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Japanese Secret Projects 2

Japanese Secret Projects 2 Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review April 2015 Title Japanese Secret Projects 2
Author Edwin M. Dyer III Publisher Crecy
Published 2015 ISBN 9781906537418
Format 160 pages, hardbound MSRP (USD) $42.95

Review

Edwin M. Dyer resumes his survey of prototype, project and "paper" designs with JAPANESE SECRET PROJECTS 2: Experimental Aircraft of the IJA & IJN 1922-1945 – published by Crécy, and available in North America from Specialty Press.

Whereas the first volume stressed "more advanced concepts", this one absolutely accents conventional schemes.

Those include, for instance, iterations of existing aircraft – like the Q2M Taiyo maritime-patrol derivative of Mitsubishi's G4M bomber and multiple variants of Nakajima's Ki-84 fighter.

The paucity of Axis four-engine, long-range bombers always fascinated me. So I especially enjoyed Dyer's coverage of the Hitachi "He-Type", Kawasaki Ki-85, Mitsubishi Ki-20, Mitsubishi Ki-90, Nakajima G8N and Nakajima Ki-68. Ditto for the only autogyro to see combat in World War II – Kayaba's Ka-1.

As before, most sections – but not all – sport at least one photo or drawing, historical summary and data table. Specifications usually include powerplant, dimension, weights, performance, armament and, if applicable, deployment details.

Gripes? Some. Segues in G6M1 heavy escort fighter coverage resemble needless puff and padding. The "decoys and dummies" chapter looks oddly out-of-place in a "secret projects" study. Color profiles from "Kirovrampager" are awkwardly inferior to others in both volumes. And many illustrations look downright superfluous. Sure, for instance, the Gasuden Koken-ki was "set ablaze" at Satsuma Airfield. But why include a generic shot of Japanese wrecks there?

But, hey, maybe I nitpick. If you're seeking a convenient compendium of Japanese aircraft projects, look here!

My sincere thanks to Specialty Press for this review sample!

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