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Reference Books

Compiled here is an alphabetical listing of reference books relevant to the "Between the Wars" period of civil aviation.

Cover images and ISBN numbers, as well as a short review of the contents are provided when possible. Feel free to contact us with additional content.

AB Flygindustri I Limhamn 1925-1935 by Lennart Anderson for Flyghistorisk Revy.

ISBN 0345-3413, hardcover, 159 pages, 157 photos, 25 plans of different types, Swedish text and English Summary.

This book is about the Junkers-affiliated aircraft factory AB Flygindustri that existed between 1925 and 1935 and produced different Junkers-aircraft. both military and civil aircraft production has been described including production lists, technical details and numerous plans of some of the aircraft produced. The author has gone through all remaining archibes in Sweden and Germany about Junkers and wrote a detailed history about the factory. At the end is an English summary.

Aeroplani S.I.A.I. 1915-1935 by Giorgio Bignozzi and Roberto Gentilli

No ISBN, Softcover, 125 pages, 120 photos, 32 small plans, Italian and English text.

A general account of Savoia-Marchetti airplanes from the S.8 flying boat to the SM-79. Each model is presented with photos and very useful text stating dimensions, c/n and civil registers where applicable. The plans are small but very neat. A welcome addition covering a neglected aircraft family.


The Alaska Airlines Story by Archie Satterfield

ISBN 0-88240- 165-3, Softcover, 200 pages, many b&w photos.
The history of Alaska Airlines from it's founding as Star Air Service in 1932 to the 1970's, well-written with many colorful anecdotes of early bush flying. Includes a time-line of the various charter operations which merged to form the existing company.

Alaskan Wings; Aviation In Southeast Alaska, "The Golden Years", 1935-1946 by Jim Ruotsala

ISBN 0-9658830-2-7, Softcover, 185 pages, approx. 310 photos, plus maps, illustrations & color cover photo of Alaska Coastal Airways' Juneau dock, circa 1947.

A running account of civil & military air operations gleaned from personal stories & newspaper clippings of the period relates the adventures & misadventures of those who flew the Stinsons, Wacos, Bellancas, Fairchilds, Lockheeds & more among the fog- & rain-shrouded mountains of Alaska's Panhandle through ten crucial years of aviation history. Mr. Ruotsala is a life-long model builder, so color schemes are described when known.


Autogiro: the Story of the Windmill Plane, by George Townson

ISBN: 0943691117, softcover, 160 pages

Excellent book on American designed and built autogiro's, including Kellett and Pitcairn models. Cockpit and cabin photos as well as 3 views of each type make this an excellent reference for modelers.

A full review can be found in the July, 2005 Internet Modeler, here.

The Aviation Careers of Igor Sikorsky by Dorothy Cochrane, Von Hardesty & Russell Lee

ISBN 0-295-96916-4, Softbound, 199 pages plus index & bibliography; 66 large b&w photos, 3 color photos plus maps, plans & illustrations.  

A beautiful tribute to the life's work of one of aviation's great designers, detailing the products of Igor Sikorsky's fertile mind from the fragile-looking S series biplanes through the wonderful Pan Am clippers & on through his pioneering work in helicopter technology. The text gives a good running account of the engineer/designer's life & the growing world of flight in which he worked. Appendix 1, Design Drawings includes general arrangement drawings of 23 fixed-wing aircraft & 6 prototype & early helicopters. Some of these plans are quite detailed; plans for the Ilya Muromets series cover 4 pages & include cutaways, sections & details, while a color cutaway of an S.40 flying boat can be found near the front of the book. Highly recommended for aviation enthusiasts of all sorts.
The Boeing 247 : The First Modern Airliner by F. Robert van der Linden

ISBN: 0-295-97094-4, hardcover, 254 pages, 100 images

The complete history of the Boeing 247 from it's brief stint as the most advanced airliner through later worldwide airline and Air Force service. Included is a chapter covering Roscoe Turner and the
MacRobertson England to Australia Race. Appendicies cover specifications, individual aircraft histories, a technical description and B&W profiles of airline liveries. The photos are small, but there is a wealth of information presented here.

British Commercial Aircraft: Their Evolution, Development and Perfection 1920- 1940
by Arthur W. J. G. Ord-Hume

ISBN: 1-870384-94-6, hardcover, 700+ pages, 1,200+ images

This massive (and expensive) book is an incredible publication, packed with photos and sprinkled with interior and cockpit shots it is a book for both historians and modelers. While no plans are present, there are incredible details to be found in the 1,200+ photos.

