German Air Projects 1935-1945 vol 4
Attack, Multi-purpose and other aircraft
“. . .After the attack the pilot would start six solid fuel rocket engines and depart to a safe distance, where the aircraft broke into two parts that then alighted, together with the pilot, by parachute. The system would be recovered by ground teams and reassembled for another action.”
If this sounds like science fiction today, imagine what it sounded like in the 1940s when plans for this flying tank killer (by Zeppelin) were kicked around. How about an aircraft in which engine and tanks are mounted inside the fuselage and the pilot/copilot sit in a pod at the very tip of one wing and two gunners on the other one (Blohm & Voss P.163)? Or a fighter with ten jet engines stuck all around the forward fuselage (Junkers EF 009)? Or a “convertiplane” with engine inside the fuselage and props on the wingtips and whose entire outer wing could rotate for VTOL (WFG WP 1003/1)? Even today’s Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tilt rotor still has teething problems with this concept!
This is the fourth and presumably final volume in this author’s German Air Projects series. The first three are already hard to find so you’ll want to get your hands on vol. 4 asap, especially if you have the other ones already. This is because vol. 4 buttons up a number of loose ends from the earlier books which each covered a specific aircraft type or role. This new volume concentrates on aircraft that defy such straightforward classification; in fact, more than half the book presents “other designs” that are rather on the fringes of imagination let alone technical possibility. The reader who will most appreciate this effort is one who already has pretty good grasp of experimental craft in general and the German Luftwaffe of WWII in particular, or someone with general curiosity about aviation engineering. Needless to say, modelers will find endless inspiration here.
After a mere half page of Introduction, the book launches right away into an alphabetical treatment of makers, further divided by model or design number. There is a whole, and growing, branch of Luftwaffe research known as “Luft ‘46” or “What If” that occupies itself with investigating what direction German aero engineering would have taken if it had existed beyond 1946 and not been dismantled after the end of WWII. Those specialized readers will lament the lack of citation of any sort of reference or source material. The text does include occasional reference of dates, test, or documentation pertaining to certain projects but by and large a reader won’t even be able to corroborate, say, the model or project numbers Ryś uses. This is not a huge issue; it just makes it difficult to integrate this work with other.
The individual entries range from as little as one paragraph to several pages. There is no Index and the Table of Contents lists only makers not models so the only way to find anything is to thumb through the entire book every time. Which is probably just as well because unless you already know the model numbers (not likely!), there’d be nothing to look up/for anyway. In other words, this is a journey of discovery. Dimensional and performance specs are worked into the text or, less often, appear in tabular form. There are commendably few typos, all totally minor without any of the butchering of Umlauts and misspellings of proper names that usually make such books agonizing to read. The meaning of the often colorful German model names can in some cases be inferred from the text but to get the most out of them you’d need to know the language.
Ryś has published extensively, in English and his native Polish, on aircraft of all era and has a preference for early aviation. Poland—certainly 20, 30 years ago—was absolutely not a place in which it was easy to acquire foreign publications (or model kits) and therein lies the root for Ryś’ unusual skill set: he had to learn to look harder and he had to make his own models which forced him to look harder still and suss out the sort of micro detail other’s didn’t. It is probably the research he does for his staggeringly detailed models in the first place that then leads to books about them. Having already created hundreds of technical drawings he became an early adopter of computer generated 3D graphics and turns out top-notch fully fleshed out imagery. All the illustrations in this book are by him (see cover art for example); on 48 color pages at the back of the book they depict multiple angles of nine different machines. None of these ever flew but you wouldn’t know it from these photo-realistic images. Also included is a number of 3-views but without dimensions.
Copyright 2013, Sabu Advani (speedreaders.info).
Air Modeler No. 48 2014-01-23
Amazon.co. uk customer review 2014-01-23
A bit smaller than expected 27 May 2013
By Nigel H
This is an excellent little book, most of it is illustrated with three view line drawings of some very unusual and interesting Luftwaffe aircraft projects. It also contains some lovely colour illustrations of some of these aircraft in flight. Its well worth the price but it is quite a small book.
