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Aircraft of World War II (The Aviation Factfile) Hardcover – July 26, 2004


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Product Details

  • Series: The Aviation Factfile
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Thunder Bay Press (July 26, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840136391
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592232246
  • ASIN: 1592232248
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 11.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,434,936 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jim Winchester is a freelance writer of many years' experience who has written widely on various aspects of aviation.  He is the author of several books, including Fighters of the 20th Century, Classic Airliners:  Lockheed Constellation, and Combat Legends:  A-4 Skyhawk, and he has contributed to the World Air Power Journal and Flight International's World Aircraft & Systems Directory.  He lives in London.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 13 customer reviews
It's nice to have books that have information on aircraft of WWII.
Ira Kepford
The reader is also left wondering why they have a page for Supermarine Spitfire Mk I - V, but not one for Spitfires Mk VI to 22.
Brian Carter
Brian Carter's review gives a good overall impression of the layout, its strength and weaknesses.
Steven Daedalus

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Brian Carter on January 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If a reader is looking for a quick reference guide on World War II aircraft, this slightly oversized book gives basic information about and a good idea of what a particular aircraft looked like. Much of the data is presented in a heavy graphics "USA Today" style that sometimes works well.

Each aircraft, regardless of significance or use, gets two pages. The first page includes a short summary paragraph of the significance of the aircraft, an "at war" style action photograph or painting, and a group of small photos labeled "Photo File" above a "facts and figures box with some bullet points of trivia.

The second page is labeled "Profile" with a large side-profile color drawing of the plane and three to four paragraphs about the use and development. A small box gives the quick statistics on a particular version (powerplant, speed, ceiling, armament, dimensions, etc.).

Then the consistency breaks down.

A few profiles have boxes that show the action in key battles where the aircraft was prominent, or a description of how the aircraft was used to dive bomb or attack a tank. Other profiles have a photo/drawing comparison with two or three contemporaries (sometimes enemies, sometimes from the same side).

Most profiles have another box labeled "Combat Data" or "Action Data" where certain aspects of the performance are compared to others in a graphical format. Some of it is clear and quickly conveys the point like horizontal bar graphs showing the speed of the subject and two contemporaries- the longer the bar, the faster the aircraft. But the numbers and relative differences in the lines are off.

Other times the graphics make no sense. When armament (on a dive bomber?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By ******** on April 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
this book has such great detail to ww2 airplanes. its got multiple pictures of each plane with some b & w pics that are original. it has great info on them. it has detailed info on what they were like, how fast they could go, what they had for weapons etc. it also compares to the plane on that page to 2 other planes that compete with it. for example, an American plane being compared to 2 British planes. any way, if you are a ww2 airplane buff, this is a must have book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Yoda on October 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover
If you are looking for a very cursory review of WWII's major aircraft (i.e., a page or two for each aircraft) this is the book for you. If you are a modeler interested in paint schemas for an aircraft you are building it is also good in that good ones are provided. If you are looking for anything more, however, forget it. The book does not cover less well known aircraft. In addition, no information is provided on strategies of the major airpowers, history of the airwar (i.e., battles, growing strengths and weaknesses of nations' airforces over time, etc.), personnel or any other matter.
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Format: Hardcover
Brian Carter's review gives a good overall impression of the layout, its strength and weaknesses. I found the book to be more fun than he did, despite its imperfections. They didn't bother me much. It's especially useful in looking up less glamorous aircraft. Everybody knows the P-51 was a splendid airplane and so was the Japanese A6M Zero, in their own entirely different ways. But here is the Fairey Firefly and the Bristol Blenheim and the Kawanishi H8K "Emily" -- and they get roughly the same amount of text, technical details, and pictures as the more popular machines, two pages each! Great! I wouldn't use it as a key document in a Master's thesis or anything but for someone with a casual interest in the subject, this is pretty good.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is not as comprehensive as some similar aircraft data books, but it does a good job explaining detailed information in limited space regarding the planes that it does analyze. Some readers may find it repetitive, but I found the information presented in a fresh, interesting format. It not only gives the typical technical data, but also provides comparative data to other planes of a similar class and shows actual photos of the planes in service. The book dedicates two pages per plane and offers the reader more information than other books of this nature. If you are looking for overviews of the principal aircraft of World War II, then this book is worth adding to your reference library.
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Format: Hardcover
if you want a basic idea about aviation during WWII well this is the book for you.. but for an experienced (well read) enthusiast this book leaves a lot to be desired... for example on page 40-41 of this book, the B-17 Flying Fortress'is compared to 2 other aircraft, namely the Short Stirling and the B-24 Liberator. but instead of the Stirling a Vickers Wellington icon is used and instead of the B-24's profile icon a Heinkel He111 is used... have a look at the bottom left of page 41 and you'll see what I'm trying to say...
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By Pizza Zombie on December 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I own three of his other Aviation Factfile books, on Cold War aircraft, Experimental and Modern Military Aircraft. This provides details and stats that are interesting.
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