A full review can be found in the February, 2005 Internet Modeler, here.

British Flying Boats by Peter London

ISBN: 0-7509-2695-3, hardcover, 200+ pages, 200+ photos

An excellent and affordable book covering British Flying Boats, from pre-WW1 to post-WW2 with the bulk of the coverage on inter-war military and civil types. While no plans are present, the photos provide excellent details for the keen eyed modeler.

A full review can be found in the February, 2005 Internet Modeler, here.

Caproni Ca. 100: Ali DíItalia Mini #2
Softcover, 24 pages

An excellent booklet on this Italian DH Moth copy. Military and civil examples are covered and some cockpit drawings are provided, as well as some color profiles. An excellent reference for the several kits currently on the market.

A full review can be found in the June, 2005 Internet Modeler, here.

Le Caudron Goéland by Pierre Cortet and Robert Espérou

Hardcover, 183 pages, 157 photos, 7 pages of sketches, 4 pages of 1/72 plans and 18 color side-views, French text only.

Here's a book presenting everything you would want to know about the Goéland including interior and cockpit photos as well as detail drawings. From the first C.440 to the last C.449, each version for military and civil service is covered with a listing of each airframe and serial numbers. A must for historians and modellers interested in this machine.

Caudron Simoun C-620 / C-635 by Patrick Marchand and Junko Takamori

ISBN 2-914403-06-2,
Softcover, 56 pages, 70 + photos, plans and many detail drawings, French text only.

A small but very complete monography on the Caudron Simoun with 23 color plates and a useful color reference chart (Federal Standard and Humbrol paint). This book is from the well known “Les ailes de la gloire” collection. A must for Simoun afficionados!

Civil Aircraft - 300 of the World's Greatest Civil Aircraft by Robert Jackson

Amber Books 2001 ISBN 1 84013 380 5, Hardcover, 320 pages

This small format book is for the public, not for the aviation enthusiast or historian. After a brief history of civil aviation, each page contains a colour profile of an aircraft, a short history and some technical data. It covers aircraft from all ages, from the Wright Flyer to the recent Boeing and Airbus jetliners. Some aircraft benefit from more than one profile, with some military liveries included. Not very interesting.

Claude Dornier – ein Leben für die Luftfahrt, by Joachim Wachtel.

ISBN 3-925505-10-5, 1989, hardback, 360 pages, 500 photos (some of them in colour), German text.

The Aviatic Verlag published the ultimate book about the life and work of Claude Dornier in 1989. This unique book describes in detail the designs and production of all Dornier aircraft up to modern times. No production lists have been added, but the aircraft and their development have been written down in detail. Unfortunately the text is only in German, but the numerous photos will tells its own story.

Croydon Airport -The Great Days 1928-1939  by Bob Learmonth, Joanna Nash, Douglas Cluett
ISBN: 0-9503224-8-2,  Softbound, 204 PP, 90 B/W photos. Published by the Croydon Airport Society
This is the second volume in the history of Croydon Airport. It covers the heyday of pre-war flying from London to Europe and to all parts of the British Empire. As well as Imperial Airways, all major airlines such as Air France, Lufthansa, KLM and Sabena used Croydon. The buildings are still standing today and part of the old terminal building houses a museum. A third volume, covering the post-war period until its closure as a functional airport in 1959 is also available.
Croydon Airport  compiled by Mike Hooks
ISBN: 0-75240744-9  Softbound, 128 PP, over 200 B/W photos. Published by Tempus Publishing
This is a comprehensive collection of photographs of aircraft at Croydon from 1915 until its closure in 1959

De legendarische vlucht van de Uiver by W.Kroese

ISBN 90 6122 130 7, 160 pages

The story of "Uiver" in the MacRobertson Air Race. A book full of pictures but almost exclusively on this DC-2 and her crew.

De Havilland Biplane Transports by Paul Hayes & Bernard King

ISBN: 0-9530413-2-8, Hardcover, 184 pages

This book differs slightly from the De Havilland Dragon/Rapide Family book in that coverage includes the DH 83 Fox moth and DH 92 Dolphin as well as the DH 84, DH 86, DH 89 and DH 90. In other respects the books are very similar, presenting the same type of information. An excellent book for the historian with some appeal to the modeler.
The De Havilland Dragon/Rapide Family by John F. Hamlin

ISBN: 0-85130-344-7, Hardcover, 240 pages, 46 color profiles, 29 color photos.