SAMI 06/2013 2014-01-23
Amazon.co.uk customer review (4th) 2014-01-23
5.0 out of 5 stars
A facinating read 20 Jun 2013
By A. Crichton
I love these 'what if' books and this is pitched just right. Despite the small format, the drawings are good and there is enough information to be interesting without being too detailed.
Model Aircraft 07/2013 2014-01-23
Reviewed by Rob Baumgartner
F i r s t R e a d
There were countless designs proposed for the Luftwaffe during World War II, and many more leading up to the conflict. Some made it to fruition but most failed to materialize.
The author examines the reasons for some of these failures in Mushroom Model Publications latest release.
This volume, devoted to attack, multi-purpose, and other designs, is the fourth in the series of “German Air Projects 1935-1945”.
The book encompasses these “what might have been” developments and presents them to the reader in a handy well laid out reference source.
There are 64 pages of text and a further 48 that contains the artwork. The latter shows how these aircraft may have looked… had they become operational. All of the images are expertly rendered and the illustrator goes to great lengths to ensure a very realistic appearance for his subjects.
The projects are arranged in alphabetical order according to those companies that conceived them. Each contains an interesting narrative which explains how the type came about, its proposed development, and the ultimate fate of the subject.
Specifications and estimated performance figures are not forgotten, with some comparisons coming in the form of a handy table. These may differ from some other references containing technical data; however the author has made it clear previously that all information comes from original German sources. He also noted that even these “official” sources contained variations.
“Scale” plans are also a feature of this publication. There are a dozen general arrangement drawings plus a further 38 side views, all competently done by Marek Rys.
The book concludes with an addendum that covers aircraft missed in previous volumes, usually due to a lack of information at the time.
Much information has recently come to light regarding Germany’s wartime ventures. These “paper projects” continue to intrigue the public due their ingenuity and boldness with design. This book captures the imagination of the subject matter and relays it in a readable, easily digestible format.
Recommended to all “Luftwaffe ‘46” fans.
Reviewer: Scott Van Aken
Back in about 1983 or so, I bought a book called 'German Jet Genesis' by David Masters. This was my first introduction to what was soon to blossom into "Luft '46", the production of kits of German aircraft that were just being developed at the end of WWII or even the 'paper projects' that were considered, but never got past the initial suggestion process. As most of you are aware, the kit aspect of the Luft '46 has seemed to have petered out as I've not seen a new kit in this area for many years. Yet for a while, even standard kit makers like Revell were producing some really excellent kits of these sorts of planes. The resin guys were the ones who pretty much catered to our needs and even some excellent short run plastic kits were produced by folks like Huma. Though the kits aspect of things has slowed down, that is not the same for books, and we now have volume 4 from Mushroom Models. This one covers attack, multi-purpose and other aircraft. This edition is divided into two sections. First is for attack and multi-purpose aircraft and is listed alphabetically by manufacturer. Some of these entries are pretty extensive while others are quite brief, depending on how much information has surfaced on the project. In this section are some side view drawings with a few four view drawings. Not all aircraft are covered by drawings, as there may not have been any done.
The second section covers the 'others' category and covers things like flying boats, floatplanes, manned A-4 (V-2) rockets and the Sangar hypersonic aircraft, to name a few. This section also includes varying amounts of information as well as the nicely done line drawings on some of the entries. In the back section of the book are multiple pages of computer art work of some of the types covered in the book. Some of these types have multiple pages devoted to them and others one or two. These are all very nicely done and provide some interesting camouflage schemes.
In all, it makes for an excellent book on the subject and for those who are still interested in these projects, it will be a frequently used reference. Highly recommended for the Luft '46 fan and other interested readers.
MAI No. 97 08/2013 2014-01-23
Ce volume est le quatrième d’une collection dédiée aux projets aéronautiques militaires allemands développés sous le IIIe Reich. Il s’agit bien de projets, les appareils ayant connu une carrière opérationnelle ne faisant pas l’objet de cette étude. Les deux premiers tomes, dédiés aux chasseurs, et émanant du même auteur, sont maintenant regroupés dans un unique volume relié de plus grande taille (A4). Le tome 3 était quant à lui consacré aux bombardiers. Celui-ci, le quatrième, présente les projets n’entrant pas dans les catégories précitées : avions d’attaque au sol, appareils multi-rôles et autres (reconnaissance, avions-béliers, avions-porte-avions, etc.)
