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Japanese Aero-Engines 1910-1945 Hardcover – April 24, 2017
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About the Author
Peter Starkings, resident in Leeds, England, also a contributing member to the J-aircraft.com website, has been researching lesser known aspects of Japanese aviation for many years, sharing the results with other enthusiasts by publishing his own quarterly subscription magazine “JAS Jottings” about Japanese aviation for 12 years, and also having articles on Japanese aviation subjects published in the magazines “Arawasi International” (Japan), “Asahi Journal” (USA), and “Insignia” (UK). He is also the co-author with Don Marsh of the book “Imperial Japanese Flying Schools, 1912 to 1945” (Schiffer Publishing Ltd., U.S.A.)
- Publisher : MMPBooks; 1st edition (April 24, 2017)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 240 pages
- ISBN-10 : 8365281325
- ISBN-13 : 978-8365281326
- Item Weight : 1.9 pounds
- Dimensions : 8.3 x 0.7 x 11.7 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,543,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Unfortunately, my joy and enthusiasm turned into sadness, when I saw on the first page that Mike passed away and did not see his book published.
Therefor I have this to say to the readers; This is not a book that is written in short time by collecting information here and there. This is product of decades of diligent and painstaking work of collecting, filtering and compiling information. Believe me, I know, I still have Mike's emails from 15 years ago that he was working on excel spreadsheets to make sense of variants and hunting for technical information lost so that one day obscure history may be uncovered.
To Mike; Wherever you are now, well done my friend. History of Science and Tech owes you and Peter big one on this. You'll be missed.
Readers maybe disappointed by some gaps within the book and the description of the book on Amazon freely acknowledges the difficulties in gathering, collating and presenting the information. Read the description carefully before you buy this book. The presentation of the information in the book is very, very good if not a touch dry. (This is not a H. Smith or B. Gunston style book. Although to be fair, there might be some translation issues as the contributors and editors brought English, Polish, Italian,and Japanese into the fold. Also consider the fact that the primary author died some time before this book went to press)
Edit: I've been rereading the book. My comment about the writing being dry was a bit harsh.
The first clue to the level of difficulty faced by the writing team in the tabular data is presented as "Known Characteristics". Given the state of production, cooperation and destruction at the end of WW II, the authors have done a great job of combing through the influences of different people, academia, the Zaibatsu and of course the usual inter-service rivalry between the IJ Army and Navy. I can heartily recommend this to anyone with a serious interest in the subject. Modelers will be ill-served by this volume and I would recommend the Herschel Smith volume over this book for those with a casual interest in Japanese engines.
This volume although small at 240 pages does have a great amount of tabular data and written technical/historical details. A nice surprise was the authors briefly touching on gas turbines as well.
The aircraft installations are covered, but additional references will be needed to find illustrations of the the aircraft. It is not heavily illustrated except for ATAIU/manufacturers pictures of the engines in the second half of the book.
This book will require a few revisits to get the most out it.
Also, it may really have been deserving of being split into two volumes, however that would have driven up the price point and the market for this level of specialized writing may not be large enough to justify the costs and be profitable for the publisher.
This is a very welcome addition to my library.
Japanese designation systems are gone into in great depth but it is very easy for even the long time enthusiast to get confused by the bewildering number of systems in use at any given time. One gets the impression that the joint system started in 1943 did little more than add to the confusion. With Japanese aircraft one can pick a designation system (short designation for Navy and kitai number for Army works best for most of us) with little chance of confusion since the Army and Navy rarely used the same aircraft. But that's not the case with engines.
The book is a laminated hard cover with decorated boards, an 8-1/4" x 11-3/4" text block, and 216 pages, all put to good use. There is no color to be found in these pages. The book has illustrations but they are all photos of completed engines so are of limited value in discerning details. Engines are not the most photogenic of subjects. Drawings are to be preferred but there are none to be had. A strong point of the book is the comprehensive tables and indexes that allow the reader to extract data with minimum effort. Another strong point is the focus on the aircraft the various engines powered.
There are a few minor complaints. There was a word processing breakdown that left a lot of words hyphenated mid line like "pro-duction". Also, the decision to break up the Mitsubishi and Nakajima companies into prewar and war chapters was ill considered as many engines (some of the more widely used ones) straddled both chapters adding confusion to an already confusing subject.
Highly recommended. The book has a wealth of information and should do for Japanese engines what the two Putnam volumes did for Japanese aircraft decades ago.
Top reviews from other countries
Im großen und ganzen ein interessantes Buch über ein kaum dokumentiertes Thema. Der Autor bedient sich gern unkonventioneller Formulierungen der englischen Sprache. Weshalb ich öfters etwas nachschlagen musste.