Pfalz Aircraft of World War I

Great War Aircraft in Profile #4
Jack Herris
Flying Machines Press, ©2001
180 Pages, Softbound
MSRP $49.95

Reviewed By Chris Banyai-Riepl

When most people think of Pfalz fighters they invariably think of the Pfalz D.III/IIIa series. While this was probably the most famous of the Pfalz fighters it was by no means the first and definitely wasn't the last. This book takes you on a trip through the beginning and the end of the Pfalz aircraft company, covering every plane that came out of that design bureau.

The very first Pfalz aircraft built were actually license-production planes, the first being an Otto two-seater and the second being the Morane-Saulnier Type L parasol. They also obtained permission to license-produce the Type H, which became the Pfalz E series. The lack of performance from these earlier types kept Pfalz from designing their own fighter, and their next assignment was in building Roland fighters. In retrospect this was probably the best thing for them, for it was in building the Roland fighters that the Pfalz craftsmen learned the plywood fuselage techniques that would later serve them well with the Pfalz D.III series and later designs.

In addition to the very well-written text, this book provides plenty of photos, most of which have been enhanced for clarity. The captions for these are also well-written and reveal lots of information themselves. This book must have been a monumental bit of research in regards to the photos, especially considering that there's at least one photo of every type of plane Pfalz built. In addition to the great photo collection there are scale drawings of nearly all of the planes Pfalz built, both in 1/48 and in 1/72. Capping the book off are some outstanding color profiles. Two artists were used here, and the difference between the two is noticable, as one appears to have used traditional means and the other is computer-generated. Both styles are more than acceptable, though, and do a great job of showing off the different colors of all the Pfalzes. The section on the D.III/IIIa will have you wanting to build lots of those.

While some people may balk at the price, when you consider that purchasing Datafiles on all of these planes would easily be double the cost it quickly becomes a worthwhile investment. The quality of the photos and the large color section would make this book worth the price alone, and the text just adds all that much more. If you're interested in Pfalz aircraft, or WWI aircraft in general, definitely pick this one up.


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