Ce volume s’articule en deux volets. Jusqu’à la page 64 défile le "catalogue" des projets, classés par ordre alphabétique de constructeur. Le texte en anglais va à l’essentiel, s’attachant tant à l’historique de chaque projet qu’à son aspect technique. La plupart des appareils sont accompagnés d’un dessin au trait (sans échelle), certains faisant l’objet d’un plan 3 vues. L’autre partie, à peine moins épaisse que la première, est une "galerie" de vues d’artiste où Marek Ryś donne vie de façon convaincante à de nombreux projets d’appareils, ceci en pleine page (17 x 23 cm).
Si quelques avions ici présentés sont d’un parfait classicisme, comme les hydravions Dornier Do 214 et Do 216 qui ne se distinguent que par leur gigantisme, d’autres pourraient susciter la célèbre réplique « On se risque sur le bizarre ? », tel ce Daimler Benz Projekt C qui relève davantage du cauchemar volant que de l’avion de rêve… hormis peut-être pour Goering. Voilà donc un sujet qui permet de sortir des sempiternels Bf 109 et Fw 190, mais est-il nécessaire de rappeler une fois de plus que l’existence "réelle" de ces avions aurait signifié que la Seconde Guerre mondiale ne se serait pas terminée en 1945 et qu’à la liste des morts on aurait dû ajouter quelques millions de personnes ?
Amacon.ci.uk customer review 2014-01-23
4.0 out of 5 stars A, 27 July 2013
By R. F. Wray - See all my reviews
This is a prime interest of mine, and this book was a much wanted addition to my collection of books on this subject, so I am very pleased to now have a copy.
Reviewed by: Paul Mahoney, IPMS# 8943
This is the fourth and final volume in MMP’s German Air Projects series that covers Luft46 “might have beens.” This particular volume covers attack, multi-purpose, and “other” subjects. The “other” is essentially an addendum to the other 3 volumes, and covers subjects that were previously omitted, or subjects about which new information has been uncovered. Without the “other” section, this would be a very slim volume! Illustrations throughout the book consist of line drawings and artist renderings – there are no photos in this book as everything is conjecture.
The first 38 pages of the book cover attack and multi-purpose aircraft, arranged by manufacturer. Line drawings accompany many of the sections.
Pages 39 through 64 cover other types of aircraft not previously written about in previous volumes (or those with newly discovered information). Again, many line drawings accompany the text.
The rest of the book is dedicated to a large number of artist renderings of the various hypothetical aircraft in action. Each page has one nicely done, computer generated color drawing. There are 48 illustrations in this section, and each brings one of these interesting aircraft to life.
This is a very limited subject matter, but the author has done a very nice job of compiling what limited data there is into a readable format. I have not read any of the other volumes, but imagine they are a bit more expansive as “attack and multi-purpose” is not quite as large of a category as “fighters” or “bombers” would be. If those other volumes are anything like the quality of this one, then those interested in the subject would do well to gather the entire series.
I would recommend this to anyone having an interest in Luft46 subjects. There is not much out there covering this topic, so to have something of this quality as a resource is great to see.
Thanks to MMP Books for providing the sample and to IPMS/USA for allowing me to review it.
Amazon.co.uk customer review (6th) 2014-01-23
4.0 out of 5 stars
Fascinating 12 Aug 2013
By Michael Watson TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
I was well aware this book is quite small but it is large enough to capture some excellent artwork images of aircraft that might have flown one day. Even so, had German designers been able to further their projects without the overhang of war, who knows by how much western technology would have advanced.
Of course, very notable designers did contribute after the war to both Soviet and American forward thinking but some of these designs in the book are spectacular.