This Air-Britain publication covers the DH 84, DH 86, DH 89 and DH 90, giving a history of every airframe produced. Accompanying this are numerous photos of these elegant aircraft as well as an index of UK airlines that operated them, with photos of one example of each. Another index lists all military and civil registrations by country. One of the highlights of this book is the color section, with 46 profiles and 29 photos. An excellent reference, but directed more to historians than modelers.
De Havilland - A Pictorial Tribute by Gordon Bain

ISBN 1 85310 144 3, Hardcover, 148 pages, 108 colour photos

This is a big format book, heavily illustrated with magnificent photos of restored examples of De Havilland aircraft. Starting with the DH51, it covers most of the Moths and Dragons. With a brief introduction to each model the emphasis goes to the big and well printed air to air photos, some spanning two pages. No drawings or profiles, but the detailed photos
makes this book a must for dove tail fans and modellers.
DH88 - The Story of De Havilland Racing Comets by David Ogilvy

Airlife Publishing Ltd. 1984 ISBN 0 906393 40 X, Hardcover, 174 pages, 74 b&w photos

A detailed story of the Comet racer and a fascinating reading as well. If you are looking only for modelling purposes this book may help with some detail photos and two drawings from Flight magazine, but probably you can find the same elsewhere; but if you really love this plane you MUST have it!

From the design and the participation on the MacRobertson Air Race, the book tells the fate of each five Comets produced. It includes also some facsimiles of historical documents, technical data, a copy of the general instructions to pilots and flight test reports.
Die deutsche Luftfahrt Band 11: Der deutsche Luftverkehr- Die Pionierjahre 1919-1925 by Wolfgang Wagner

ISBN: 3-7637-5274-9, Hardcover, 320 pages, German language

Excellent coverage of the birth of commercial aviation in Germany, from the use of surplus WW1 aircraft to specialized development of early airliners. Multiple, and in many cases very rare, photos of each type as well as simple plans for most are included as well as an index of the many small German airlines and their fleets, making this book an excellent reference for both the modeler and historian. Very highly recommended!
Die deutsche Luftfahrt Band 21: Wasserflugzeuge- Flugboot, Amphibien, Schwimmerflugzeuge by Hans-Jurgen Becker

ISBN: 3-7637-6106-3, Hardcover, 284 pages, 8 in color, German language

Book 21 of the excellent German ‘Die deutsche Luftfahrt’ series covers every German seaplane and flying boat, from pre-WW1 to the present. These are broken down by era, then covered alphabetically, with at least one photo of each type as well as the occasional plan or factory drawing. There are some gems in this book, but it suffers by comparison to other volumes of this series by covering too much in one book, resulting in less coverage of each type and small photos. Still a very good overview of the subject matter and as complete a reference as possible, especially of the many obscure types.

Die deutsche Militärflugzeuge, 1910-1918, G. Kroschel and H. Stützer

ISBN 3-920602-18-8, 1977, for soft back version, 195 pages, no photos, 127 plans (1/144), German text.

This is part one of a series of at least two (see next book description) and is a must for those interested in modelling a pre-1918 military aircraft of German origin. Each aircraft has been printed as three-side drawings and all technical details and technical description have been added. No production lists. There is a short English, French and Italian summary, but the remainder of the text is in German. A realy good book.

Die deutsche Militärflugzeuge, 1919-1934, H. Stützer

ISBN 3-8132-0184-8, 1984, for hardback version, 240 pages, no photos, 143 plans (1/144), German text.

Part two about the military aircraft produced in German. Of course many civilian aircraft were used by the military, so many of the aircraft are interesting to modellers of civil aircraft as well. As in part one, this book also has many high quality three-side drawings and detailed technical details and descriptions. Again, a book that is well suited for those interested in modelling a German aircraft.


Die Fokker-Flugzeugwerke in Deutschland, by Peter M Grosz and Volker Koos.

ISBN 3-89880-355-4, 2004, hardback, 136 pages, 80 photos, German text.

This is an impressive work by two well-known German authors on German aviation. In 1913 Anthony Fokker founded an aircraft factory in Schwerin (Germany). In 1915 he introduced the synchronized machine gun that made the German aircraft superior to the Entente aircraft. This book describes all Fokker-aircraft designed and constructed throughout his German years. Best known are the triplane Dr I and the biplane D VII. Short description of the aircraft followed by some technical details. Many unique and never published photographs.


