|Richard A Franks|
|Valiant Wings Publishing|
|£15.95 MSRP at www.valiant-wings.co.uk|
|Notes:||114 pages, A4 Format, softcover, ISBN: 978-1-912932030, Airframe Detail #9|
The Westland Lysander was one of the last aircraft designed to perform the army cooperation role. Like others of its ilk, the Hs-126, the Lublin XIII, and other 'heavy' observation aircraft, they were pretty much at the mercy of their improved maneuverability to get away from enemy fighters. These planes were fairly slow and while they did carry a rear gunner, a forward machine gun, and the ability to carry light bombs, they were not really offensive aircraft and needed stealth or local air superiority to perform its job. These were often replaced in later years by either light aircraft based on civil designed or helicopters in later years. Many army co-op units were eventually re-equipped with fighter aircraft.
The Lysander had the major benefit of being able to operate from short, unimproved airfields. This lengthened its active duty in the RAF by working with special operations groups as it was able to sneak into fields behind the lines to provide support to resistance movements and to extract downed pilots.
This latest book by Valiant Wings concentrates on the Lysander. It not only provides a fair history of the type, but, thanks to a fair number of extant airframes, is able to give us a look at the details of this interesting aircraft. For those unfamiliar with the series, the book provides not only what was just mentioned, but a great selection of period photos. Also parts of the book cover the difference between variants, a real boon to modelers. There is a very interesting color and markings section and the modeler is not forgotten. This isn't a modeler's book as other series will cover that. The one build review is of the new Dora Wings 1/72 kit. In addition, there is information on kits, accessories, decals and books for those who want more. Finally, there is a brief rundown of units who operated the type.
In all, it is another superb effort from Valiant Wings and a book that easily gets my highest recommendation.
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