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Spitfire: The History Hardcover – January, 2001

8 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 674 pages
  • Publisher: Key Publications; 2nd edition (January 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0946219486
  • ISBN-13: 978-0946219483
  • Product Dimensions: 12 x 8.6 x 2.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,532,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Troy on April 28, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is one awesome book for Spitfire lovers. If Spitfires arent an all-consuming passion, then dont buy this book as it is technical overload, hard to read, and simply mind-boggling in its depth. it doesnt have pretty pictures of restored spitfires, nor even many black and white ones of them in action, but you can get those anywhere. What it does have, is the most minute details on every aspect of its construction, history, and even a short history on every spitfire ever made, right through to the development of the Spiteful/Seafang series! Has documents from Supermarine on the troubles with getting the plane built, to the grapples with the Air Ministry. Quite simply, the scope of this book is enormous. You wont be able to read it cover to cover, but you will end up with a book that like mine takes pride of place amongst all other aircraft books.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Paul Vecsei on June 26, 2003
Format: Hardcover
No doubt, this is the single most important book to own if you are interested in the history of the Spitfire and all its variants. But, it should be mentioned that this is a rather ugly book in the visual sense. The color illustrations are among the worst i have ever seen (artwork varies from terrible to good). An endless number of pages are dedicated to listing serial numbers and the printing quality of the b&w photos is poor. The text is interesting and offers so much more than most Spitfire books. If you buy this volume, i strongly suggest you also get a book like Spitfire:Flying Legend. This way, you will have the definitive text in one volume and great photos of numerous variants in another.
For those (like myself) who are interested in line drawings of the aircraft structure, this book is splendid. Also worth noting that almost all the photos, as so-so as some may be, are of great value because they are not seen in other books. Lots of unique things in this volume. They should take this book to a graphics design bureau and let them put it together. The result wiould be a book costing $80 instead of $...but imagine what it could look like.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T. Russ on September 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I was really looking for a book with detailed data on the Spitfire. The good news is that there really is lots of data in this book. The bad news is that you pertty have to read the entire book to find things.
A real strength is the reproduction of information, specifications and test result reports from both the company and the British government acceptance trials. That means that there is a wealth of high-quality primary data represented in the book. If you are curious about the effect of different propellers on the top speed and rate of climb of the Spitfire I, then there is a table showing that. Unfortunately, such information seems to be arranged chronologcially by report date rather than by topic. That makes it really hard to locate particular facts and therefore limits its value as a reference book. There is so much here that even the index can't really help out.
Recommendation: If you care about lots of real performance and nuts & bolts data you have to get the book, but it could have been much greater with a better presentation. If you are looking for a narrative history or light reading stay away.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By matt8386 VINE VOICE on September 6, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Holy smokes" is what I said when I opened the box that had this book in it. Every once in awhile, a pleasant surprise occurs when ordering by mail. This is definately one of those surprises. A huge value for your money IF you want every nuance of every spitfire ever built. A lot of good, albeit small, B&W pix of the plane, its many varients, 12 pages of color line drawings. Even the forward mentions how much detail is involved in this book, how few are ever going to be able to dispute information portrayed here as a reader is easily overwhelmed by the size of this book. Even the weight makes it difficult to read.
But it is worth it. I have enjoyed every page, learning new things at every turn. Good introduction of the development of 1930's planes & technologies that led up to the Spitfire, how it almost didnt make it into production, and the development of so many varients.
A must have for the serious collector, or anyone who wants a REALLY big book on their shelf.
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