Dornier - Die Chronik des ältesten deutschen Flugzeugwerks, published by Dornier GmbH.

ISBN 3-925505-01-6, 1983, hardback (there is also a soft back version without an ISBN-number), 214 pages, 186 photos, German text.

A nice book informing the reader about the different designs Dornier made up to 1983. The describtion of the aircraft is mainly based on technical information and some text have been added. The first 60 pages are about the development of the company, while some 133 pages are about the different types produced. Then there follows a part about the world records made by Dornier aircraft and at the end a list of all type produced.  Nice introduction for those unfamiliar with the Dornier aircraft.


Douglas DC-2 by Stan Dudek, Michal Ovcacik, and Karel Susa

ISBN 80-902559-8-1, Softbound, 84 Pages

Comprehensive look at the groundbreaking DC 2 in it's role as a passenger transport in the US and dozens of other countries, as well as military use. Includes numerous profiles and a set of 1/72 scale drawings. Very highly recommended.

A full review can be found in the August, 2004 Internet Modeler, here.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Propeller Airliners by Bill Gunston

ISNB 0-89673-078-6, Hardbound, 23 cm X 30 cm (9 in X 12 in), 264 pages incl. an index.

Among this total, there are 131 pages covering aircraft of our period of interest, each page showing one or more photos. Each aircraft is illustrated by a color painting which are inaccurate in more than one case and a poor quality three-view plan. Photos are well known in general but some are of a great interest because of their large size. There are some good interior shots. This book is not an essential reference but is nevertheless very inspiring.

Explorer’s Air Yacht: The Sikorsky S-38 Flying Boat by P.J. Capelotti

ISBN 0-929521-97-8, Softbound, 82 pages.

An excellent, if difficult to find, book on Sikorsky's lovely S-38 amphibian. Factory drawings and construction photos provide many details and several of the more famous S-38's are well documented, both civil and military. Probably not 100% necessary for the modeler as there are many detailed photos of the Johnson's Wax replica Carnuba to be found online, but still a very nice book.

A full review can be found in the August, 2004 Internet Modeler, here.

The First Croydon Airport 1915-1928  by Bob Learmonth, Joanna Bogle, Douglas Cluett
ISBN: 0-9541370-0-0,  Softbound, 120 PP, 93 B/W photos. Published by the Croydon Airport Society
This is the first volume in the history of Croydon Airport (London's premier International Airport until the opening of Heathrow after WW2). It covers the beginnings in WWI up to the building of the current terminal in 1928. It was here that most of today's conventions for Air Traffic Control were developed.  Contains many fascinating photos of early Civil Aviation.

Flugzeuge und Projekte von Theodor Hopfner, Reinhard Keimel

ISBN 3-300310-10-6, 1983, soft back version, 112 pages, 36 photos, 28 plans, German text.

One of Austria’s most active writers is Reinhard Keimel and he has written this booklet in 1983. It is a very nice production about the international not too well known aircraft manufacturer, Theodor Hopfner. From 1923 and on he designed and built a 14 civil and military aircraft, which were mainly used in Austria and its surrounding countries. Also two licences built aircraft types are described. Detailed descriptions of the aircraft, including users, registrations and such have been included.

Flying Beats Work; The Story of Reeve Aleutian Airways by Stan Cohen
ISBN 0-933126-98-0, Softbound, 116 pages, 171 b&w photos, 12 color photos.
An excellent account of the life & aviation career of Robert C. "Bob" Reeve, including the early years with Scenic Airways & Pan American Grace. The development of Reeve Airways & Reeve Aleutian Airlines into the jet age is recounted in detail, with flight schedules, fleet lists, simple general arrangement aircraft drawings, maps & more. FC-2W2 NC7034, which Reeve flew under contract to Morrison-Knudson during WWII, is frequently miscaptioned as his "Fairchild 71", but the photos are great & it's a good read. Front & back covers give color info for the Fairchild 51, Boeing 80, Sikorsky JRS-1 & more.
Flying the Boeing Model 80 by Peter M. Bowers  

Soft cover, 64 pages, 116 b&w photos, 1 color photo, plus 4 color illustrations.  

