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RAF Trainers Volume 2: 1945-2012 - book by AIRfile

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RAF Trainers - Volume 2 : 1945 - 2012


Book by AIRfile

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AIRfile

AIRfile produces a very nice range of illustrated guides which are, in their own words "covering camouflage and markings, full of well-researched, clear and unambiguous full colour illustrations, with detailed informative captions, produced by a cooperative of well-known aviation enthusiasts, authors and illustrators, designed to provide comprehensive camouflage scheme and markings coverage culled from a variety of areas including previously published material, official and private documents and photo collections, and primary sources".

The author and illustrator, Peter Freeman, along with co-author Tim Walsh have obviously worked hard to get as much detail and information together for this, the second volume on the subject of trainer aircraft used by the Royal Air Force, and that effort shows in the range, diversity and colours of aircraft types covered in this volume. Additional expert help has been provided by such esteemed contributors as Mike Starmer, Paul Lister and Peter's son Jon Freeman.

The Book

This is the second volume in a two-volume set in which Volume 1 covered RAF Trainers of the period 1918 to 1945. As before, this new book covers the aircraft types used by the RAF for the purposes of all types of training; including basic, conversion, continuation, advanced and cross-training for their pilots and aircrews; plus operational evaluation of new aircraft types.

A fairly general consensus is that trainer aircraft are viewed as typically yellow or red/white coloured aircraft however this book shows just how diversified the colour schemes are for the various training elements within the Royal Air Force, including some of the civilian subsidiaries involved with this training.

This 84 page book, including card covers, is produced in A4 softback format and starts with a one page introduction/preamble on the history of training aircraft requirements, the constraints under post-war austerity and the issues concerned with the advancements of fast and ever changing technology. The rest of the book is wonderfully illustrated with 77 actual pages of aircraft views and includes 169 views of different aircraft in full colour. Of these, 123 illustrations are of side profiles, usually showing four aircraft to a page, however some of those are supplemented with plan views to highlight markings/colours on or under the wings as necessary to assist the modeller with details. The remaining 46 views, which are virtually every second page, show full page 4-aspect views of each aircraft (top and bottom plans plus left and right profiles) and these full page views take up over half of the book's contents.

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Each illustrated aircraft has a narrative; as shown in the above image, comprising of a title depicting aircraft builder and type; version; serial and marking; Squadron and location; and date when these markings were in use/applied to the relevant airframe. The narrative itself gives historical information as to where and when the aircraft was built, plus a chronological listing of stations and squadrons this aircraft was attached during its service life etc. The descriptions go on to give examples and details about the colour schemes used; any interesting or unique uses of the aircraft codes and also lists the ultimate fate of the depicted airframe. The narrative also provides a source reference on where the data for this illustration and narrative has been derived.

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The 4-view illustrations can be really useful to the modeller in that all four sides of the aircraft are shown, as in the above Lightning T4 of 226 OCU in 1963. The colours are sharp and even show tone changes where the fuselage shape changes etc. There is no evidence of colour-bleed or alignment issues to be seen throughout the book.

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Some of the pages are in the four aircraft to a page format and the range of aircraft covers rotary wing as well as fixed wing, plus there is even a remote UAV illustrated on one of the pages in the form of the MQ-9 Reaper. While these side profile views only show one aspect of the aircraft described, there are occasions when the specific placement of special markings or colours on or under the wings need to be shown for effect. These views are included as additional inserts alongside the relevant aircraft image as in the views of the Meteor, Gnat and Canberra above.

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Further elaborations on the markings are the squadron badges and motifs, many of which are also included as small inserts alongside the particular aircraft.

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Not all trainer aircraft are bright and colourful, some of the tactical training units and squadrons adorn the current camouflage pattern in use at that time, although they look to be enhanced with squadron motifs and, in the case of the Typhoon above, has a Wing Commander's rank emblem shown in detail.

The aircraft covered are not just the standard British aircraft but also some foreign types as well, as depicted above by the SAAB Gripen, on loan to the Empire Test Pilot School in 2008, which was used to train pilots on 4th generation jets. Other aircraft types to be seen in this book are gliders as seen by the example above belonging to the Air Cadets.

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There are also shared military/civilian contract aircraft described within these excellent pages as can be seen by the Squirrel, of Defence Helicopter Flying School, above as depicted in 2009. There is also the Harrier T4, belonging to QinetiQ, illustrated as it looked in 2008. Incidently it is one of these aircraft which achieved the first unmanned approach and landing aboard an aircraft carrier while underway.

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Conclusion

AIRfile continues to produce informative and colourful publications for the modeller and this looks to be no exception. The full colour images have been researched and produced in a well laid out format and includes a short, but fully informative, narrative with each aircraft illustration. They have been excellently illustrated by Peter Freeman and Tim Walsh, both well known in the field of aviation research. The illustrations contained in this book should be of great value for the modeller who may be looking for inspiration on the subject of RAF trainer aircraft or to enhance their model builds with specific colours, markings and details. Add to this the very informative narratives which accompany each illustration and again we have a winning publication.

This is one book which I will keep handy as a guide to modern trainer aircraft colours and markings and I am sure it will become an essential reference for aircraft modellers of all scales.

Highly recommended.

Review sample courtesy of airfile-publications-logo.jpg


Buy it Now bin.jpg

Kindly mention Britmodeller.com to the supplier when making enquiries or placing orders

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I've got Vol.1 and seeing this makes me want No.2 now.

Interestingly the Spitfire shown here is available on an Xtradecal sheet and is one I plan to do. A couple others on the same set also feature in Vol.1. such as the Canadian Anson in yellow ith black candy stripes.

Good review Mike!

