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Soviet and Russian Military Aircraft in the Americas

Soviet and Russian Military Aircraft in the Americas Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review February 2017 Title Soviet and Russian Military Aircraft in the Americas
Author Yefim Gordon and Dmitriy Komissarov Publisher Hikoki Publications
Published 2017 ISBN 9781902109541
Format 304 pages, hardcover MSRP (USD) $56.95

Review

The team of Yefim Gordon and Dmitriy Komissarov returns with Soviet and Russian Military Aircraft in the Americas – available in North America from Specialty Press.

Hikoki's hefty hardback spans 304 pages across 14 chapters. Hundreds of color and B&W photos augment the account. And dozens of superb color profiles offer potent project possibilities. Modelers will love it.

Chapters chronologically course through local histories of every known aircraft type – both fixed- and rotary-wing. Frescoes and Fishbeds. Hounds and Hips. Transports and trainers. If it served in the Americas, you'll probably find it here.

Types and serials of all known Soviet and Russian aircraft also accompany each chapter. And Chinese, Polish and Czech derivatives of Soviet and Russian designs also appear. USA coverage alone consumes 110 pages – the longest single section.

Hikoki's menu proved a sumptuous smorgasbord, indeed. I happily and hungrily sampled this fulsome feast in non-sequential fashion – dining on Peru and Cuba; noshing through Venezuela and Nicaragua; desserting on Colombia and the United States; then picking-clean everything else.

But gremlins also nibble on things.

Absent annotations and selected bibliography, sources appear almost entirely secondary. Typos and colloquialisms like "yucky" and "raised hell" taint text. And authors occasionally peddle avoidable inaccuracies and unsubstantiated assertions.

Take Cuban coverage, for instance. Media like Flight International and Létectvi + Kosmonautika aren't really authoritative sources. RF-8s flying reconnaissance missions during the Cuban Missile Crisis were Crusaders – not Panthers. Where's proof that the Capitán Leo incident was "obviously an anti-Cuban provocation backed by the CIA"? And why so little on Cuban air power operations in Africa?

Still, if you're looking for an introduction to Soviet and Russian aircraft in the Western Hemisphere, grab this colorful compendium. It's enjoyable and informative. And it'll certainly motivate your modeling muse!

Recommended!

My sincere thanks to Specialty Press for this review sample!