Jump to content

Hawker Hurricane (vol.I of the Illustrated History of Romanian Aeronautics)


Recommended Posts

39290696372_ce51db6639_b.jpg

 

Hawker Hurricane (vol.I of the Illustrated History of Romanian Aeronautics)
by Horia Stoica and Vasile Radu


I bought this recently published book and since it is a bilingual edition (text in English and Romanian) and the Hawker Hurricane is one of my favorite aircraft I thought I would do a review here. This is supposed to be the first number in a - hopefully - long series of titles devoted to aircraft in Romanian service so I guess it would be important for it to do well.

 

The book is very much an album with its 88 pages devoted to showing the Hawker Hurricane in Romanian colours through 135 photos. It does not contain colour profiles or scale drawings. The text is kept to a minimum which means usually a commentary for each photo, a two pages (four pages actually, but they are split between the two languages) Preface which briefly describes the Romanian acquisition of the Hurricane and its service as part of the famous 53rd Squadron (it gave the first three aces of the Royal Romanian Air Force in WW2) and a Finale with a page worth of text. There is also a Glossary at the end providing the English translation to various Romanian terms and ranks. As far as the text is concerned I have one minor complaint regarding the fact that it starts so close to the binding and this makes it a bit difficult to read the words close to that. Most of the photos depict the aircraft, with some of them dedicated to the personnel and some showing documents (many are reports detailing various incidents). One minus here for a non-Romanian reader is that while the commentaries that accompany the documents` photos are available in English too, so you can get the main idea, the actual text of the document is not translated. Technically, the book is colour printed (which shows in the case of the documents), but the photographs of the planes and crews are all black and white. That said, the photographs chosen for this book are very clear, in my opinion, many are new to me (which makes sense given the claim of "previously unpublished photos" on the RB site - see bellow) and even for those that could be found online I think the detail quality included in this book is superior. As a modeller I found them most useful (among other things to see that my recently finished Hurricane model has an incorrect extra band on the propeller).

 

The book itself is helpfully structured along the aircraft numbers of which Romania had a total of fifteen, conveniently numbered from no.1 to no.15. The first 12 of these were of the late Mk.I type (with metal wings) bought directly from Britain with the other 3 being Yugoslav built (early type with fabric wings), captured by the Germans in 1941 and sold to Romania. Each of the first twelve - British made - machines has its own short section showing photos of the aircraft in question, the men who flew it, documents where available and occasionally, photos of non identified aircraft to portray something relevant to the section. An exception to this is the no 10 for which there are no photos available as it crashed shortly after arriving in Romania resulting in the death of the pilot (Cpt. Av. Drăgănescu Gheorghe) and the destruction of the aircraft. The three ex Yugoslav planes are all presented at the end of the book with photos showing individually only the no 15 and no 14 (the single picture showing it in an original post-maintenance camouflage).

 

The Romanian Hurricanes went from the neutrality markings to the Axis identification elements and some to post maintenance paint-jobs so in this respect there are various differences not just between them but also for each aircraft, depending on the period. This means that for a modeller it is quite convenient to have a photographic resource structured by plane number and I have to say that, overall, I personally liked this book. Based on the text from the back cover one of the following numbers will be devoted to the Bristol Blenheim in Romanian service so here`s hoping!

 

From what I read at the end of the book, Radu Brînzan (of RB Productions and author of "Vânător - Romanian hunter: The I.A.R.80 and I.A.R.81 in Ultimate Detail") was responsible for the English translation and indeed, the book is available on his site:
http://www.radubstore.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=118&products_id=719&zenid=b8b477f645e6d6133b44d94a1b8486d5
Incidentally, RB Productions has recently released a decal sheet for the Romanian Hurricanes in 1/72, 1/48 and 1/32 scales.

The author of this Hawker Hurricane volume is on facebook and the series (Illustrated History of Romanian Aviation) has its own page here:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1285649678148929/
so one could also try to buy or inquire about the book that way.

Edited by Fin
  • Like 4
  • Thanks 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Thanks for posting a review! From what you’ve described it appears like it will be a good book for Hurricane fans.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad to be of some use! It`s definitely an useful book if you want to build a Romanian Hurricane and it compliments very well the MMP title "Romanian Fighter Colours 1941-1945" which has a chapter on the Hurricane, but, as its name suggests, it excludes the neutrality period (from the arrival of the Hurricanes in 1939 to Romania entering the war in 1941) and is focused on colour profiles and less on photographs (only 14 photos for the Hurricane).

 

Incidentally, I`ve bought a Hasegawa 1/72 Mk.I and I`m hoping to put the book to good use by making one of the Romanian Hurricanes in the neutrality markings. :) There`s a Hawker GB ongoing and a Brits abroad GB later in the year so, time permitting, I might join one of them.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 11 months later...

I want to point out that two new books have been released as part of this series, centered on the German machines in Romanian service, this time:

 

Fieseler Fi 156 Storch - German Aircraft In Romania No. 01

http://www.radubstore.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=118&products_id=736

Messerschmitt Bf 109 E - German Aircraft In Romania No. 02

http://www.radubstore.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=118&products_id=749

 

Also, I`ve noticed that all three volumes are now available at aviationmegastore too, which should make them available to more people:

Hawker Hurricane British Aircraft In Romania No. 1

Fieseler Fi156 Storch, German Aircraft in Romania Vol 1

Messerschmitt BF109E-3/E-4/E-7, German Aircraft in Romania Vol 2

 

As soon as I get the chance (I need to buy them first :D ) I`ll try to review them too.

 

 

Edited by Fin
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...