Polikarpov R-5/R-Z

Armada Series #22
ISBN 5-94038-007-7

By Matt Bittner

The Polikarpov R-5/R-Z was a typical aircraft of the late 1920's/early 1930's. There was still a lot of "WW1-type" technology in aircraft design, and the R-5 used most of it. The R-5 was a natural progression of the Polikarpov R-1 - which was basically a de Havilland DH9 copy. The R-5 was developed as primarily a reconnaissance aircraft, but later also served as a light bomber and assault aircraft. In fact, the R-5 was one of the first aircraft deployed during the beginning of the changeover to specialized military aircraft. Not only was it used in its military role, but it was also used as a transport as well as a passenger aircraft.

Pilots enjoyed flying the R-5. It was easy to fly and very forgiving. All in all a total of approximately 6000 R-5's were built, serving in the pre-WW2 years - such as the Spanish Civil War, China and Mongolia - as well as serving during the Great Patriotic War (GPW). The R-Z was a later development; the primary external difference being a somewhat enclosed cockpit.

The Armada book consists of 56 pages covering initial development to war time use. The inside front and rear covers sporting 10 color profiles. There are also 1/72nd plans of both the R-5 and the R-Z, along with some of the minor types, like the R-5T torpedo carrier.

If you enjoy pre-GPW aviation, especially Soviet, then this book is a must. It's the first monograph-type book on the Polikarpov R-5/R-Z, so if you build the Encore kit then it is also a must for that. Highly recommended.

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