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Warbirds Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review September 2006 Title Warbirds
Author Max Haynes Publisher Zenith Press
Published 2006 ISBN 0-7603-2662-2
Format 192 pages, hardbound MSRP (USD) $14.95


Here is an inexpensive reference from Zenith Press. Author and aviation photographer Max Haynes has compiled a nice array of contemporary airshow photos that effectively catalog the aircraft you're likely to see at your local airshow.

At first blush, this looks like another compilation of photos, but this one is a little different. The hardcore aviation buff will recognize 95% (or more) of the aircraft shown in this title. The average aviation buff, the one that likes to go to airshows to listen to the music played by Merlin, Allison, Pratt & Whitney, and more, will find this to be a handy quick-reference for those unique birds on the airshow circuit that are not seen regularly.

The title is broken down with data and nice photos of each of the following:


  • Introduction
  • World War I: The First Sightings of Warbirds
    • Fokker D.VII
    • Nieuport 28
    • S.E.5A
    • Sopwith Camel
    • Sopwith Pup
  • World War II: The Warbirds Shine
    • A-26C Invader
    • A6M2 Zero
    • AT-6 Texan/SNJ Harvard
    • B-17G Flying Fortress
    • B-24 Liberator
    • B-25 Mitchell
    • B-29 Superfortress
    • Bf 109
    • BT-13 Valiant
    • C-45 Expediter
    • C-47 Skytrain
    • F4F Wildcat
    • F4U Corsair
    • F6F Hellcat
    • Fairey Firefly
    • Fw 190
    • J2F Duck
    • J4F Widgeon
    • L-5 Sentinel
    • Nakajima B5N Kate
    • P-40N Warhawk
    • P-47 Thunderbolt
    • P-51C Mustang
    • P-51D Mustang
    • P-64
    • PBY Catalina
    • Polikarpov I-16
    • SBD-5 Dauntless
    • Spitfire
    • Stearman Kaydet
    • TBM Avenger
  • Post-World War II: The Warbirds Reach New Heights
    • AC-47 Spooky
    • A-1H Skyraider
    • An-2 Colt
    • DHC-1 Chipmunk
    • F-4 Phantom II
    • F8F Bearcat
    • FJ-4B Fury/F-86 Sabre
    • L-17 Navion
    • OV-1 Mohawk
    • P-82 Twin Mustang
    • S-2 Tracker
    • Sea Fury
    • Shackleton
    • T-28 Trojan
    • Yak-18/Nanchang CJ-6
  • Modern Times: The Airbirds Rule
    • A-10 Thunderbolt II
    • AV-8B Harrier II
    • C-5 Galaxy
    • C-130 Hercules
    • CH-46 Sea Knight
    • F-117 Nighthawk
    • F/A-18 Hornet

Is this title comprehensive? Heck no. There are quite a few warbird types not listed like the F-100 Super Sabre, MiG-15, MiG-17, L-39 Albatros, and more that also frequent the circuit. Nevertheless, this title provides a good first step in a quick-reference to what you'll see on the flightline. Each aircraft type is accompanied with a table of vital aircraft statistics and facts plus a brief narrative on the type.

If you're an average airshow enthusiast, or even a modeler wanting to see some different perspectives from restored examples, this title is inexpensive, small enough to fit a backpack or purse, and worth having around to keep those 'experts' honest.

My sincere thanks to Motorbooks International for this review sample!