Within a short time of receiving this book I realised that I had essentially purchased the same work twice, with the author's earlier book ``Rapid Fire'' ( ISBN 1840371226 ) already on my shelf. ``Flying Guns: The Modern Era'' reads as a slightly expanded version of the ``Weapons for Air Fighting'' chapter of that book.
There are early flourishes of promise dashed by lack of endeavour; for example, a section dedicated to gun pods quickly decays into dull regurgitation of various weights and dimensions that would fit into a half-page table, instead of addressing the interesting history and design problems of these pods.
The book then moves on to the installation of gun armament in selected aircraft. Again there are tantalising glimpses of what this book could have been, such as the discussion of the proposed armaments for the B-36, but the authors soon revert to wrapping verbiage around data that would be better presented in tabular form. Bizarrely, there is actually an Appendix entitled ``Installation Tables'' that renders these chapters superfluous; it lists individual aircraft types with their installed gun armaments and ammunition capacities.
Many illustrations and a large proportion of the scale drawings will be familiar from `Rapid Fire''. Some of the new additions to the drawings, such as that of the GAU-8, are embarrassingly shoddy though not as embarrassing as the authors' excuse that they have had to render these from ``poor-quality'' sources.
Throughout there is a tendency to vagueness; we are told that the MiG-27 experienced ``installation problems'' with the GSh-6-30 ( actually fuel-tank fractures ) and that the development status of the RMK30-2 is ``unclear'' ( perhaps a call to Mauser would have helped clarify ).
A disappointing by-the-numbers repackaging of previous work. Even previous errors, such as claiming that the NR-30 is gas-operated, are repeated without correction.