A well-illustrated account of the history & restoration of the Museum of Flight's NC224M, detailing the development & production of all variants of the series, with assembly line photos, interior views, flight line photos & a simple general arrangement drawing. A portion of the MoF's excellent Boeing 80A plan set is reproduced inside the front & back cover but only, evidently, as a "teaser". 4 large color illustrations by Uwe Feist represent Boeing's model 80 r.n. 7137, 2 variations of the United Airlines livery now carried by 224M at the MoF, & Standard Oil's Boeing model 226 "Stanavo VI".
Flying Cold; The Adventures of Russel Merrill, Pioneer Alaskan Aviator by Robert Merrill & Sean Rossiter

ISBN 0-945397-33-X, softcover, 178 pages, 75 photos plus maps & a 2-view plan of the Aeromarine 40B flying boat.
A biography of the famous aviator from his birth in Des Moines, Iowa in 1894 to his disappearance on a flight over Cook Inlet, Alaska in 1929. Well written & lavishly illustrated with large, clear photos from numerous sources, this is a must-have for anyone interested in bush flying during the biplane era. Mr. Merrill's TravelAir CW is particularly well-represented here.
Fokker Commercial Aircraft by the Fokker Public Relations Department

No ISBN number, Hardbound, 21,5 cm X 30 cm (8 _ in X 12 in), 212 pages, index by person names plus a very useful list of all the Fokkers built with their respective construction number, registration(s) and list of owners.

Around two thirds of the book is dedicated to the prewar European and American Fokkers. The numerous photos are sharp and well chosen while the 26 paintings are accurate and of good quality. The text is informative and fun to read. In my point of view, this book is a must.

The Ford Tri-Motor 1926-1992 by William T. Larkins

ISBN: 0887404162,
Hardcover, 332 pages.

Probably the most complete account of any single aircraft type ever published. Everything the modeler and historian could possibly want. Highly recommended!

A full review can be found in the July, 2005 Internet Modeler, here.

The Great Air Race by Arthur Swinson

236p, 25 photos.

" ...This race had everything : drama, suspense, comedy, tragedy and, above all, speed, as every existing record was broken by seemingly impossible margins…

In retrospect, the MacRobertson Race can be seen as a watershed in aviation history..."

Heinkel: an Aircraft Album by P. St. John Turner

ISBN: 0-668-02414-3, Hardcover, 128 pages

A good overview of Heinkel aircraft, especially the more obscure inter-war types. A short history of each is accompanied by specifications and photos. A very good reference considering how little is written about the lesser Heinkel aircraft and, like the other books from this series, it is comprehensive, affordable and not too difficult to find. Recommended.
Junkers: an Aircraft Album by P. St. John Turner & Heinz J. Nowarra

ISBN: 7110-0221-5, Hardcover, 128 pages.

A very good overview of all of the Junkers aircraft, from the J 1 to the Ju 488. A short history of each is accompanied by specifications and photos. A good reference for identifying aircraft but not much information for the modeler. Still, it is affordable, comprehensive and easy to find; worth getting.
Junkers for Scandanavia

Junkers for Scandinavia, by Rob J. Mulder

ISBN 13:978-82-997371-0-4, ISBN: 10:82-997371-0-9, Hardcover, Hardcover, 134 pages, 90+ photos.

This book is one of those enlightening books on the early years of the inception and expansion of civil aviation.

Although the title refers to aviation in Northern Europe the book goes far beyond the skies of Scandinavia and brings many new details to the reader.

The subject matter is a perennial favorite with many aircraft enthusiasts of the renowned Junker airplane and the story of Dr. Hugo Junker's efforts to maintain his industry in the aftermath of the First World War. The author takes the reader in fine detail from day one of Dr. Junker's vision through the entire evolution of the company which eventually provided a civilian mode of air transportation in Northern Europe. The book also includes the story of Dr. Junkers collaboration with John M. Larson of the United States.

The detailing of data is superb and a great aid to anyone who fancies building a model of one of the aircraft and best of all, there are more than 90 clear photos of various Junkers, other aircraft, personalities and documents. The rare shots of cockpits and interiors make this book worth the price just for the photography alone. The book contains 134 pages and is hardbound in very colorful front and rear cover. I believe the book is still available from Rob who is a Wings of Peace member and if you are a Junkers fan like myself it is a superb addition to your library.

Junkers Grossflugzeuge by Heinz J. Nowarra

ISBN 3-613-01224-3, Hardcover, 158 pages, German language

This book, covering the Junkers G 38, Ju 89, Ju 90/290/390 is excellent for anyone interested in these aircraft, but while the coverage of the Ju 90, et all, is very good, the chapter on the G 38 is a bit short. Many detailed photos of the cockpits and interiors as well as gun turrets, etc. for the military aircraft. Also interesting are the construction photos and factory drawings. Very good, but the German text may put some off.

