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Book Review
Royal Naval Air Service Pilot
Royal Naval Air Service Pilot 1914-18 * Warrior 152
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]


Originally published on:
AeroScale

Introduction

In March 1907, the Admiralty hierarchy responded to a proposal from the Wright brothers for naval heavier-than-aircraft: they saw no use for such craft. When farsighted Admiralty individuals continued heavier-than-air experiments, they created the cadre for airmen and aircraft that would ultimately defend the homeland and fleet against zeppelins, scout, spot gunfire, fight for air superiority, and sink enemy vessels with bombs and torpedoes.

In Royal Naval Air Service Pilot 1914-18, the 152nd book of Osprey’s series WARRIOR, author LT. Mark Barber, RN, illuminates the service of the pilots and machines of the RNAS. In 64 pages featuring dozens of photographs, six illustrations and a diagram by illustrator Adam Hook, the life and service of the Royal navy airman is brought to life. LT Barber examines the foundation of the RNAS, the opposition to heavier-than-aircraft, the original pilots, technological advances, uniforms, attitudes, aircraft, and an outline of their war contributions.

contents

If you want to book detailing specific pilots, craft, or campaigns, then this is not the book for you. It is a vignette of those topics. This book delves into the origins, recruiting, uniforms, history, milestones, and the life of an aircrewman, instead of the combat performance of individual RNAS units and pilots. LT Barber does enrich the text with some personal accounts of crewmembers, and even excerpts from official reports.

Royal Naval Air Service Pilot 1914-18 is presented to you in nine chapters:

1. INTRODUCTION: THE ORIGINS OF NAVAL AVIATION IN BRITAIN
2. CHRONOLOGY
3. RECRUITMENT AND TRAINING
4. EQUIPMENT: FLYING CLOTHING AND UNIFORM
5. AIRCRAFT OF THE FLEET
· Avro 504
· De Havilland 4
· Short Type 184
· Felixstowe F.2A
· Sopwith 11/2 Strutter
· Nieuport Scouts
· Sopwith Pup
· Sopwith Triplane
· Sopwith Camel
6. ON CAMPAIGN: CONDITIONS IN THEATER
7. BELIEF AND BELONGING
8. EXPERIENCE OF BATTLE
9. MUSEUMS
10. SELECT BIOGRAPHY
11. INDEX

Graphics

Many of the photographs will be familiar to those who have read similar topics; though I found some I have not seen before. Given the limitations of WW I photography, it is no surprise that several of the photos are blurry. Many are clear and sharp. They all convey the intent of the accompanying text. For the modeler, some are fascinating –one photo of a Nieuport shows a grimy escalloped pattern on the fabric along the internal structure of the fuselage, presumably caused by the slipstream displacing the fabric enough for oil and exhaust to sully it. On another, spilled petrol and lubricants have run along edges to produce what looks like a badly executed model wash!

Mr. Hook enriches the book with his illustrations. The paintings are traditional brush on canvas instead of the CGI graphics that are so popular nowadays. Each is accompanied by a narrative text box. While there are no profiles of any of the aircraft, profiles of generic personnel bring the descriptive text to life.

conclusion

It is difficult for me to find any complaint with this work. While the text is detailed, this book is very readable, though some topics are less than captivating. The illustrations are good. The many photographs, several unfamiliar to me, are a bonus.

Whether you are a historian or modeler, Royal Naval Air Service Pilot 1914-18 offers good information of interest for anyone. I recommend this book.

Please remember, when contacting vendors or sellers, to mention you saw this book here—on The KitMaker Network.
SUMMARY
Highs: Well researched, documented, and explained. Interesting illustrations and photographs.
Lows: No profiles of ships or aircraft. Some topics are dry.
Verdict: This work offers an element of interest for anyone.
Percentage Rating
94%
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: ISBN: 9781846039492
  Suggested Retail: $18.95
  Related Link: Naval Aces of World War 1, Part 1
  PUBLISHED: Jan 06, 2011
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.00%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 90.20%

Our Thanks to Osprey Publishing!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)
FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2017 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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