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The Aviation Historian (No.29)

The Aviation Historian (No.29) Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review November 2019 Title The Aviation Historian (No.29)
Author multiple Publisher Scale Publications
Published 2019 ISBN n/a
Format 130 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $19.99


The Aviation Historian – ably edited by Nick Stroud and Mick Oakey – bills itself as “The modern journal of classic aeroplanes and the history of flying”.

Each quarterly issue serves-up a savory smorgasbord of sumptuous studies. And such is the case for the 130 picture-packed pages of Issue 29:

  • 1939: WAS THE RAF READY FOR WAR? Against Nazi Germany.
  • ATOMIQUE! Sud Aviation’s 1958 nuclear-powered “Super-Caravelle” delta-wing proposal.
  • UNBROKEN. American hero wartime bombardier Louis Zamperini.
  • GARUDA’S “HAMBLE BOYS”. Indonesia’s first commercial pilots learned their trade at “Britain’s Air University”.
  • THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY. How close the revolutionary Harrier came to being cancelled.
  • TWA’S SKYLINERS. Martin 2-0-2s and 4-0-4s in TWA service
  • THE WORLD’S FIRST . . ? The world’s first commercially available aviation logbook.
  • GOING WITH THE FLOW? Britain’s pre-war forays into “laminar flow”.
  • SOLDIER OF MISFORTUNE. France’s ill-fated, SNCASE SE.116/117 Voltigeur COIN aircraft.
  • THE MAYAGUEZ INCIDENT. Three action-filled days against the Khmer Rouge in May 1975.
  • SOUTHERN EXPOSURE. A record 1946 RAF Mosquito flight to Buenos Aires.

I especially enjoyed the last three.

Ricardo M. Lezon’s account of aborted efforts to sell Merlin engines for Argentina’s I.Ae.24 Calquin counterfactually colored his informative dH Mosquito tale. Bill Cahill’s Mayaguez coverage ably illumined the last major American Vietnam-era airpower action. And Joël Mesnard’s incisively examined France’s nascent counterinsurgency concepts through the prism of its fascinating Voltigeur hybrid.

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

Copies are available directly from The Aviation Historian and, in North America, from distributor Kalmbach Publications.

Robustly recommended!

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