MMP's Gloster Gauntlet
|Mushroom Models Publications|
|Notes:||80 pages, Softbound. ISBN: 978-83-65281-61-6, #8118|
The Gloster Gauntlet was the RAF's last open cockpit biplane fighter. It was also a plane that had a fairly long gestation period and was brought into service when much more modern aircraft like the Hurricane and Bf-109 were on the cusp of technology. While those monoplanes were still a year or so away, the writing was very much on the wall when it came to biplane fighters. Indeed, WWII saw the end of this type of aircraft in military service.
The Gauntlet was, like most other biplane fighters a delight to fly and a plane that, for its time, was fairly fast. It had to be as bombers of the time were able to outstrip previous aircraft. It was also able to take a number of different power plants and it was engine development as much as anything else that would make or break a design. In the austerity of the 30s, not all that many were built and it was quickly supplanted by the more modern Gladiator, itself replaced by the Hurricane and Spitfire.
Its wartime service was more extensive than many think. While the RAF did not use it in Europe, it met with some success in East Africa fighting the Italians. It was also used in Palistine where Arab bands would frequently cause havoc with towns in the region. Like many older fighters it ended its career in secondary roles such as metrological flights or in advanced training.
Interestingly, it did see some overseas sales, particularly to Denmark whose wartime use was extremely brief. It was also provided to the Finns for assistance against the Soviets in the Winter War, though the planes did not arrive until just after the end of hostilities. Again, it was used in the advanced training and reconnaissance role. Amazingly one still survives to fly, though not with its original engine.
In line with others in this series, you get a complete history including a most comprehensive section delineating its wartime service in East Africa and Palestine. This part alone makes it worth the cover price in my opinion. You also get great full color profiles that include the colorful upper wing markings applied while in RAF service. Thanks to there being a survivor, we are also treated to lots of detail photos, this section further enhanced by period drawings and images.
For fans of the type or the era, I can very much recommend this one.
Review book courtesy of MMP Books, where you can order your copy of this and many other superb aviation and modeling books. The book is also available through Casemate Publishing in the US, Orca in Europe, and Platypus Publications in Australia.
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