The artwotk, too, is excellent. I'm looking to compare some of these projects with those of the Americans in a 'what if?' scenario. Should be interesting. As it is, we have had to make do with the Mig-15 against the Sea Fury and subsequently the Sabre and the Meteor against the V1. Hardly the stuff of dreams.
Anyway, my compliments to the artistic work put into the book and the efforts the author has put into the research. I'm looking to buy Vol 3 - bombers - shortly.
Amazon.com customer review (3rd) 2014-01-23
Trying to make a meal of it
By Jim Davis TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 11, 2013
This is the 14th (No 5114) book in MMP's Red Series which is a sort of "books that really don't fit well in other series" series. It's the fourth and presumably final book detailing the aircraft designs conceived but not built in the Third Reich. This book appears six years after the previous "German Air Projects" book so one suspects that this book is something of an afterthought. Truly the bottoms of a lot of barrels were scraped to find material to pad this book out.
The book is a 6-1/2" x 9" (European B5 size) square bound card cover of 112 pages. The text proper fills the first 64 pages. There are a number of interesting designs that are covered in some detail. There are others that have only a paragraph or sentence and one gets the impression that one is getting all the information available. Many designs get a line drawing. This is usually a profile but often, especially for some of the asymmetric Blohm und Voss types, a plan view would have been more helpful. Everything is competently done with a a few errors and/or typos. The wrong line drawing is used to illustrate the Focke-Achgelis Fa 269 design. There are constant references to a 30mm MG 151/20 cannon.
The rest of the book is devoted to full page full color (computer generated?) drawings of various aircraft in fictitious markings. Very nice to look at but we get many drawings of a relatively few types.
Recommended. The meat was covered in the previous volumes; these are the scraps but they are not without interest.
Had the Second World War not ended in 1945, countries from both sides had a number of new designs which would have seen action. Indeed many were on the cusp of production, only for the war's end to vanquish their raison d'être in an instant. These still-born weapons systems were also land-based and sea fairing, but it is arguably the aircraft that have stirred the most interest and, perhaps unsurprisingly, those of Nazi Germany prove by far the most popular. Thus, the whole genre of so-called "Luft '46" has positively thrived over the last few years.
The book is a comparatively modest one - measuring roughly 5"x7", with c120 pages - but then again it's not that expensive. The book is divided into two main parts: the first half has the designs listed alphabetically; there is usually a brief description of each type, a single line or sometimes three view drawing, and dimensions where known are provided. This aircraft list is broken down further by their type or function: firstly Attack and Multi-Purpose (itself a bit of a mixed bag); secondly, 'Other' which is, well, everything else and includes transports, flying boats and the like. Bombers and Fighters are dealt with in two separate volumes if that is what you are after.
The second half of the book is devoted solely to digital artwork, and this is where it may convert the 'non-believers'. Apart from being stunning renditions, I think the appeal is seeing sometimes futuristic designs in familiar camouflage schemes and markings: white wing tips and fuselage bands of the Afrika campaign; the dashing Wellenmuster 'squiggle' camo; well-known chevrons, victory markings and unit insignia, and so on. This made me realise that the schemes are as important as the airframes, if not more so.
In my opinion there appear to be two rather divergent schools of thought where Luft '46 is concerned: one embraces these sometimes whacky designs, often adding 'what ifs' of their own; whilst the other strictly draws the line at VE Day, and often shuns anything that didn't make it into combat, let alone off the drawing board. Before reading this book I will admit I was firmly in the latter. As an illustration of my 'orthodoxy' I would not consider modelling any Allied plane in a post WWII guise, even if the type was busy flying against the Luftwaffe only a few days previous.
But, after reading this book, and being sometimes mesmerised by the emotive artwork as well as the sheer outlandishness of projects themselves, I must say I have mellowed somewhat. Even if it is extremely unlikely that any of the projects will make it to my favoured 1/32 scale, something crazy in 1/48 might prompt me to 'dip my toe'. In that light, I guess the book has done its job and therefore deserves its 'Recommended' status.
With thanks to MMP Books for the review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link.
Amazon.de customer review (1st) 2014-01-23
Model Airplane International 2014/02. 2014-01-23
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