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The Encyclopedia of Aircraft

The Encyclopedia of Aircraft Book Review

By Ray Mehlberger

Date of Review March 2008 Title The Encyclopedia of Aircraft
Author Robert Jackson Publisher Barnes & Noble Publishing
ISBN 978-0-7607-9677-1 MSRP (USD) $17.98

Review

This new book, that I purchased at Barnes & Noble’s book store, tells of the earliest single engine biplanes and triplanes on up to today’s wide bodied airliners and superfighters. It is a lavishly illustrated and comprehensively researched encyclopedia that will be an essential aviation reference work for aviation enthusiasts and aircraft modelers.

It is hardbound and contains 544 pages. There are 98 black and white photos of modern military and civilian aircraft, 312 full color photos of modern military and civilian aircraft, 203 color profile paintings of civilian and military aircraft, 226 black and white wartime photos of military aircraft (from WWI to Vietnam), 143 black and white photos of civilian aircraft of past years and 75 color wartime photos of military aircraft. A lot of bang for your buck in this book. It is currently on Barnes & Noble’s sale table for $17.98.

The book covers over 3000 military and civilian aircraft, from the Lilienthal Gliders to the Stealth bomber. Over a century of aviation history. Aircraft are mentioned from more than 1,000 manufacturers, from AAMSA to Zlin. It includes specification tables for key aircraft with a wealth of technical information, including dimensions, performances and power plants. It covers each major type, with detailed further information on prototypes, development, subsequent production variants and service records.

For easy reference the entries are listed alphabetically by manufacturer, then chronologically by date of first flight. There is a 9 page index at the back of the book to help readers look up info on a particular aircraft.

Robert Jackson, the general editor and editor of the entries on military and experimental aircraft, is a former pilot and navigational instructor. He is now a full-time writer in military, naval, and aviation affairs. He has over 80 books to his name.

Martin W. Bowman, who contributed the entries on rotary-winged aircraft, is the author of more than 70 aviation and military books and a frequent contributor to military journals throughout the world. His research has taken him to all parts of the world and he has flown into the world’s war zones of Mogadishu, Somalia and Bosnia.

Ewan Partridge, who authored the entries on civil aircraft, has worked in the aerospace, defense and electronics industries for over 20 years. He has written features on a number of aircraft, airliners and airports for aviation magazines, including Airways and Aviation News. He lives in West Sussex, UK.

I highly recommend this book for its content and the low price.

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