Junkers und seine Flugzeuge by Gunter Schmitt

ISBN 3-613-01111-5, Hardbound, 24 cm X 27 cm (9 _ in X 10 _ in), 224 pages, index.

This book covers all the civil and military Junkers aircraft from the J 1 to the Ju 60/160. The text is serious and informative. There are hundreds of photos, many of them have been retouched but are nevertheless of a great interest. There are 16 ‘color’ three-view plans (all the aircraft are silver with black markings!). There is also a section on Junkers engines. This book is a must for the Junkers fans. The text is written in German but the book has also been published in English.

Junkers Ju 52: Model Fan Encyclopedia No. 4

ISBN: 83-914521-3-1, Softbound, 74 pages, English and Polish text

A good monograph on the venerable 'Tante Ju' which covers civil and military models, including the single engined versions. Many profiles and scale drawings as well as an evaluation of available kits, but no cockpit or interior photos. A secondary reference on the Ju 52 at best, not a 'must have' but good.

L’Aviation Civile Francaise 1919- 1939, Phototheque No. 1: Collection Jean-Francois Oller

ISBN: 2-915030-01-4, Softbound, 48 pages

A beautiful little booklet full of images of French civil aircraft; from sport and lightplanes to airliners to flying boats. A wonderful introduction to many of the poorly covered French civil aircraft. It would be a real treat to see a larger book on the subject.

A full review can be found in the August, 2004 Internet Modeler, here.

 review: here

Le Ali del Littorio by Guido Mannone

Softcover, 48 pages

An inexpensive introduction to Italian civil aviation that proves to be a mixed bag; some good photos, but too few and too small, and 73 color profiles of mediocre quality. The text is good and covers Italy's Schneider Cup entries as well as Ala Littoria's fleet.

A full review can be found in the December, 2005 Internet Modeler, here.

Les avions de Mermoz by Patrick Marchand and Junko Takamori

Edition: Les Ailes de Gloire - Hors Série n°2 - Editions d'ALONG, 144 pages

The displayed planes, by order of presentation:
Caudron G3 - BreguetXIV - Nieiport-Delage Ni29 - Potez 25 - Latécoères 25, 26 & 28 - C.A.M.S. 53~56 - Couzinet C70~71 "Arc en Ciel" - Farman F220 "Le Centaure" - Potez 36 - Latécoère 521 - Potez 56 - Bernard 80~81 GR - Breguet 393T - De Havilland DH 88 Comet - Blériot 5190 "Santos Dumont" - Latécoère 300 "Croix du Sud" - Dewoitine 333 

A lot of three views drawings, plans, profiles,photos, and color charts. This book is to be recommanded to all of us.


OeLAG, Oesterreichische Luftverkehrs Aktien Gesellschaft, 1923-1938, by Peter Krause

ISBN 3-900310-14-9, 1983, soft back, 96 pages, ... photos, 9 drawings, German text.

The ÖLAG started up in 1923 be it without its own aircraft. Within 12 years it grew to the fourth largest airline company in Europe, but was after the Anschluß of 1938 taken over by Deutsche Lufthansa and ceased to exist. The booklet describes in detail the history of the airline company and the aircraft it used including side drawings of it aircraft. Tables, maps and graphics complete the book. It is an interesting booklet for modellers and historians.

Pacific Air Race by Robert H. Scheppler

ISBN 0-87474-832-1, 147p, 55 photos.

" Enthused over Lindbergh’s famous flight from New-York to Paris in May 1927, business leader James D.Dole offered $35,000 to the winners of a successful non-stop flight from Oakland to Honolulu…Pacific Air Race tells the dramatic story of this contest from the points of view of its many participants..."

Passenger Airliners of the United States 1926-1986; a Pictorial History by Myron J. Smith, Jr.

ISBN 0-933126-83-2, softcover, 200 pages, 391 b&w photos, 39 color photos, plus color cutaway of the Martin M-130 flying boat.
A very thorough overview of types used commercially in the U.S., including products of foreign manufacturers such as Fokker, DeHavilland Canada, Shorts & Dornier. There is an alphabetical listing of U.S. airlines, broken down into chronological groups. Aircraft entries are chronological & include basic technical specifications, a brief history & multiple photos of the approximately 150 types covered. Even the introduction includes 6 photos of mailplane types used between 1918 & 1926, not covered elsewhere in the book. Very good value for the money!

