Aviation Hero Image
Aviation
Nightstalkers Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 432
ISBN: 9781636242057
Pub Date: 15 Jan 2023
Imprint: Casemate Publishers
In August 1943, a highly classified US Army Air Force unit, code-named the 'Wright Project', departed Langley Field for Guadalcanal in the South Pacific to join the fight against the Empire of Japan. Operating independently, under sealed orders drafted at the highest levels of Army Air Force, the Wright Project was unique, both in terms of the war-fighting capabilities provided by classified systems the ten B-24 Liberators of this small group of airmen brought to the war, and in the success these 'crash-built' technologies allowed. The Wright airmen would fly only at night, usually as lone hunters of enemy ships. In so doing they would pave the way for the United States to enter and dominate a new dimension of war in the air for generations to come.   This is their story, from humble beginnings at MIT’s Radiation Lab and hunting U-boats off America’s eastern shore, through to the campaigns of the war in the Pacific in their two-year march toward Tokyo. The Wright Project would prove itself to be a combat leader many times over and an outstanding technology innovator, evolving to become the 868th Bomb Squadron. Along the way the unit would be embraced by unique personalities and the dynamic leadership, from Army Air Force General Hap Arnold through combat commanders who flew the missions.   In this account, the reader will meet radar warfare pioneers and squadron leaders who were never satisfied that they had pushed the men, the aircraft, and the technologies to the full limit of their possibilities. Comprehensive and highly personal, this story can now be revealed for the very first time, based on official sources, and interviews with the young men who flew into the night.
Bristol Blenheim Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 20
ISBN: 9788367294041
Pub Date: 01 Dec 2022
Imprint: Kagero
Series: Top Drawings
The Bristol Blenheim was one of the most popular British aircraft at the beginning of World War II. It was a very versatile and modifiable machine, and therefore typical bomber, reconnaissance, and fighter (including night) versions were created.   The first mass-produced version was the Mk I, which featured a richly glazed nose part of the fuselage. The most common version in the air force of several countries was the Mk IV, in which the glass nose of the aircraft was extended so that the bombardier could lie freely in a special cradle during targeting. The nose of the fuselage had an asymmetrical “dent” on the left side of the fuselage (in its upper part), providing better visibility for the pilot sitting in a separate cockpit. This version also had more powerful engines and a longer range, but slightly lower speed and ceiling.
Fiat G-55 Centauro Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 20
ISBN: 9788367294065
Pub Date: 01 Dec 2022
Imprint: Kagero
Series: Top Drawings
The Fiat G.55 Centauro fighter was designed by Giuseppe Gabrielli at the Fiat factory in 1942 and flown in the spring of the same year (April 30). The plane was to be a response to the demand for an interceptor capable of operating at high altitudes, which was dictated by the increasing intensity of Allied air raids on Italian cities and military infrastructure. A total of 130 copies of this machine were produced.   Most Fiats G.55 were stationed in bases in northern Italy, from which they defended industrial plants located in these regions. The G.55 fighters were very highly rated by the pilots who considered them superior to the German Bf 109s G and K versions, and the Focke-Wulf Fw 190A. Unfortunately, due to the bombing of Fiat factories and problems with the supply of a sufficient number of Daimler Benz 603 engines, the production of the aircraft was stopped.   Published in Kagero’s renowned Top Drawings series for modellers and military historians, this volume details the history of the Fiat G.55 Centauro fighter and includes 10 quality colour profiles and drawings in scale.
