Salmson Aircraft of World War I

Colin A. Owers, Jon S. Guttman, James J. Davilla

Flying Machines Press, a division of Paladin Enterprises, Inc., 2001
116 pages, softcover

$47.95 from Rosemont Hobby Shop

Reviewed by Matt Bittner


Finding reference material on French WW1 aircraft is difficult. This book on Salmson aircraft was sorely needed and a must for those who enjoy these aircraft.

The layout of the book is in chronological order, starting with the first Salmson aircraft, the Salmson-Moineau S.M.1, and ending with the last Salmson aircraft to be released during WW1, the Salmson 7. Naturally, since it was the aircraft produced in largest numbers, the majority of the book is devoted to the Salmson 2A2.

The 2A2 section is divided into operational history, and modifications – including those by sub-contractors, followed by short descriptions of each escadrille that flew the 2A2. Finally the 2A2 section ends with USAS use of the type during the war, and then concludes with immediate post-war use of countries such as Czechoslovakia, etc. This section quite a large number of photographs to support the text.

While a few of the non-2A2 and S.M.1 types were experimental, there were two types - the 4 and the 7 - that actually saw very limited war time service prior to the end of hostilites.

In addition to the photos and the text, each type also has its own 1/72nd and 1/48th drawings. Finally, to round out the book, there are 10 pages of excellent color profiles provided by Juanita Franzi. A couple of these profiles as well as a few of the photos made one thing known to me I didn't know before – some of the early 2A2's were delivered in aluminum dope. For those who do not like to paint the French five-color, this provides an excellent alternative. All in all highly recommended and worth every cent.

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