Wednesday 30 July 2008

A History of Chinese Aviation

Published by AHS of ROC, Lennart Andersson's 'A History of Chinese Aviation - Encyclopedia of Aircraft and Aviation in China until 1949' is a book of exceptional quality and an essential acquisition  for anyone with more than a passing interest in the subject. 

The 320 well-printed pages are packed with a wealth of encyclopedic detail and many rare very clearly reproduced photographs of this hitherto obscure subject. The book is in English and is very logically and clearly structured, taking the reader from the earliest origins of flight in China to the Civil War. The photographs are amongst the best I have seen, with some incredibly rare images, especially of early imported types. A section on markings and national insignia is most useful and at the end of the book is a collection of 33 colour profiles of representative types. 

The book covers Early Aviation in  China, Provincial Air Forces, with a detailed section on each air force including a useful map and other local air activities, the Chinese Air Force proper, including naval aviation and those governments collaborating with the Japanese, the Civil War Period until 1949, Civil Aviation in China, Aircraft Production in China (fascinating), Aircraft Types Designed in China, Foreign Aircraft Types Used in China Until 1941, Aircraft Types Acquired by the Chinese Air Force 1942-1945, Gliders and Sailplanes in China and a useful note on Sources and Literature.

Photographic gems include excellent studies of the Armstrong Whitworth  AW 16, Avro 631, a beautifully clear shot of a Boeing 281 (export P-26), Dewoitine D 510C, a camouflaged DH Rapide, a good clear view of that camouflaged Curtiss H75 Hawk and many, many others. 

I cannot praise this book too highly. It is a masterpiece of research and photographic selection in a subject area which is long overdue for serious attention. Very highly recommended. It is very reasonably priced at US $50 and may be obtained by Email or by writing to:-

PO Box 112-129
Taipei, Taiwan, ROC

Please see also Clarence Fu's ROC Chinese Aviation blog in my links.

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