Solomons Air War Volume 1 Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 200
ISBN: 9780645246933
Pub Date: 01 Dec 2022
Imprint: Avonmore Books
This first volume of Solomons Air War chronicles aerial warfare in the opening phase of the war in the Solomons Islands theatre, being the critical period of August-September 1942.   After occupying the Solomon Islands capital of Tulagi with ease in May 1942, the Imperial Japanese Navy commenced building an airfield on the adjacent island of Guadalcanal. The indispensable airfield was over 600 miles distant from their main base of Rabaul and promised to extend the reach of their aircraft into the Allied occupied island chains of Fiji, the New Hebrides and New Caledonia. Much was at stake and the airfield would be held at all costs.   Then, in early August 1942 a bold American invasion of both Tulagi and Guadalcanal caught the IJN completely off guard. Nevertheless, Japanese air power responded swiftly and in some cases desperately. So began the knife-edge struggle for Guadalcanal.   An ever-increasing variety and number of IJN units was poured into the struggle, met initially with USN carrier-based Wildcats backed up by SBD Dauntless dive-bombers and the new TBF torpedo bomber. These were soon joined by USAAF fighters operating from the newly operational Henderson Field.   From late August, Japanese carriers entered the fight, adding more complexity to the intense and frenzied air battles. For the first time belligerents are closely matched and the rationale of the IJN’s sometimes erratic response is explained. The full extent of both Japanese and US involvement is outlined to a level of detail never before presented.
The Lavochkin La-7 Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 80
ISBN: 9788367294058
Pub Date: 01 Dec 2022
Imprint: Kagero
Series: Monographs
La-7 Soviet single-engine, single-seat fighter aircraft of the World War II period. Developed in the design bureau of S. A. Lavochkin as a successor to the Ła-5FN aircraft. The La-7 was a development of the La-5 design. Both the sizes and shapes of the two aircraft models differed slightly.   This extensively illustrated volume in the Kagero Monographs series details the history of the Lavochkin La-7, and includes 165 archival photos, 10 colour profiles, and drawings in scale. It is ideal for modellers and aviation and military historians.
Black Sunday Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 136
ISBN: 9780645246988
Pub Date: 15 Nov 2022
Imprint: Avonmore Books
Any USAAF pilot who flew the mission to Hollandia on the fateful afternoon of 16 April 1944 in New Guinea would remember it for the rest of their lives. So would anyone else in the theatre, for the weather-related losses that fateful day earned it the eternal epithet “Black Sunday”. The way home for more than three hundred bombers and fighters was blocked by a towering weather front whose thunderstorms rose well above any altitude they could reach. Over enemy territory and caught between mountains and the sea, there was no option but to confront nature. By dusk that evening 37 aircraft were missing or had been destroyed. A handful of survivors somehow made it back to valley and coastal bases in a series of arduous misadventures. It was, and remains, the biggest non-combat loss of any air force of any nation in the world. More than seven decades later, aircraft from the day are still missing somewhere in the New Guinea jungle. This major revision to the original version includes dozens of rare photos, complemented by a suite of maps, indexes, and colour profiles of participant aircraft. Japanese diaries reveal the fate of unlucky P-38 pilots forced to bail out. The text liberally cites veteran interviews, post-war wreck surveys and official USAAF records. The narrative tracks down the fate of every aircraft and every crew member, including those who rescued them. Put yourself in the cockpit against nature’s massive odds over hostile terrain and watch a composite picture evolve. The accelerating narrative from dozens of different perspectives is both fascinating and overwhelming.
Pacific Profiles Volume Nine Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 124
ISBN: 9780645246971
Pub Date: 15 Nov 2022
Imprint: Avonmore Books
The Pacific Profiles series presents the most accurate WWII profiles of aircraft which served throughout the South Pacific. Volume Nine covers the P-38 and variants including the photo-reconnaissance F-4 and F-5, along with field-modified P-38G night-fighters. The P-38 flew combat in the SWPA and SOPAC theatres until mid-1944, serving a total of nineteen Fifth and Thirteenth Air Force USAAF combat Squadrons, one service squadron, Fifth Fighter Command, and finally with the Combat Replacement Training Center at Nadzab. Most profiles are presented for the first time, alongside an explanation of markings, including squadron heraldry and squadron codes. Until now there has been a paucity of accurate information about some markings, especially those which attend the Thirteenth Air Force, night-fighter and photo-reconnaissance units.   Each profile has been produced by citing wide-ranging reference material, including official squadron records, colour movies, maintenance logs, diaries, wreck site inspections and thousands of photos including colour slides. A brief summary history of each unit and the rationale of its markings completes the text.   The author, Michael Claringbould, is world-renown for his expertise on the Pacific air war. Never before have Pacific P-38s and their colourful derivatives been illustrated with such accuracy and detail.
