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Airliners of the World Paperback – January 1, 1999

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Aerospace Publications (January 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1875671447
  • ISBN-13: 978-1875671441
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.4 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #908,536 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

The following is the text entry for the Koolhoven FK.50 airliner of the mid 1930s. It is typical of the format of the 300 or so airliner entries in the book:

Koolhoven FK.50 Country of origin: Netherlands. Powerplants: Two 420hp (313kW) Pratt & Whitney Wasp Junior T1B nine cylinder radials; two bladed propellers. Performance: Cruising speed 140kt (260km/h); range 540nm (1000km). Weights: Empty 2505kg (5522lb); max takeoff 4100kg (9038lb). Dimensions: Wing span 18.00m (59ft 1in); length 14.00m (45ft 111/4in); height 3.70m (12ft 11/2in); wing area 44.7m2 (481sq ft). Accommodation: Two crew and eight passengers. Production: 3.

History: Frederick Koolhovens company was one of the leading Dutch aircraft manufacturers in the 1920s and 1930s, its more successful products including the FK.33 ten seat twin engined commercial transport which flew with Deutsche Luft Hansa, German Aero and KLM (on its Amsterdam to Paris, London and Malm services) and the FK.42/43 3-4 seat single engined monoplanes which found some favour with private and air taxi operators. The FK.41 was built under licence in Britain by Desoutter. Military training and general purpose types were also built (and a fighter later on) as was the one-off FK.48 six passenger commercial twin of 1935. This was used by KLM on its Rotterdam-Eindhoven route. The FK.50 was of similar high wing layout but larger and capable of carrying eight passengers. Construction comprised a wooden cantilever two spar wing and fabric covered metal fuselage and tail unit. The cockpit was enclosed and six of the eight passengers sat on individual chairs with the remaining pair on a bench seat at the rear. Only three were built, all powered by Pratt & Whitney Wasp Junior radials. The first was flown in September 1935 and delivered to Switzerlands Alpar Luftverkehrs later in the year. Two others joined the Alpar fleet, one in early 1936 and the other in 1938, this aircraft differing in having twin fins and rudders in place of the original single unit. The third FK.50 also featured a modified cockpit, larger wheels, increased maximum weight and smaller engine nacelles replacing the earlier rather bulbous NACA cowlings. Sometimes referred to as the FK.50A, this aircraft was ordered to replace the second example which had crashed in September 1937. The FK.50 displayed remarkable longevity despite its tiny production run and single operator. The two remaining aircraft survived the war and were operated on a Berne-London (Croydon) service during 1946. The first aircraft was broken up in 1947 but the third survived until 1962 when it crashed in Liberia and was destroyed. Koolhoven proposed a military version as the FK.50B with more powerful Bristol Mercury radials, a crew of four, defensive guns and a 1000kg (2205lb) bomb load accommodated in a largely redesigned and deepened fuselage, but this never progressed beyond the drawing board. Photo: The third Koolhoven FK.50 with twin fins.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Pesenyánszki László on May 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
As a collector of books on civilian airplanes, I can state that this is one of the best edited and by far the most reader-friendly book I've ever seen in the category! Besides, it covers a very comprehensive range of airliners and gives plenty of information, surprising even the experienced reader (doesn't matter if only one single prototype was ever produced - e.g. Bristol Brabazon - the book will not miss to cover it as well).
When you open the book, you find 4 airplanes "abreast" (to be stylish), as each airplane is explained in one full column, occupying half page, with a photo on the top.Technical features are shown as grouped by chapters (such as POWERPLANTS, PERFORMANCE, WEIGHTS, DIMENSIONS, etc.) and the same chapters appear under each entry, making search for a particular data or comparison of different airplanes extremely easy and convenient. Precise production data is given for all airplanes, which is an other plus. In spite of its compact size, the entries are very rich in model-history. There is an accurate description for each photo appearing in the book. The only hardship, however, is to find the dates, which are buried in the text under model HISTORY: if ever re-issued, it would be nice to see some additional chapters about important dates, such as FIRST IN AIR, FIRST IN SERVICE, LAST KNOWN DATE IN SERVICE, for easier reference.
All in all, no matter whether you are a beginner or an experienced hobbiest, you will find this book interesting, informative and very easy to use. Keep it around and open randomly anywhere: you will find some interesting things to read and to see. A real you-must-have-it piece!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By David A. Baer VINE VOICE on September 3, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Books like AIRLINERS OF THE WORLD tend to take two forms. First, there is the coffee table book that's heavy on the visuals but best eyeballed in your living room. Then there is the 'field guide' motif. This version is meant to leave home with you and to frequent air shows, airports, and the spectator area alongside some runways.

AIRLINERS OF THE WORLD comes halfway between these two conventional types. It's a paperback and not a particularly sturdy one, so not the stuff of most coffee tables. On the other hand, it carries the kind of dense information and smallish visuals on its two-aircraft-per-page format that are common to the field guide genre.

What sets Stewart Wilson's book apart from most others is its attention to the long haul of commercial air history. It begins with 1914 and claims to survey all commercial aircraft that have lifted people and set them back down - usually safely - since that time.

If you want to see how Antonov or Boeing or Fokker has waltzed through the decades, this is a fine volume to do it with, since Wilson organizes his aircraft by manufacturer as his first sort criterion and date of production after that.

Most of the aircraft are photographed, the quality of the shots varying with the photographic technology available when the plane in question was flying. Occasionally an airplane is drawn.

The livery varies widely, so you get lots of exposure to off-the-beaten-track airlines as a bonus. An introductory section called 'Milestones of Commercial Aviation' is a planespotter's dream.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is perfect. It has all the airliners from 1914 to the present day. It has several different versions of some specific planes. If you like to look at planes and read about planes this book is for you!
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By GK on July 15, 2014
Format: Paperback
Out of date.
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