Bell P-39 Airacobra Book Review
by Ray Mehlberger
|Date of Review||July 2011||Title||Bell P-39 Airacobra|
|Author||Artur Juszczak and Robert Pęczkowski||Publisher||Mushroom Model Publications|
|Format||128 pages, softbound||MSRP (BP)||£13.99|
Mushroom Model Publications (MMP) is based in the UK. They have all their books printed by Stratus in Sandomierz Poland in the English language. Stratus also does their own series of books in both Polish and English. This book was sent to me directly from Stratus.
Designed as an interceptor, when the Bell P-39 Airacobra appeared in 1941 it was acclaimed as one of the most advanced combat planes of the time. Elegantly designed and innovatively engineered (it featured the engine behind the pilot and a 37mm cannon), it experienced mixed operational fortunes. This was largely due to its engine limitations and the extra weight of operational equipment.
Rejected by the RAF, the type was especially successful in the Soviet Air Force. This book is full of the technical history of this important, but neglected, fighter of WWII. It covers all production versions. The modifications and improvements made by the Soviet Air Force, who took much of the production output, are also described in detail.
The book includes scale plans of all versions. 1/72nd scale line drawing plans, and one 1/144th drawing are in the pages of the book. There is a large 23 ½” x 16 ¼” poster that is folded and inserted into the book. This has a 1/32nd scale 5-view line drawing on one side of it of the P-39Q. On the opposite side is 2 1/48th scale 5 view drawings. One is of the P-39Q and the second is of the P-39F. Neat!! There are 7 data lists in the book and 41 technical manual illustrations. The book has color walk around shots of P-39’s in museums. Unfortunately, we are not told where some of these shots were taken.
A P-39N somewhere in a US museum. There are 91 very detailed walk around shots of this one. These walk around photos show all the details of the airframes of these 2 aircraft and their armaments. Pretty much every inch of their anatomy!! Also included in the color photos is a shot of the cockpit interior of an unspecified version and 2 color photos of the Allison V-1710 engine. There are 61 detailed black and white wartime photos and 4 color ones.
This has got to be “THE BOOK” for info about the Bell Airacobra. It is super-packed with info. Highly recommended to both aircraft enthusiasts and modelers.