Pilots of the Panhandle by Jim Ruotsala

ISBN: 0-9658830-0-0, Softcover, 120 pages, many b&w photos.
A history of early aviation among the waterways of Southeast Alaska, includes photos of Loenings of the Alaskan Aerial Survey Detachment, Von Gronau's Dornier Wal & dozens of great old Alaskan bush planes.

Piper Cubs  by Peter M. Bowers  

ISBN 0-8306-2170-9, Soft-bound, 212 pages including index, 208 b&w photos, 14 color, markings diagrams, 2-page Paul Matt plans for 5 Taylor & Piper designs
Just about everything you would ever want to know about one of the most famous & ubiquitous aircraft designs of all time, from the Taylor Brothers 1927 Arrow Wing Chummy through an array of subvariants & often radical modifications of the basic Cub. Civil Cubs, military Cubs, multi-engine Cubs, glider Cubs, biplane Cubs, crop-sprayers, floatplanes, bush planes & stunt planes; they're all here. My only criticism of this book is that the Super Cub isn't represented among the plans although both the "Cub Coupe" & Super Cruiser are. Altogether well worth the money.

 Putnam series: the excellent Putnam series is listed alphabetically as a sub-group here. These are excellent references.

British Civil Aircraft Since 1919 by A. J. Jackson
Volume One:
ISBN: ______, Hardcover, ??? pages
Volume Two: Chrislea to Hawker Siddeley ISBN: 0-370-10010-7, Hardcover, 560 pages.
Volume Three: Hawker Siddeley to Zlin ISBN: 0-370-10014-X, Hardcover, 636 pages.

These three volumes comprise one of the best references published on civil aviation; each type is treated to a consise but thorough history with several photos and a set of plans. There are also appendices of Other British-built Civil Aircraft, Military Types used for Civil Purposes and Foreign and Commonwealth Types in each volume with one accompanying photo for each entry.
While these volumes do not speak directly to modeling, they are still some of the most invaluable references you will own and each page makes you want to build a model of the aircraft. Very inspirational and an absolute must!

*note: These volumes have been published in three, slightly different forms; British Civil Aircraft Since 1919, British Civil Aircraft 1919- 1959 and British Civil Aircraft 1919- 1972, containing the same coverage of inter-war aircraft. Publication information above is specific to the British Civil Aircraft Since 1919 while the cover images to the left are of the British Civil Aircraft 1919- 1972 series.

De Havilland Aircraft Since 1909 by A. J. Jackson

ISBN: 0-370-30022-X, Hardcover, 542 pages

Excellent Putnam volume covering all De Havilland machines, a great number of which were inter-war civil aircraft. Typical of Putnam books, this one gives a history of each type with accompanying photos and small plans. Indices cover project aircraft, the Cierva C.24 autogiro, DH Technical School and DH Canada aircraft in brief. An excellent one point reference on De Havilland aircraft, though the more well known aircraft are better covered in other books. Recommended.
European Transport Aircraft since 1910 by John Stroud

No ISBN number, Hardbound, 14,5 cm X 22 cm (5 _ in X 9 in), 680 pages, aircraft index plus a very useful ‘production and airline fleets’ appendix.

The greatest part of this book is dedicated to our period of interest. The book describes each aircraft in alphabetical order of country and manufacturer. A short history and technical datas are given for each aircraft and is accompanied by a small photo. This is not a book intended for modelers but is very useful to obtain rapidly general information and data on aircraft, particularly the rarest types. This bible is useful to expand our aviation knowledge.

Revolution in the Sky: the Lockheeds of Aviation’s Golden Age by Richard Sanders Allen

ISBN: 0-517-56678-8, Hardcover, 255 pages

An excellent book detailing the revolutionary Lockheed single engined aircraft of the 1920's and 30's. The Vega, Air Express, Sirius, Orion, and Altair in military and civil roles are given extensive coverage. Color callouts are given for almost every airframe, but are not 100% accurate for all. Regardless, an invaluable reference, highly recommended!

A full review can be found in the November, 2005 Internet Modeler, here.

Ryan Broughams and Their Builders by William Wagner

ISBN 911852-76-X, Softcover, 98 pages

An excellent account of the Ryan M-1 and Brougham aircraft as well as the story of the Ryan company itself. In addition to the coverage of the aircraft, there are many harrowing tales of flying, each an adventure story of it's own, making this book a riveting read from cover to cover. The book finishes up with a handy set of drawings illustrating some of the recognizable differences in the various Broughams as well as a set of plan-view drawings of the B-5 Brougham prepared by Paul Matt. Very highly recommended!

