Surviving Trainer and Transport Aircraft of the World -
A Global Guide to Location and Types
By Don Berliner
Pen and Sword (www.pen-and-sword.co.uk )
RRP GBP £19.99
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Aircraft have fascinated the public ever since the first flights by the Wright Brothers. They continue to do so and air-shows are very popular. In the UK the “Battle of Britain” Memorial Flight encapsulates the attachment the public has with these iconic images of World War 2.
This book is the final volume in a three part series (see the Bomber Aircraft review) and the style of the book is along similar lines to the previously reviewed Surviving Bomber Aircraft. Whilst fighters and bombers are both defensive and offensive aircraft respectively planes used for training and transport are generally overlooked. This volume catalogues the surviving aircraft in these less popular categories.
The pilots of fighters and bombers needed training and that is where the trainer aircraft slot-in. Also transports are a necessity for any airborne offensive such as a parachute or glider attack. These aircraft fulfilled vital roles and their supportive roles are generally ignored.
This volume lists those aircraft which have survived to the present day. Many are in museums and can be viewed by the public. The author presents chapters on transports, trainers, reconnaissance, utility and gliders. There are sections dealing with the lesser known rotary wing aircraft which were effectively prototyped in World War 2 and amphibian aircraft. There are also listings of radio controlled planes and an excellent appendix on museums with large collections of World War 2 aircraft.
The author has split the book into the above chapters and then he presents aircraft by their “nationality” before giving a modest historical write-up on the aircraft type, some technical data (such as length, wing span, height, wing area etc.) and lists of surviving examples. Each entry is fascinating and captivating whilst the photos help you view those surviving examples which are too far away to visit or in foreign lands.
This work puts the vital role of these aircraft and the personnel who operated them into context. These pilots wore the same uniforms as their more glamorous colleagues. The author has done justice to these brave personnel and his work is exceptional. I am sure that anyone with an interest in these airplanes and their histories would find this an indispensable guide. It may even help you plan your next holiday or visit to the respective museum!