- Paperback: 128 pages
- Publisher: Midland Publishing; 1st edition (December 19, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1857801393
- ISBN-13: 978-1857801392
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,424,131 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Early Soviet Jet Fighters: The 1940s and Early 1950s, Vol. 4 (Red Star) 1st Edition
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"If you have an interest in Soviet aviation, early jets, the Cold War or military aircraft in general, you will love this book! There is much here for the modeler too, inspiration to build some of these early jets and to add the level of detail each modeler wishes! I strongly recommend this book to all as well as any other by there two authors!" (IPMS/USA 2014-07-29)
"... a must have book for the Soviet jet enthusiast or anyone interested in the early days of jet propulsion. Most highly recommended." (Scott Van Aken Modeling Madness 2014-07-08) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From the Inside Flap
By the end of the Second World War the USA and Great Britain had developed viable jet fighters, even if these aircraft came a bit too late to have a significant impact on the course of the conflict. Germany achieved greater success, using the Me 262 and He 162 jet fighters operationally in the closing stages of the war. In contrast, the Soviet Union lagged behind, even though research on turbojet engines had begun in the USSR in the late 1930s. This deficiency was recognized and at the end of the war, captured German jet aircraft and engines enabled the USSR to reverse engineer the technology. Even so, the USSR struggled to catch up until in 1946, the British Labor government gifted the Soviets the latest in propulsion technology, the Rolls Royce Nene and Derwent V engines. This inexplicable action allowed a much more capable generation of Soviet jet fighters to be born and by the end of the 1940s Soviet industry had caught up with, and in some respects surpassed the West, in jet aviation.
Because of the Stalinist era in which the first Soviet jets were developed, up until now little has been known about the early post war designs from the design bureaus of Mikoyan, Yakovlev, Lavochkin, Sukhoi and Alekseyev and the background to even relatively well known types such as the MiG 9, La 9 and YAK 15 is barely documented. Other early jet types, proposals and projects were virtually unknown in the West. This gap is now redressed by the famous Soviet aviation historian Yefim Gordon and in his latest work he draws on extensive research in design bureau files, official documents and military archives, many of which have only very recently become available, having been labelled 'Top Secret' for decades. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top customer reviews
So a wealth of info for sure, it will bore you trying to read it through cover to cover. It tries to meet the expectations of the die hard historian a well as the causal modeller, and aircraft fanatic; which it can't cover without someone losing out. I did gleam important information to help me model these aircraft, so for that I thank the authors but I sure as hell would not leave this on my coffee table for casual reading!
I disagree with the author on a couple of points.
1. On page 20-21, he compares the first Soviet-built, turbojet-powered aircraft to fly -- the MiG-9 -- with the British Gloster Meteor F.Mk.III and the US built Lockheed P-80A, with the British and US jets being "...inferior in performance to the MiG-9...".
Indeed he points out that both the Meteor and the P-80A "...had been designed and built somewhat earlier..." but this very fact should have suggested him to run a comparison with the MiG-9 contemporaries, the Gloster Meteor 4 and the Lockheed P-80B which would have made it a more balanced affair.
Instead he rather vaguely states "...A while later, improved versions of the Western fighters outperformed the Mikoyan twinjet, but that was achieved primarily thanks to the installation of more powerful engines (the Soviet Union was still seriously lagging behind the Western world in aero engine design at the time)..."
It would have been more appropriate to compare the MiG-9 with the P-84 (later F-84) which, having flown roughly two months before, was its true contemporary, and outperformed the MiG-9 in terms of top speed, climb rate, and range (all non secondary factors in air-to-air combat) and this despite of a slightly lower total thrust (6% lower).
Later on, during the Korean conflict, the Chinese Air Force leadership, would doggedly refuse to commit its large fleet of MiG-9 to the combat arena (and this despite of strong pressure to do so from Stalin himself) having correctly assessed the MiG-9's inferiority to the US jet fighters then fighting in Korea.
2. Quoting from page 62. "...Some Western sources claim that on 10th May 1953 a Yak-15 was shot down in Korea by a US Air Force (319th Fighter Interceptor Squadron) Lockheed F-94 Starfire flown by Capt. D. Phillips. However this is nonsense, as Yakovlev jets never participated in the Korean War. (A possible explanation is that someone mistakenly wrote 'Yak-15' instead of 'MiG-15')..."
The aircraft downed by the crew of Phillips (pilot) and Atto (R/O) on the night of May 10, 1953 was vaguely identified as a 'jet', I think Gordon is mixing up this claim with the one made by the USMC VMF(N)-513 crew of William Stratton (pilot)/Hans Hoglind (R/O) on November 3, 1952.
The USMC crew originally identified their victim as a 'Yak-15' and this is not completely incorrect as their victim was actually a trainer-jet Yak-17UTI, a conversion of the Yak-17 fighter which, at the time, did not have a separate designation, in the West, being simply known also as 'Yak-15'.
Yak-17UTIs were used by the Soviet 29th GvIAP in China, to train North Korean and Chinese Communist pilots to fly jet fighters (fact well known to the author, see page 74-75).
Recent researches seem to indicate the USMC victim was flown by a high-ranking officer of the 64th IAK (see [...]
Despite of these two, minor points, I thoroughly enjoyed this book which, along with the one on early jet bombers, provides, in my opinion, an accurate image of the early jet development in the Soviet Union.