A full review can be found in the June, 2005 Internet Modeler, here.

The Sky their Frontier by Robert Jackson

ISBN 0 906393 28 0, Hardbound, 21,5 cm X 27 cm (8 _ X 10 _), 160 pages.

The index contains numerous errors and is useless. There are 155 photos plus those on the cover and back cover. Among them, there are many photos of persons, military aircraft and airships. Photos are in general of a good quality and of a good size to check aircraft details. Interesting informations on the development of the airlines in many countries around the world often including the list of aircraft operated by the various airline companies. This is not an essential book but fun to read and to look at.

Sourdough Sky by Mills & Phillips

ISBN: 0-517-129779, Hard cover, 176 pages, approx. 260 b&w photos plus maps & other illustrations.
Very readable account of early bush flying in Alaska, by the son of Star Air Service founder Stephen Mills.

Stearman Aircraft: a Detailed History by Edward H. Phillips

Specialty Press, ISBN 1-58007-087-6, Hardbound, 216 Pages, 385 Photos (nearly 100 in color)

This is a beautifully done book that tells the history of Stearman, both the man and the company. It is loaded with both black & white and color photographs as well as comprehensive Stearman aircraft drawings. I would highly recommend it to both the aviation historian and model builders.

A full review can be found in the March, 2006 Internet Modeler, here.

The Story of the British Light Aeroplane by Terrence Boughton

Hardcover, 321 pages

An excellent, if mostly text, volume on the development of the British Light aeroplane and the various competitions designed to spur its evolution. 65 photos of excellent quality and 8 plan views make this an ideal companion to Richard Riding's "Ultralights" book reviewed below. Highly recommended to those interested in British sport aircraft.

Those Fabulous Flying Years - Joy-Riding and Flying Circuses between the Wars  by Colin Cruddas
ISBN: 0 85130 334 X  Hardback, 128 PP, over 200 B/W photos. Published by Air-Britain
This book documents and illustrates all the Air Pageants, Flying Circuses and Displays from the early days to the outbreak of WW2. It is richly illustrated and profiles many of the pioneers of the time, such as Sir Alan Cobham.

Ultralights by Richard Riding

ISBN: 0-85059-748X, Hardcover, 256 pages

A superb and comprehensive book on British light aircraft, from the well known to the obscure, compiled from dozens of Aeroplane Monthly articles by Riding. These articles are well worth searching out, however, as most included plans of each subject, of which few are presented in this book. An ideal companion volume to Terrence Boughton's "The Story of the British Light Aeroplane." Very highly recommended, a must for those interested in the subject matter.

Willy Messerschmitt: Pioneer of Aviation Design by Hans Ebert, Johann Kaiser, Klaus Peters

ISBN: 0-7643-0727-4,
Hardbound, 440 pages, 16 in color

The most accurate way to describe this book is to call it a lavish biography, telling the complete story of Willy Messerschmitt's life and numerous accomplishments. Split fairly evenly in terms of coverage, the first third of the book is devoted to his pre-World War 2 commercial and sport designs, with wartime and post war work dividing the remainder of the volume.

The inter-war designs are well covered with photos, occasional plans, and very nice cutaway drawings showing interior details accompanying each aircraft. Fans of Messerschmitt will be pleased, while others may find the excellent inter-war coverage not worth the cost of the book as a whole.

A full review can be found in the February, 2005 Internet Modeler, here.


Wings of Yesteryear; The Golden Age of Private Aircraft by Geza Szurovy

ISBN 0-7603-1925-1, Softbound, 168 pages, 112 b&w photos, 78 color photos. 

Gorgeous large-format book with pictures & text covering the small aircraft of the Golden Age, with lots of historical info & anecdotes. The photos are the main thing here, period views & lovingly restored examples illustrating many types inside & out. There are also many period advertising posters, often reproduced in color, not included in the photo count. A "must-have" for any fan of this genre.


The World's Civil Marine Aircraft by John Stroud

ISBN 0-370-01586-X, Hardcover, 128 pages

Good, if condensed, history of civil seaplanes and flying boats by an expert author. Some unusual photos but the book seems to be written for young adults. Better coverage of all of these aircraft can be found in his Wings of Peace articles on the subjects. Not worth searching out, unfortunately.