NEW FLYING BOAT
Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI - Vol.2
Owers - Aeronaut Books
September 2016 - OUT NOW!
Paperback : 21.6 x 1.7
x 27.9 cm : 280 pages : Aeronaut Books : English :
ISBN-10-1935881450 & ISBN-13- 978-1935881452 : Pub.
21 Sept. 2016. Available from Amazon: £45.99
|Ok, right from the
start of this review let me state that (A) I
have an 'unhealthy obsession' with the featured
subject matter and (B) I'm privileged to be
named in the credits list; now, having got that out
of the way let me also say that until the book
arrived in my hands I had no idea what type of book
publisher Jack Herris of Aeronaut Publications, was
I know now, and in my opinion this book is simply the
finest volume published to-date on its subject:
the Norman Thompson N.T.4 'Small America'
'boats, the Felixstowe Porte Baby, the Felixstowe
Fury and in particular the magnificent late-war Felixstowe
F.2A's together with the post-war civil conversions
all feature in this book.
It is one big, heavy
and very thick paperback-style volume, the second in
a 'Magnum-Opus' multi-volume series that
details all one could possibly wish to know about
the design, construction, operation and crews of
these important craft.
Penned by the
highly experienced and authoritive author, Colin
A Owers and published by one of today's leading lights
- Aeronaut Books from the USA - it is a combination
that has provided a stunning piece of work that will
grace any flying boat historian, enthusiast and
modelers shelves for many years to come.
It isn't cheap at
around £45.00 pounds and I'm well aware that there
are many of you that will think seriously about
shelling out such a sum but I have to say that the
photographic content alone is worth the asking
price, not including the superb colour profiles by
artist Bob Pearson.
The images are
printed as large as the page and have had an
enormous amount of delicate and time-consuming
hand-work carried out on them to remove a lot of the
'dinks' and 'blemishes' and they look all the better
for that; it is the detail that is contained
within the images that is the 'star' of this book.
Drawn from sources all around the world, this
collection of flying boat images is just stunning,
and thanks to Aeronaut's design layout are printed
to the benefit of us all; there are no 'small, tiny'
|Having been a
flying boat 'nut' for many years due to my growing
up in my home town of Felixstowe - as a lad I played
around these 'black sheds' and the associated
out-buildings until the day it all changed by the
construction of the largest private port in Europe -
I have spent many years collecting and archiving
contemporary images of these 'boats and their
base from wherever I could find them, yet within
this publication I would say that roughly half the
images I have never seen before!
That is what makes
this volume so important to the Felixstowe base and
F.2A aficionados. In the surrounding page scans you
will see what I mean regarding the details contained
within each page, be it images or profiles; but
there is much more than that.
Author Colin Owers
has interwoven a superb story between all the book's
elements providing the reader with much textual
detail but in a very readable fashion, something he
has proven time and again with such high-quality
publications as Windsock Datafiles. This he has
carried on into the image captions where he points
out relevant details for the readers benefit.
superb colour profiles are positioned throughout the
volume and add immensely to the overall gravitas as
each one is carefully researched, drawn and
captioned and there are colour schemes here from
home, but particularly abroad, that would make a
fascinating series of decal sheets for the modeler
to choose from - a heavy hint to an enterprising
decal manufacturer - which I personally have never
seen before, leastways not in full colour and are
very attractive to the eye.
|Other pages carry
large plan and other drawn views from various
contemporary publications and presented in a clear
fashion for the reader to gain much structural
|If all of the
foregoing was not enough, for me one of the best
parts of this volume is the photographic study of
the post-war civil Aeromarine Airways
passenger conversions of the
last Felixstowe type, the F.5,
which was built in the US as the F-5-L
converted by Aeromarine to their Type 75, a
subject that has never been fully detailed enough to
my mind; there is a superb selection of images of
these here as well as excellent detailed profiles by
But, then I could say the same thing about the
chapter covering the Felixstowe Fury flying boat
development, the one covering Camouflage and
Markings which is first-class in detail description
and images/profiles, or the one featuring the
'Fighting Tops' - the placement of guns in the upper
parts of certain flying boats - the list and value
just goes on.......
|If you have read
this far you will already know what my final verdict
of this volume 2 book is; it is - in my opinion
- the finest book printed to-date covering
photographically the various 'boats that flew from
Felixstowe in the late-war period, packed full of
detail, appendices, colour profiles and much more;
390 images, 39 colour profiles and 260 pages,
following on from the earlier vol.1 book.
Together, these two
masterwork volumes are highly-likely never to be
bettered on the subject matter. I have waited many,
many, years to see work of this standard and
Aeronaut have 'nailed it'. These volumes will take
pride-of-place in any enthusiasts book library and
rightly so. Well done to all concerned.....
Surely there cannot
be a third volume...can there..?
Bryan Ribbans -