16 Brigade's operations since its formation in 1999. It explain's the innovative tactics and operational procedures used by to move by air into battle. It covers military hardware, the Brigade has some of the UK's most advanced weapon system, including Apache attack helicopters. It will include the elite combat units including the Parachute Regiment and Pathfinders. Key personalities from the Brigade will be examined together with a comprehensive anayisis of how the Brigade has performed and how it is likely to evolve in coming years. The Brigade is due to return to Afghanistan in 2008 so it's public profile will remain high.

Vintage Airfix Review:

No review currently available.

Return to Top

 

Result Pages:  1  2  3  4  5 ...  [Next >>]  Displaying 1 to 15 (of 691 Books)
0 items
Articles
Quick Product Search
 
Category:


Use keywords to find the product you are looking for.
Advanced Search
Information

Airfix Vintage Classics

Become a fan of The Official Vintage Airfix Page on Facebook   Follow Vintage Airfix on Twitter