Supermarine Spitfire V Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 96
ISBN: 9788367227018
Pub Date: 03 Nov 2022
Imprint: MMP Books
Series: Polish Wings
This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Allied landing at Dieppe, France, on 19 August 1942, one of the most controversial battles of the Second World War, which also involved extensive air operations to provide direct support for the amphibious assault and to defend the troops and the fleet against the Luftwaffe.   This book is a tribute to the 1st Polish Wing, Fighter Command’s most successful wing during the operation. The wing provided 10% of the Spitfire squadrons engaged in the battle, suffered 3.5% of losses and was credited by Fighter Command with 17% of all enemy aircraft destroyed. Nos. 303 and 317 Polish Squadrons were the top-scoring units that day. Notably, they achieved this while still flying the Spitfire V variant, while some Fighter Command squadrons already had the much improved Mk IX.   Several hundred of carefully selected and extensively captioned images depict Spitfires of the five Polish squadrons, as well as the men who maintained and flew them in support of the Dieppe landings.
Red Dragon 'Flankers' Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781950394104
Pub Date: 27 Oct 2022
Imprint: Harpia Publishing
Noted for its exceptional performance, the Sukhoi Su-27 is not only one of the most capable fourth-generation fighters, but its development history is also remarkably rich. The ‘Flanker’ story took on a new industrial and political dimension when the Su-27 was chosen by China to meet the People’s Liberation Army Air Force’s requirement for a new fourth-generation type.   This was a win-win-situation: Russia received a much-needed multi-billion-dollar contract and the PLAAF, for the first time, obtained a true high-end fourth-generation fighter. However, what followed was a complex drama, with both sides telling different stories. Following the direct sale from Russia, China obtained a contract for licence manufacturing. This yielded mixed success in the beginning and by the time the manufacturing procedures had evolved and improved, the licenced J-11 fighters no longer met the PLAAF’s requirements. Subsequently, China developed indigenous variants of the ‘Flanker’ equipped with improved avionics, weapons, and engines, which Russia regards as a breach of the formal agreement. Regardless of whether these ‘Sino-Flankers’ are illegal copies, evolved clones or indigenous versions, the Chinese ‘Flanker’ series ultimately evolved into a wide range of variants, sometimes with no true counterparts in Russia.   This book provides a full overview of the Chinese ‘Flanker’ family, describing the genesis of this family and providing a review of the variants, their systems, and capabilities and how they are used by the People’s Liberation Army.
Lockheed F-104 Starfighter Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 96
ISBN: 9788367294119
Pub Date: 15 Oct 2022
Imprint: Kagero
Series: Kit Build
The Lockheed F-104 was one of the most popular supersonic aircraft in history, although it did not gain recognition in its home country, the United States. Nevertheless, it was used and modernised in fifteen countries around the world. It was the first combat plane to exceed the speed of two Machs, and the first to use the six-barrel M61 Vulcan cannon for combat.   The Korean War showed that the US Air Force did not have much advantage in the air over machines from the USSR, especially when it comes to fighter aviation. The Soviet MiG-15 was certainly not inferior to the F-86. In addition, there was mass production in the USSR, where state budget constraints were not taken into account. In this situation, it was necessary to gain a qualitative advantage, and a huge one at that. It was supposed to be given by the F-104 fighter.   It was a relatively simple plane with a long fuselage and short and thin wings. The plane was supposed to be as fast as possible to use the combat method: chase, hit, run. The attack was to be carried out with the use of missiles.   In 1953, Lockheed received a contract to build prototypes, and three years later – on April 2, 1956 – pilot Joe Ozier, flying YF-104A (serial No. 55-2955), achieved twice the speed of sound.
