Aircraft of the Royal Australian Air Force
By various authors
Published by Big Sky Publishing
RRP $59.99 in hardcover • ISBN 9781922488039
Funded and managed by the Royal Australian Air Force as part of its centenary celebrations, this book, at 640 pages and weighing 2.75 kg, is in all respects a hefty tome.
As the title suggests, it is a reference work intended to present a brief record of every aircraft type to have seen service with the RAAF since its inception in 1921 and, as such, it is not a book to be read from cover to cover in a single sitting.
Beginning with a foreword by current Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld, the book moves to an explanation of the RAAF’s unique ‘A number’ identifier system, covering each aircraft type and now in its third series. The type histories begin with the first aircraft in Series 1, the De Havilland DH-9A (A1) in the early 1920s and progresses through history to the soon to be received MQ-4C Triton (A47), currently the most recent in the third series (A47) and the out-of-sequence F-4E Phantom (A69).
Each entry provides a brief history of the type in service and is supported by basic aircraft performance tables and a number of photographs.
This book comes highly recommended for anyone with a serious interest in Australian military aviation.
I’m grateful to my friend Nigel Pittaway for this review. Nigel spent many years as an aircraft maintenance engineer with QANTAS working mainly on the Boeing 737/ He now works as a freelance aviation and defence journalist. You can follow Nigel on Twitter here @NigelPittaway1