In our Museum’s Library, you’ll find a set of five volumes, part of a series called The Aviation Factfile.

I’d like to introduce three of the titles to you:

IMG_0001Aircraft of World War II ~ The editor explains that this book is “… a fascinating and informative guide to over 120 of the most important aircraft to see service between 1939 and 1945.  Its information-packed pages contain a broad range of aircraft, from outmoded biplanes such as the Gloster Gladiator, pressed into service in the desperate defence against Nazi Germany in 1939-1940, through classic fighter aircraft such as the Supermarine Spitfire, Messerschmitt Bf 109 and North American P-51 Mustang, to early jets such as the Arado Ar 234, Messerschmitt Me 262 and Gloster Meteor.

Each aircraft is covered in detail, with feature boxes outlining its development, technical      specifications, performance data and variants.  Unique graphic features show specific features compared to other aircraft of the same type – e.g. firepower, troop-carrying capacity and bombload, or range and payload – allowing instant direct comparison.”

IMGMilitary Aircraft of the Cold War ~ “Born of the struggle for global influence between the great powers in the aftermath of World War II, the Cold War was an era of inexorable technological advancement and a succession of wars-by-proxy between Soviet Russia and the United States, leading to an unprecedented arms race.  Military aircraft were a key part of this ruthless competition, and for many aviation enthusiasts the Cold War was the golden age of the jet fighter.  Less than 20 years separated early jets such as the P-80 Shooting Star, scarcely able to overtake a propeller-driven WWII fighter, from interceptors such as the MiG-25 ‘Foxbat’, capable of flying at more than three times the speed of sound.  Wars in Korea, Vietnam and other volatile regions gave many of these spectacular and deadly machines a baptism of fire, and some aircraft developed during this period, such as the C-130 Hercules and Boeing B-52, are still in US Air Force service today.

This is a fascinating and fact-packed guide to more than 120 of the finest aircraft in service between 1945 and 1985.  For a generations of aviation buffs, iconic aircraft such as the Avro Vulcan, B-58 Hustler and F-4 Phantom II hold a certain magic that is unsurpassed by today’s aircraft… each aircraft is covered in detail, with feature boxes… Unique graphics allow the reader to compare specific features like range, speed and ceiling with contemporary aircraft.”

IMG_0003Modern Military Aircraft ~ Arranged alphabetically, this volume introduces the reader to fighters, bombers, transports and tankers, as well as naval aircraft.  Included on the pages are photo files, specific facts and figures, combat data (such as armament, service ceiling, radar range, and crew), action data (such as maximum take off weight, maximum speed, operational ceiling, range, thrust…)

These books are on display in our Library, along with other titles, and we invite you to come and to have a closer look!