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Fairchild-Republic A/OA-10 Warthog
Warbird Tech Series, Vol. 20
By Dennis R. Jenkins

Reviewed by Richard Marmo

Many's the person who's seen an A-10 at an airshow and called her ugly. And aesthetically, she is. But for those of us who subscribe to the "form follows function" philosophy, she's just flat gorgeous. Put another way, she's so ugly, she's beautiful! Designed for CAS (Close Air Support), she does her job and does it very well indeed. And considering her pedigree, which stretches all the way back to that magnificent Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, her appearance is exactly what you'd expect.

This addition to the Warbird Tech Series from Specialty Press follows their now-standard format for the series. Softbound, it contains 100 pages, along with some 160 photos/line art and 4 pages of color.

Dennis Jenkins has done an excellent job of describing the requirements of CAS, thereby laying the groundwork for the rest of the book. Everything from Congressional involvement (or meddling, if you prefer), to production history, European operations and it's use in Desert Storm. Color photos depict a variety (but not all) of the many color schemes that were tested, along with an excellent color photo of the instrument panel.

There's a lengthy chapter on the A-10's weaponry, including details of the depleted uranium ammo. Throw in a page of black-and-white nose art photos, a description of the lone YA-10B 2-seat, night attack version (including several photos), a page of significant dates and another page listing A-10 Units and Tail Codes and you have an effort that belongs on your bookshelf. Particularly when you consider that the number of available publications devoted to the A-10 can literally be counted on the fingers of one hand. And at $16.95 the price is right, too.

Order from Specialty Press, 11481 Kost Dam Road, North Branch, MN 55056 (800-895-4585). Please add $4.50 per order (not per book) for shipping and handling.

Boeing B-29 Superfortress
Warbird Tech Series, Vol. 14
By Peter M. Bowers

Reviewed by Richard Marmo

Despite appearances to the contrary (namely it's identification as Vol. 14), this is the latest addition to the Warbird Tech Series. Never mind that it follows Vol. 21. We're all used to delays...sometimes long delays...in the release of much anticipated kits. The same can happen to publications. Sometime the delays are worth it, sometimes not. In this case, the wait was worth it.

Pete Bowers did a superlative job for Specialty Press of cramming an immense amount of material into their standard Warbird Tech format of 100 pages and 160-odd photos. Everything from background on the origin of the design to significant dates and a list of B-29 serial numbers.

In between you'll find considerable detail on the various design areas. One of the photo captions reveals that the diameter of the crew tunnel was determined by the ability of the chubby Boeing chief engineer to crawl thru it on the mockup! The Service Test Models section includes a photo of the YB-29, along with info on the XB-39, XB-44 and a 1/4 scale B-29 built by Fairchild.

Production, WW-II operations, Post-war operations, odd mods (some of them very odd indeed), aerial tankers, derivatives (including the B-50, 377 Stratocruiser and the Pregnant Guppy) and surviving B-29s are all included. Even a photo of a Chinese turboprop conversion of a Soviet Tu-4 copy of a B-29.

The most interesting color photo is a DB-29 at Ladd Field in Alaska. A standard bare metal/black color scheme is brightened up with Arctic Red markings on the tail and outer wings. She also carries a couple of Republic JB-2 missiles (exact copies of the German V-1) under her wings.

Even though the B-29 has been the subject of more publications than you can count, this effort is a worthy addition to your bookshelf. It carries the usual $16.95 price tag. Full ordering information can be found in the Fairchild-Republic A-10 review.

Boeing/Bae Harrier
Warbird Tech Series, Vol. 21
By Dennis R. Jenkins

Reviewed by Richard Marmo

How many ways can I say it? This latest volume is another excellent addition to the Warbird Tech Series from Specialty Press. And another excellent effort from the pen of Dennis Jenkins. For the benefit of those who have yet to discover the Warbird Tech Series, here's what you get. 100 pages and around 160 photos/line art, including 4 pages of color, are packaged between semi-stiff covers. Price, as always is $16.95.

Since the Harrier is a fixed wing V/STOL design, Dennis devotes 4 pages to the history of vertical flight development. In later chapters, he deals with the Pegasus vectored thrust engine, the P.1127 and P.1154. Much time is spent on development of the final Harrier design, it's adoption by the U.S. Marines. Then there's the big-wing version (with the wing made from carbon fiber), the Sea Harrier, import/export variants and more. Color photos depict a range of schemes, both common and uncommon, including a rather wild red/white/blue on an AV-8B being tested by the Marines...and carrying Marine markings.

