- 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: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,689,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Spitfire: The History Hardcover – January, 2001
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A heavy book. Extra shipping may be requested for some overseas addresses
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Top customer reviews
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.
Though it is certainly not "light reading", it is very much worth having.
If what you really want is the "story" of how the Spitfire came to be, this isn't practical. Oh it's in there, everything is in there...it's like pi for the Supermarine Spitfire; but the book itself simply has too much information to just sit down and read it. Plus there are definitely cheaper ways to get the story.
It seems to me it's best use is to expound on things that aren't thoroughly covered in other Spitfire books. They mention the gun heating system in another book...this book has a diagram and thorough explanation on exactly how it works. It's a reference book. A fantastic, absurd, unbelievable reference book.
Buy it if you've got the means. Copies can be found pretty regularly around the 60-70 dollar figure across the pond...it's probably worth that much just in the paper used to create it.
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.
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.