WWI Aero
No. 171
February 2001 &
Skyways No. 57 January 2001

Reviewed by Jim Schubert

Printable Order Form Available Here (100KB GIF)

These journals are published quarterly by World War I Aeroplanes, Inc. a tax-exempt organization founded by Leonard E. Opdycke in 1961 devoted to:

  • Those magnificent flying machines of 1900-1919 and 1920-1940,

  • Their enthusiasts:  Builders, Restorers, Historians, Modelers, Collectors & Museums.

Membership requires a minimum donation of $30 per year, per journal.  In the USA any donation over $30 each is tax-deductible.  You can obtain either, or both, journals as your interests dictate.

I've been a member receiving both journals since 1986; they are true treasures.  The great pity is they're only quarterly.  I indulge myself with a block of uninterrupted time to devour each new issue upon arrival  WWI Aero is more serious and more academic in its manner than Skyways, which is more populist.  A long running philosophical consideration in WWI Aero is Historiography - regarding the art, or work, of research, organization and presentation of history from its myriad disparate sources advancing this branch of knowledge with regard to the interpretation, biases, and agendas of other researchers/writers/presentors (consider Dr. Goebbles vs Barbara Tuchman) seeking the ever elusive "Truth"..  Mr. Opdycke gives us a very pleasant entrée to the joys of aviation history.

The current WWI Aero has 144 pages of education and entertainment.  Articles deal with:  Romanian Aviation History, WWI American Air Power Doctrine, Grigorovich Flying Boats, Current Production of German WWI Lozenge Camouflage Fabric, Garland-Lincoln faux Nieuports and Pilots' Reports (Repro Spad VII, Repro Nieuport 11 and Original Bristol Fighter).  Features include:  Museums/Organizations, Gallery, Historiography, Cockpits/Instruments, Films, Archiv, Time's Tarmac, Models, Publications Reviews, Letters and Wants & Disposals.

Both journals are lavishly illustrated.  This issue of WWI Aero, for example, has 130 photos, 20 line drawings, and 18 sketches/paintings.  Skyways is similarly heavily illustrated. The enjoyment of aviation history is, after all, highly visual.

Skyways contains only 80 pages of content on good, glossy paper which reproduces the photos and drawings much better than the coarser paper of WWI Aero.  Feature articles in this issue include:  An in-depth study of Consolidated's PB-2A Two-Place Monoplane Fighter including 11 pages of multi-view drawings and color schemes, Curtiss F7C-1 Single Seat Biplane Fighter: (flight testing, constructional details, great multi-view drawings and cockpit details), Two Little Airlines, Reproductions and Restorations, ID-UNK, Letters, Reviews, Wants & Disposals and Models.

If you're a serious modeler, researcher or enthusiast you ought to be getting these excellent journals regularly.  Print off a copy of the following page, fill it out and send it off to Poughkeepsie with a check in the appropriate amount.

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