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Posted by: Paintybeard Would someone please review the new series
Posted on: 19/11/2016 13:20:31

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Posted by: Paintybeard
Total Posts: 420
Joined Date: Monday, 4 February 2013

Have any forum members read either of the 2 new X-planes series titles yet? If so I would be very grateful if they would post thier impressions on this forum. How technical are the books? Are the illustrations useful and do they compliment the text? Any information of this nature would be very useful to the rest of us. I have high hopes for this series, but I would value some independant feedback before laying out my hard-earned cash.

Posted on: 19/11/2016 13:20:32
Posted by: Daitengu
Total Posts: 7
Joined Date: Thursday, 3 November 2016

Hi PaintyBeard

I have read both and will continue to buy the series as it is published. The similarities between the books are that they both deal for a large part with the development process - the politics, the budgets, the world around them.

To contrast them with the most useful comparison, I'd say it would be Air Vanguard. Air Vanguard has maybe a quarter of the book on development and testing, then the rest on operations, whereas the X-Plane books are largely about development. As the X-1 was not a front-line aircraft, you get an explanation of the flight programs including how and why X-1s would fail. For the Me-264 you get an explanation of how the inside of the RLM created and ultimately destroyed the project.

If you are just into battles etc., this might not be the series for you. However if aviation technology and history are something you can get into, both books have got loads of interesting detail.

Happy to answer any other question about the books!

Posted on: 20/11/2016 03:36:59
Posted by: Daitengu
Total Posts: 7
Joined Date: Thursday, 3 November 2016


While some book series focus on aces (Aircraft of the Aces), or squadrons (Aviation Elite Units and Combat Aircraft), or even the aircraft itself (Air Vanguard), this series is about the development of aircraft that might not have made it to squadron service. As this development occurs in the context of the historical narrative which most avid Osprey readers already have a good understanding of, it gives you another perspective on how nations develop aircraft and aerospace technology. It is not a path well travelled, and I think Osprey will end up with a series of well written and comprehensive, albeit niche, books.


How technical are the books?

Quite technical. X-1 for example, you get a good explanation of the engine, issues with aeronautical compression, and the X-1's technical faults. The Me-264 has a few pages of specifications, a lot of discussion about engine possibilities and availabilty, and how possible it would be to actually get the required range. I haven't read a book more technical on either subject.

Are the illustrations useful and do they compliment the text?

Both books are well illustrated. In X-1 there are 2 double page pieces. One is a cutaway of the X-1, and the other is a beautiful painting of Yeager's last flight. Unfortunately in both, as it is a paperback, there is a massive trench in the middle of each. Me264 has a bit more in the way of drawn illustrations (there were fewer photos I guess). There is a double-page-trench painting of the Me264 bombing Manhattan: now I know that might not be historically accurate BUT is was part of the Amerika Bomber end-plan.

The pictures largely follow the text. The good thing about the Me264 is that the pictures are rarely printed, so you get a lot of detail that unless you have read books by the author, you are unlikely to have seen before.

Is it worth hard earned cash?

If you buy them as a member on Black Friday, your cash is well exchanged, even if hard-earned. To get any more detail on the Me-264 for example, you'd have to buy out of print and expensive books.

Posted on: 20/11/2016 04:02:15
Posted by: Daitengu
Total Posts: 7
Joined Date: Thursday, 3 November 2016

And while I am ranting about this series, please, please, please, please, consider the F-20 an 'X-Plane'. It has everything: technology, politics, court cases, accidents, 1980s music...

Posted on: 20/11/2016 04:26:05
Posted by: Paintybeard
Total Posts: 420
Joined Date: Monday, 4 February 2013

Good day Daitengu. And thank you for a very thorough (and passionate) answer.

As you rightly suspect, my question was asked with a view to a bit of indulgence on Black Friday.

Posted on: 20/11/2016 08:36:57
Posted by: ph
Total Posts: 18
Joined Date: Friday, 12 February 2016

Good morning,


just to reinforce what Daitengu said. I have biought only X-1 to test the series, and the book is more technical/political than Air vanguard, more like I would rather have AV to be. It gives answers to the why? questions regarding changes, development, etc. Of course no combat, but I think it gives a very good flavour on the "ambience" of aviation in those years. I have to say I am interested in this stuff more than in the air combat sortie repetitions.

I think it was worth the money, the Me 264 is an obscure subject, so it can be interesting just to know a bit about it. What I am really looking forward is for the TSR2, Luftwaffe emergency fighters and X-15 in 2017

I hope this helps


PS: I strongly endorse Daitengu's plea on the F-20

PS: and thank you Painty for all your comments in the webpage



Posted on: 21/11/2016 08:33:00
Posted by: Tom @ Osprey
Total Posts: 6
Joined Date: Monday, 2 November 2015

'It has everything: technology, politics, court cases, accidents, 1980s music...'

You know exactly how to sell an idea to the Osprey office :-) Thanks for the plea, we'll bear it in mind.

Posted on: 21/11/2016 10:06:40

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