Bristol’s Buckingham, Brigand and Buckmaster Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 160
ISBN: 9788366549913
Pub Date: 30 Sep 2022
Imprint: MMP Books
Series: Orange Series
In late 1939, the Air Ministry were looking to replace the Blenheim as a medium bomber. Bristol Aircraft Company (BAC) initially came up with a bomber development of the Beaufighter, the Type 161. Due to specification changes and redesigns, the end result was the Type 163 Buckingham, a twin engined, twin tailed medium bomber. At the time of the Buckinghams conception inquiries were made about a torpedo bomber version. A redesign of the Buckingham brought about the Type 164 Brigand. The torpedo requirement was eventually dropped and the aircraft re-configures as a bomber. With no suitable trainers to train the Buckingham and Brigand pilots BAC came up with the Buckmaster, which was basically a Buckingham with a new nose section containing dual controls.By the time the Buckingham and Brigand entered service their roles had been superseded with newer and better aircraft. Most Buckinghams went straight into storage to await their fate, but some were converted in high speed courier aircraft with four seats. But it was too little too late. The Mosquito could do a better job at almost half the cost. The Brigand with its long range was earmarked for the Far East and the battle against Japan, but the war ended before they could be sent over. It was the Malaya Emergency that saved the Brigand. Carrying out a role for which it was never designed, that of a dive bomber, two Squadrons carried out over 3,500 against the Communist Terrorist.Had it not been for the constant delays and construction changes the aircraft may have lived up to their expectations. As it was they were plagued by mechanical and hydraulic issues as well as structural defects. After a number of catastrophic airframe failures the Brigands were retired from operational service in early 1953.
Fairey Barracuda Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 16
ISBN: 9788366549869
Pub Date: 30 Sep 2022
Imprint: MMP Books
Series: Scale Plans
This book contains 8, A3 size scale plans in 1/48 and 1/72 scale of the British WW2 torpedo aircraft Fairey Barracuda.
Henschel Hs 126 Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 80
ISBN: 9788366549449
Pub Date: 30 Sep 2022
Imprint: MMP Books
Series: Camera ON
This new photo album is number 30 in the MMPBooks/Stratus "Camera On" series and is the first to cover in such photographic detail the usage of the Henschel Hs 126 aircraft.This book contains 140+ photographs mostly taken by the average German soldier and is an invaluable reference for military historians and modellers alike. A4 size, 80 pages.
Macchi C.205 Veltro Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 16
ISBN: 9788366549852
Pub Date: 30 Sep 2022
Imprint: MMP Books
Series: Scale Plans
This book contains 8, A3 size scale plans in 1/48 and 1/72 scale of the Italian WW2 fighter Macchi C.205 Veltro.
NAA P-51 Mustang Cover
Format: Hardback
Pages: 44
ISBN: 9788367227025
Pub Date: 30 Sep 2022
Imprint: MMP Books
Series: Spotlight ON
This book is the latest in a new reference series for aircraft modelers called "Spotlight On" and is a showcase for the superb aviation artwork created for the publisher by the remarkable Polish aviation artist Tomasz Kaca. The book contains 20 color plates showing 20 famous P-51 Mustang fighters depicted in the air. Aircraft of the famous fighter aces are shown based on the latest research.
Reggiane Re 2000, Re 2002, Re 2003 Cover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 160
ISBN: 9788366549814
Pub Date: 30 Sep 2022
Imprint: MMP Books
Series: Orange Series
The development of the famous Italian WWII fighters of the Reggiane factory, with radial engines, is described and illustrated. It served with the Regia Aeronautica and other forces, including the Hungarian and Swedish air arms. This book describes the design, development, and operations of this elegant and effective fighter. This book contains: scale plans, photos and drawings from Technical Manuals, superb color illustrations of camouflage and markings, and rare b&w archive photographs. Color photos of the preserved aircraft illustrate all aspects of the airframe.This is essential reading for aviation enthusiasts & scale aeromodelers.