Finally, there's the usual page of Significant Dates and another page of Acronyms.

If you're fascinated by the Harrier design, you'll be fascinated by this book. Full ordering information can be found in the Fairchild/Republic A-10 review.

Lockheed Constellation & Super Constellation
Airliner Tech Series, Vol. 1
By Scott E. Germain

Reviewed by Richard Marmo

From Specialty Press, who brought you the superb Warbird Tech Series, comes a new Tech Series that will fill a very large gap in your reference shelf.... Airliners. Airliner reference material ranges from very spotty to virtually non-existent. Until now.

Following the Warbird Tech format, each of the Airliner Tech Series offerings will be 8 1/2 x 11 vertical format, with 100 pages, 150 b/w photos and 4 pages of color within semi-stiff covers. Price is identical to that already established for the Warbird Tech Series, $16.95 each.

The Lockheed Constellation was a magnificent, elegant design that advanced air transportation by several orders of magnitude. And the Connie would eventually become known as the pinnacle of piston-engine air transport design. Little wonder that it was chosen as the subject of Volume 1.

Nineteen pages are given over to the design's development, including some interesting tidbits on various manipulations of the procurement system by Howard Hughes. Following chapters detail her airline service and improvements made as a result of those operations. And then there's the stretched Connies (known as the Long Connies) that lead directly to the L-1049G and L-1049H. These are the ones most of us are familiar with, the late versions with the long, sweeping fuselage lines and tip tanks. Military enthusiasts know them as the WV-2.

You'll also find comparison charts, check lists, tech manual illustrations, cockpit photos and more. Color shots include a fully exposed Wright R-3350 engine, main gear well and two photos of the cockpit. There's also a page listing major production models, another that gives Connie flight records (between cities and/or continents) and a third describing significant dates.

If your passion is airliners, this Volume -in fact, the entire Series- is an absolute must.

Order from Specialty Press, 11481 Kost Dam Road, North Branch, MN 55056 (800-895-4585). Please add $4.50 per order (not per book) for shipping and handling.

Boeing 777
Airliner Tech Series, Vol. 2
By Jim Upton

Reviewed by Richard Marmo

The second volume in Specialty Press' Airliner Tech Series is the latest jetliner from Boeing...the 777. Following the already established format of both Tech Series, airliner enthusiasts will welcome this one with open arms.

Design and marketing discussions give you insight into what motivated the development of an all-new commercial transport design. Much space is given to the various system features, many of which are totally new (either independently or in combination), as well as a lengthy chapter on flight testing and certification. If all of this sounds like overkill, it isn't. Keep in mind that the 777 is touted as the world's most technologically advanced airliner...and it lives up to the claim. For example, it combines fly-by-wire controls with liquid crystal instrument displays, three-axle, six-wheel main gear, gear doors that remain closed except during extension and/or retraction, with huge fan jet engines that range up to 123 inches in diameter. If all that sounds like the aircraft is a bit on the large side, you're right. Sized to fit between a 767 and 747, the -300 version qualifies as the world's largest twin-jet airliner.

Airline operations are thoroughly covered, including numerous photos of the 777 in various liveries. Four pages of color are part of this section, including a color shot of the flight deck. One of the most interesting photos is in b/w, but it provides a graphic illustration of the size of the beast and how air transport size has grown over the years.

That photo shows a Boeing 777 and Boeing 247, both in United Airlines markings, posed nose to nose on the tarmac. Not only does 60 years separate the two designs, the 247 is so much smaller that it literally looks like a scale model sitting next to the 777

The book ends with a brief section on future developments over the next 30-50 years, two pages of appendices (one listing announced orders and the second detailing the production list) and the usual page of significant dates. As usual, price is $16.95.

Full ordering information can be found in the Lockheed Constellation review.

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Air Intelligence
1999 Modelers'
Reference Guides

1/32 Scale Guide $18.00
1/48 Scale Guide $25.00
1/72 Scale Guide $25.00
HH-43 Huskie Color
Reference Guide $15.00

Please add $3.20 Postage in the US.

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