Author: Jon Guttman
Illustrators: Jim Laurier, Harry Dempsey
Paperback; March 2008; 80 pages; ISBN: 9781846032936
“Amid the continuous struggle for aerial superiority during World War I, two aircraft types were at the forefront. Both rotary engined fighters, the Sopwith Camel and the Fokker Dr I triplane were relatively slow for their time, but were regarded as the most manoeuvrable machines produced during the conflict, and the classic pair for a tight, evenly matched dogfight at close quarters. In this book Jon Guttman examines the fascinating story of the design and development of these deadly foes. First-hand accounts and innovative cockpit-view artwork give a thrilling insight into the pilots' experiences during the world's first aerial duels and helps explain their successes and failures.”
There were two types of popular power plants at this moment in history, rotary engines and inline engines. The power to weight ration made this distinction possible. Rotaries were employed for lower altitude operations (1000 – 12,000 ft). Due to the development of the Sopwith Triplane the Germans sought to create their own version of this highly manoeuvrable aircraft. The result was the Fokker Dr.I. At the same time the Sopwith Company had already released their new fighter the F.1 with its twin Vickers machine guns (the first British machine to have this as standard armament). Author Jon Guttman good fellow that he is was given the task of writing this book and called on many of his close historical compatriots to bring us some truly fine images and text.
Chronology of development
Design and Development
The Strategic Situation a need for new fighters, Flanders in the Summer of 1917
The Combatants RNAS, RFC, RAF, Luftstreitskräfte
Statistics and analysis
Aftermath swift eclipse, swift immortality
The process of writing a book seems straightforward enough. Unfortunately in this case the editing process tends to damage this manuscript more than help. The consistent errors I see in this book results from editors that have no understanding of the parlance in describing the subject matter. Multiple aircraft is not to be described as Fok. Dr.Is. Adding the suffix “s” to aircraft nomenclatures is inappropriate. To be correct adding words like “types” or “airframes” is correct. Often the single designation such as Sopwith F.1 implies the type and can be left to stand alone.
There is no designation such as "Sopwith F.1s" but the editor of this book has tried to make it so. Trying to note multiples with the suffix “s” can lead neophytes to believe that there is a subtype of Camel or other aircraft with the “s” designation. Also adding the suffix -’s to write “Sopwith F.1’s” denotes a possessive not a plural. The most popular form of editing is the “Chicago Tribune form”. This is taught in colleges & universities everywhere these days. The form tends to encourage these misnomers when it comes to types designations. While there are some other minor typographical errors the reader should have little trouble gleaning good information from this reference.
When contacting manufacturers and publishers please mention you saw this review at AEROSCALE
Highs: Good basic information.Lows: improper editing has caused a problem. Some plan view drawings would improve this book's value.Verdict: A good source of info. Some unique photo images.
About Stephen T. Lawson (JackFlash) FROM: COLORADO, UNITED STATES
I was building Off topic jet age kits at the age of 7. I remember building my first WWI kit way back in 1964-5 at the age of 8-9. Hundreds of 1/72 scale Revell and Airfix kits later my eyes started to change and I wanted to do more detail. With the advent of DML / Dragon and Eduard I sold off my ...