Russian Aeroplanes, 1914-1918
By Mikhail Maslov
Icarus Aviation Publications
ISBN: 0-9724527-0-2
172 Pages, Softcover

Reviewed By Matt Bittner

In the world of Russian aircraft, reference material is hard to come by. Most of the reason for this is because the majority of the reference material is published in the Commonwealth Independent States (CIS) so naturally is written in their language. English written references books about CIS/Russian aviation are few and far between.

With this in mind, it's always a welcome experience to find something on Russian aviation written in English. Now we have the added bonus of having one of Mikhail Maslov's superlative works translated.

Russian Aeroplanes, 1914-1918 covers aircraft that were designed and built by the Russians during WW1. Not only does it cover "successful" designs that were put into full production, but it also covers experimental machines. While the book is broken down by major manufacturers, Maslov also touches on the companies that are not well known, and only made one or two designs.

This is an awesome book. With over 250 extremely well produced photographs and 16 drawings in 1/72nd and 1/144th (for the larger aircraft like the Il'ya Muromets), this book covers all Russian indigenous designs. Coverage starts with Anatra and ends with the smaller, lesser-known companies.

If I had to complain, it would be for the lack of color profiles. However, in no way does the lack of these detract in any way from an extremely well done book. If the color profiles existed, it would take this book past a "10 out of 10", and into the 12 and 13 range. To be fair, this book cannot be compared with the Flying Machines Press (FMP) book Imperial Russian Air Service in World War 1. The FMP book covers all aspects of Russian aviation, including not only indigenous designs, but also those machines that were license-produced (like the Nieuport 17/21 made by the Dux factory) as well as aces and air operations. In addition, the FMP book costs three times as much as the Maslov book.

If you're looking for a book that covers indigenous Russian aviation during WW1, then this is definitely the book you want. If you're into Russian aviation at all, then you must buy this book. Extremely highly recommended.


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