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Red Star Volume 17
Early Soviet Jet Bombers
The 1940s and Early 1950s


by Yefim Gordon



S u m m a r y

Catalog Number: Midland Counties Publications Red Star Series Volume 17
ISBN: 1857801814
Media: Soft cover; 128 pages plus covers
Price: GBP18.99 from www.midlandcountiessuperstore.com
Review Type: First Read
Advantages: An interesting diversion into the more obscure products of the Soviet Aviation Industry
Recommendation: Recommended for Russian Aviation Enthusiasts


Reviewed by Ken Bowes

HyperScale is proudly sponsored by Squadron



Coming as a suitable companion for Early Soviet Jet Fighters is Volume 17 of the Midland Counties Publications Red Star Series. This volume covers the equally obscure (to most Western readers) Early Soviet Jet Bombers from the 1940s and early 1950s when the influence of WWII was still clearly to be seen in the skies of the Soviet Union. Author Yefim Gordon should be well known to Russian Aviation Enthusiasts both for his magazine articles and books on the subject. A prolific author on Soviet and Russian aviation subjects, Gordon is almost single handedly documenting the development of aviation in Russia.

This book details many projects developed by the USSR in the wake of WWII as they sought a successful jet bomber design. A casual read of this volume reveals many hitherto unknown designs, some of which never went beyond models, whilst others flew in prototype form. The obvious exploitation of German technical knowledge in the evolution of some designs can be seen in the family resemblance, particularly designs that owe much to the Junkers family of medium bombers. Yet other designers were clearly influenced by the Arado 234, many of which were captured by the advancing Red Army in 1945.

Gordon has adopted less of a chronological approach than one which examines in turn the products of the principle design bureaus. The book commences with a chapter on the first Ilyushin Jet design and then addresses in turn the efforts of Myasishchev, Sukhoi, former Junkers designers, and the various attempts of Tupolev team, culminating in designs with a clear family resemblance to the successful Tu-16 Badger. The final chapter is dedicated to probably the first successful type to be produced, the Ilyushin Il-28 Beagle, which Gordon calls the Soviet Canberra. Each chapter is well illustrated, with many drawings, artists concepts and photographs supporting the detailed text. As a result the coverage is very complete.

This book will appeal to those with an interest in Russian aviation. One particular highlight is the many general arrangement drawings of the major types that are included. Unfortunately no scale is provided but reference to dimensions in the text should resolve that problem. For the modeller who is looking for reference to some very obscure types (like a Skywarrior lookalike that has had the nose of a JU-188 grafted on) this volume will be very useful, with hundreds of photographs included, all in black and white.

Overall, this is a very interesting read, well away from the mainstream.

The book consists of 128 pages printed on glossy paper between cardboard covers.


Thanks to Simon of DLS Australia for the review sample

The Red Star series may be purchased from www.midlandcountiessuperstore.com

Review Copyright 2004 by Ken Bowes
This Page Created on 06 September, 2004
Last updated 07 September, 2004

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