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Flying Guns - The Modern Era

Flying Guns - The Modern Era Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review November 2004 Title Flying Guns - The Modern Era
Author Anthony G. Williams & Dr. Emmmanuel Gustin Publisher The Crowood Press
Published 2004 ISBN 1-86126-655-3
Format 240 pages, hardbound MSRP (USD) $49.95


The Crowood Press from the UK publishs a wide range of historical titles that are of interest to aviation historians and modelers alike. In this title, the authors have provided a wealth of information on aircraft guns. As the subtitle summarizes, this book covers the "Development of Aircraft Guns, Ammunition and Installations since 1945".

The coverage starts off with the state of the art in aerial cannons and ammunition at the end of World War II, progressing through time and technology to the guns that are being installed in the next generation of fighters and helicopters. The coverage is not limited to western armaments either, as the authors have compiled an impressive look at Soviet-developed cannons and gatling guns as well.

As you would expect, this title looks at each of the weapons in detail and how they are installed in representative aircraft. Everything from the mini-guns in the AH-1 Cobra, to the GAU-8 Avenger in the A-10 and the GSh-23 in various MiGs and Sukhois, the authors have packed a great deal of useful information into one book.

The coverage of this informative title is presented as follows:

  • Technical Developments
  • Early Jets
  • The Missile Era
  • Experience in Combat 1 - Korea and Vietnam
  • Experience in Combat 2 - The East and South Atlantic
  • Helicopters Go To War
  • Trends and Prospects
  • Appendix I - Installation Tables
  • Appendix II - Cartridges Used in Aircraft Guns 1945-2000+
  • Appendix III - Aircraft Guns 1945-2000+
  • Appendix IV - Comparative Drawings of Modern Aircraft Guns
  • Appendix V - Projectile Colors
  • Appendix VI - Modern Fighter Gun Effectiveness

Many modelers and aviation historians have sought some of the specialty books that capture cockpits, gun turrets, or even nose art all under one cover. If you're seeking an in-depth book on how to detail the gun bays of your next project, then this title is a must-have. This title is highly recommended!

My sincere thanks to Motorbooks International for this review sample!