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The Aviation Historian (No.28)

The Aviation Historian (No.28) Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review December 2019 Title The Aviation Historian (No.28)
Author multiple Publisher Scale Publications
Published 2019 ISBN n/a
Format 130 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $19.99


Looking for a model subject that will really turn heads? How about a DC-4 bomber conversion?

Just grab issue 28 of The Aviation Historian – available directly from The Aviation Historian and, in North America, from distributor Kalmbach Publications.

That’s where you’ll find historian Alan Griffith’s superb study of Douglas Aircraft Company’s “unfulfilled plans to convert the DC-4E, and later DC-4, into bombers”. He aptly titles it, “Ploughshares Into Swords”.

And it’s just one of TAH 28’s splendid selection of lavishly illustrated features:

  • AIRBUS INDUSTRIE. The “political genesis of the international Airbus conglomerate”.
  • THE CORSARIO Jr LEGEND. Fate of the Vought V-100 Corsair Junior in Latin America.
  • WHERE FALCONS DARE. The photo-recce Dassault Mirage IIIRS in Swiss Air Force service.
  • THE LONGEST HOP Part 2. Concluding installment on Qantas’s wartime Indian Ocean services.
  • BRING OUT THE BIG GUNS. The RAF’s pre-WWII research into “heavy [warplane] firepower”.
  • HOWARD HUGHES & THE CONSTELLATION. His “special relationship with Lockheed’s Constellation”.
  • ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS. The daunting aeromedical challenges facing Erich Bachem and the pilots of his vertically-launched rocket-powered Natter”.
  • SOUTH BY SOUTHEAST. The October 1946 ferry flight of three Auster Autocrats “to their new owners in Southern Rhodesia”.
  • EVERYTHING MUST GO. Pushing a Fairey Barracuda off a cliff. “What was the story?”
  • FROM FURNITURE TO FIGHTER. The “all-but-forgotten story of the sole Molteni fighter”.
  • WHAT’S FRENCH FOR FAIT ACCOMPLI . . ? How Anglo-French aircraft “acquired their (more French than Anglo) names”.

Referencing archival documents and images, Griffith’s examination of unbuilt DC-4E and DC-4 bomber variants includes scale drawings to help you convert, say, Minicraft’s 1:144-scale C-54 into Douglas’ more militant proposal.

He even includes interior details. Using 1:144 Minicraft B-29s and B-24s, I’ve already started planning my project!

I also enjoyed Dan Hagedorn’s Vought V-100 Corsair Junior piece, Mark Russell’s probe of RAF between-wars studies of heavy armament, and Dr. Brett Gooden’s intriguing examination of Bachem Natter medical issues.


Truth is, I relished the whole issue. If you like “classic aeroplanes and the history of flying”, you probably will, too.

As usual, photos, drawings, maps, and extended captions augment articles. And editorial commentary, readers’ letters, and book reviews enhance the effort.

Robustly recommended!

My sincere thanks to The Aviation Historian for this review sample!