|Bartlomiej Belcarz & Tomasz J. Kopanski|
|Mushroom Model Publications|
|$35.00 from www.casematepublishing.com|
|Notes:||152 pages, ISBN 978-83-66549-06-7|
The PZL P.11c was the culmination of designs for a high wing monoplane fighter that started with the then-revolutionary P.1 prototype. During the mid 1930s, this was a world class aircraft that provided speed, decent firepower and maneuverability. It eventually morped into the production P.7 and later P.11a and P.11c fighters. The latter aircraft is the one that saw the greatest production and was the front line type of the PAF when the nation went to war in September 1939.
Though outclassed by the German Bf-109, it was able to provide a decent accounting of itself. The aircraft was also successfully exported and the basis of the P.24, which saw even more widespread export success. However, by the start of WWII, the aircraft had reached the end of its development and was considered obsolete by the Germans who only kept one example for their museum. This is the one sole example of the type which, with parts from a few other planes, that now resides in the Polish museum.
This most recent monograph from MMP books covers the development and that operational use of the P.11. It also provides something fairly unique among books of this type; operational history of each squadron that operated the aircraft. This includes their successes in combat. There is also a section on its use by the Romanian Air Force, the only other air arm to use the P.11c, aside from captured copies.
There then follows a technical description of the aircraft. In this section we are provided with illustrations from technical manuals and a selection of scale drawings in 1/48 scale. Then the 'walk around' section based on photos of the sole extant example. This area should be of great interest to those who like lots of detail in their model kits.
Then there is a section I found particularly interesting and that is on camouflage and markings of all PAF planes of the interwar period. It seems that the colors used on the P.11 varied as construction moved forward and it is here that all of this is discussed in some detail. It is then closed out by an excellent selection of full page color profiles, often accompanies by photographs of the aircraft in question. In all, it makes for another excellent publication for enthusiasts and modelers alike. As with all MMP books, it is most highly recommended.
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