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Northrop A-17

Northrop A-17 Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review January 2020 Title Northrop A-17
Author Edwin Hoogschagen, Santiago Rivas, Amaru Tincopa, and Nico Braas Publisher Violaero/Lanasta
Published 2019 ISBN 978-9086162710
Format 164 pages, hardbound MSRP (Euro) 24.95€


Who hasn’t heard of the legendary Douglas SBD Dauntless?

But how about its versatile, colorful, pre-WWII cousin that saw broad, worldwide use – the Northrop A-17?

Now an international team of expert authors – Edwin Hoogschagen, Santiago Rivas, Amaru Tincopa, and Nico Braas – redress the aircraft’s surprising paucity of English-language coverage in Northrop A-17 – first in Lanasta publishing’s new “Warplane Plus” range.

And it’s about time.

Billed as “The complete history of the Northrop attack planes and its export derivatives”, the spellbinding softback spans 164 picture-packed pages. Coverage includes every scion of Northrop Gamma derivatives: A-17, A-17A, and 8A – the last being Douglas Aircraft Company variants.

Attack machines. Dive bombers. Trainers. Target tugs. Observation roles. VIP transports. Even interceptors. All in vivid, worldwide service:

  • France
  • UK
  • South Africa
  • Canada
  • Sweden
  • Argentina
  • Peru
  • Netherlands
  • Iraq
  • Norway

Accuratizing MPM’s 1:72-scale series? Loads of photos provide plenty of prototype perspectives to reference.

What was the exact position of USAAC wing insignia? See page 15. How about exhaust-stain patterns on A-17 fuselage sides? That shot atop page 46 helps. And at exactly what angles did main landing gear contact the ground? Pages 12, 33, and 52 – among others – offer answers.

Lanasta’s author team survey the whole, spellbinding saga.  

First-line duties. Incidents. Accidents. Record flights. Second-line service. Basing. Retirement. Camouflage & markings. Even combat accounts and individual aircraft fates.

Photos, color profiles, inset art, line drawings, archival excerpts, and maps illustrate the account. Specifications, tables, explanatory captions, and sidebars also supplement the study.

But regarding long-distance flights, “record flight” or just “flight” is better than “raid”. And “APRA” signifies Peru’s Alianza Popular Revolucionaria Americana – covered in co-authors’ Tincopa and Rivas’ excellent Air War Over the Putumayo: Colombian and Peruvian Air Operations During the 1932-1933 Conflict, seventh in Helion’s superb “Latin America @ War” series.

Just ignore the occasionally awkward English – and get this vital volume.

Rabidly recommended!

My sincere thanks to Lanasta for this review sample!