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I just had to buy this book. It contains TWO individual aircraft I've actually captained.

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I've got Vol.1 and seeing this makes me want No.2 now.

Interestingly the Spitfire shown here is available on an Xtradecal sheet and is one I plan to do. A couple others on the same set also feature in Vol.1. such as the Canadian Anson in yellow ith black candy stripes.

Good review Mike!

And some of the other profiles appeared as Aviation Workshop decals - Peter did many of their sheets, and may have done some of the Xtradecals as well

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I've had this book for about a week now and have given it a good look over. I would agree that it is well worth while - but there are some mistakes? Does the yellow Mosquito T3 really have 2 stage Merlin engines? Likewise on the Sabre it is not clear if it has the 6-3 wing or not. There are no wingfences but the wing chord does extend slightly it joins the fuselage which suggests that it is a 6-3 variant.

Or is that nitpicking?

John

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Hi Paul,

thanks for the kind words.

There are four different Spitfires shown in the book. Here is a breakdown of the other aircraft used for training and/or evaluation in the book:

Avro Anson x 2

Auster AOP

DH Mosquito x 3

Miles Martinet

HP Halifax x 2

Avro Lincoln

Vickers Armstrong Wellington x 3

North American Harvard x 2

Airspeed Horsa

Short Sunderland

Airspeed Oxford x 3

Hawker Tempest

Avro Lancastrian

Avro Lancaster

Miles Master

Percival Prentice

Bristol Buckmaster

DH Hornet

DH Tiger Moth

Hunting Percival Provost x 2

Hawker Tempest

Gloster Meteor x 8

Bristol Brigand

Canadair Sabre

Boulton Paul Balliol

DH Vampire x 5

Bristol Beaufighter

DH Chipmunk x 5

English Electric Canberra x 8

Vickers Varsity x 4

Westland Dragonfly (helo)

Hawker Hunter x 9

English Electric/BAC Lightning x 6

Hawker Siddeley Gnat x 5

Gloster Javelin x 3

Vickers Valletta

Westland Whirlwind (helo) x 3

Hunting/BAC Jet Provost x 7

Avro Shackleton

Bristol Sycamore (helo)

Westland Sioux (helo)

BAe Harrier x 6

Slingsby Venture (motor glider)

Scottish Aviation Bulldog x 2

Hawker Siddeley Dominie x 3

Slingsby Grasshopper (sailplane)

Slingsby T.21 (glider)

HP Hastings

Aerospatiale Gazelle (helo) x 3

Hawker Siddeley/BAe Hawk x 10

Sepecat Jaguar x 4

Panavia Tornado x 7

Westland Wessex (helo) x 2

Short Tucano x 5

BAe Jetstream x 2

Dassault-Dornier Alpha Jet x 2

Pilatus PC-9

Eurofighter Typhoon x 2

SAAB JAS Gripen

Grob Viking (glider)

Eurocopter Squirrel

Beechcraft Super King Air x 2

Grob Vigilant (motor glider)

Bell Griffin (helo)

Grob Tutor

General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper (UAV)

Although there are multiples of the same type aircraft, no two colour schemes appear to be the same. This should mean that there is literally plenty of choice to model within this book.

Definitely feel a Trainer Aircraft GB in the offing now! :clap: Anyone listening?

Mike

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I've had this book for about a week now and have given it a good look over. I would agree that it is well worth while - but there are some mistakes? Does the yellow Mosquito T3 really have 2 stage Merlin engines? Likewise on the Sabre it is not clear if it has the 6-3 wing or not. There are no wingfences but the wing chord does extend slightly it joins the fuselage which suggests that it is a 6-3 variant.

Or is that nitpicking?

John

I don't know the answers to these John but I use the book for the placement of markings and colours so not taken that sort of detail to hand.

The book quotes, as their reference, "page.222 'Aircraft of the Royal Air Force since 1918' by Owen Thetford. I don't have this book but presume AIRfile's author/Illustrator got the image reference from that.

cheers

Mike

***Edit - there is an email address shown on the back cover for AIRfile, which can be used to advise them directly of any concerns with the publication, at info (at) airfilepublications.com

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I usually take ANY side view profiles with a pinch of salt. I have fallen foul of these in the past and seen so many inaccurate diagrams . As Mike says they are good for general markings placements and finishes. One example is of a Sabre showing a side view of an F4 and the plan view of the same subject showing an F6!

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Got this book a few days ago and find it most

enjoyable and as it says on the tin, "inspiring"!

I think training aircraft are getting the recognition

they deserve now, and with kits of the Vampire T11,

Balliol, Gnat, Jet Provost etc training fans are in a

golden age!

Cheers, Paul

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Don't forget the four versions of Varsity as well!

I've just started Hastings, with a Varsity and Valletta in the queue on my table. This book is going to be a great help for markings and colours etc.

Cheers

Mike

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Loved the book! But there is a JP with a Puma serial!

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Loved the book! But there is a JP with a Puma serial!

Details Sir/Madam please for those of us with less knowledge than you. :winkgrin:

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Details Sir/Madam please for those of us with less knowledge than you. :winkgrin:

Think he means T.5. XW210 on P.38. This is indeed a Puma serial.

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Bristol Beaufighter

I want this book! But I'll just be spoiled for choice for the Training Types GB... :doh::D

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I want this book! But I'll just be spoiled for choice for the Training Types GB... :doh::D

Good to see you are taking this GB seriously Enzo!! Look forward to it myself. Just need to work out some rules for it in the meantime.Was it you who showed interest as co host??

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Was it you who showed interest as co host??

I'm interested, yes. I just have to reduce my build choices to a reasonable level... :lol:

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