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The Aviation Historian (No.37)

The Aviation Historian (No.37) Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review March 2022 Title The Aviation Historian (No.37)
Author multiple Publisher The Aviation Historian
Published 2021 ISBN n/a
Format 130 pages, softbound MSRP (GBP) £18.00


Number 37 of The Aviation Historian made me feel like a kid at Christmas.

Start with the “wrapping paper”: a stunning cover close-up of a Dominican Republic F-51D in gaudy, Escuadrón Caza Ramfis livery – just a taste of Leif Hellström’s superb study of Sweden’s pivotal, mid-1950s military aviation assistance to the Caribbean island nation.

That’s just part of the issue’s coruscating coverage. The striking sweep of subjects also includes:

  • OUT OF THE ASHES: the politics behind development of the Panavia MRCA, progenitor of the variable-geometry  Tornado strike fighter
  • LAST DAYS OF THE CANNON BIRDS: final Eastern Front missions of Luftwaffe Ju 87Gs
  • HUNTER 80 Pt 2: THE AGM-65B MAVERICK: second and final part on Switzerland’s “Hunter 80” upgrades with Maverick air-to-ground missiles
  • ACES HIGH: history of Fascist Italy’s Isotta Fraschini’s “ubiquitous” Asso engines
  • RHODESIA’S BUSH EAGLES: first of an intriguing, two-part series on the British South Africa Police Reserve Air Wing in Rhodesia
  • BRINGING AFRICA TOGETHER Pt 1: the early years of Ethiopian Air Lines, one of Africa’s most successful carriers
  • FAR-FLUNG FLYCATCHER: coverage of Argentina’s only Fairey Flycatcher naval biplane fighter
  • AMERICAN AVIATORS IN JAPAN Pt 2: notes on three early American aviators in
  • SHORT’S EMPIRE LANDPLANE: flying-boat manufacturer Short Bros’ intriguing landplane airliner
  • WINGS OVER BAGHDAD: fascinating notes on the Royal Iraqi Air Force’s first two decades
  • AUGUSTO SEVERO: CONQUEROR OF THE WINDS: recounts Brazilian aviation pioneer Augusto Severo’s tragic lighter-than-air foray

Fascinating facts accompany all features. And, truth is, I enjoyed them all. But I particularly liked “Last Days Of The Cannon Birds”, “Rhodesia’s Bush Eagles” part 1, “Wings Over Baghdad”, “Hunter 80: The AGM-65b Maverick” part 2, and “Augusto Severo: Conqueror Of The Winds” – the issue’s crackerjack prize.

Well, how often do you love everything Santa brings?

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

Copies are available directly from The Aviation Historian.

Robustly recommended!

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