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on 24 September 2017
Handy reference book full of great info for the plane enthusiast ..
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on 12 August 2017
gives me what I want
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on 11 April 2017
A good starter book
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on 2 March 2011
This compact guide has several useful features. The use of a key recognition points chart to derive an alpha numeric code for use with the contents page is a novel substitute for the usual format of grouping various aircraft according to type i.e. jet, prop, utility, private light etc. With some practice and regular use of this format, recognition would become intuitive. The worldwide listings of registration prefixes and airport codes is welcome.The guide appears to focus on aircraft likely to be observed in Europe and United Kingdom and is recommended for observers in that part of the world. The guide is interesting, but not entirely relevant to observers here in Australia as there are several notable omissions in the light aircraft group.
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on 3 October 2002
I've been plane-spotting for over 50 years - once avidly, but now more sporadically and have always sought to keep a useful, reasonably up-to-date recognition book on the shelf.
My 1992 edition of Jane's World Aircraft Recognition handbook is now rather dated and, living near Bremen Airport (and therefore, one of the Airbus factories), I wanted something more contemporary and which would enable me to identify some aircraft which I see frequently but which are appear to be too new for my Jane's. Civil Aircraft Recognition seemed to be the ideal publication - brand new and published by a reputable, specialist in the field.
Let's start with the positive aspects:
1. Convenient size for the pocket
2. Apparently fairly robustly bound in limp cloth covers
3. Good-sized silhouettes
4. All photographs are in colour and some of them are good
From here it's all downhill. There are too many individual failings to list in the space available, so I'll categorise with examples.
1. Silhouettes: The plan views are drawn from above (I don't recall ever seeing this before in a spotters' book) and therefore not very useful for identification.
The entry for the Boeing 737 "Recognition feature" refers to "flat-bottomed engine nacelles except on the 737-100/200", but the photo shows a 737-200 and the the silhouette shows a model with large round (turbofan?) nacelles which seems not to be a -100 or -200 variant.
Similarly, Cessna 550/60 Citation refers to "Compound sweep on wing l/e" but there is no such feature on the page (P.65).
2. There are no indications with silhouettes to indicate which variant they illustrate, and none to indicate the variant to which the accompanying dimensions refer.
3. The appendix of aviation abbreviations is useful - but the text uses several abbreviations which aren't listed!
4. Photographs: A very mixed bag. Too many are of aircraft on the ground and with cluttered backgrounds (and, even worse, foregrounds), shapes confused by undercarriages and shadows, some aircraft with engine parking covers etc in place. The clutter and stripes around the tail of the Antonov An-140 are practically psychodelic!
5. Types covered. This is always a problem for authors who always have a limited space. However, the logic of inclusion/exclusion here is difficult to follow. Some (to me) glaring contradictions: no Airbus 300 (or special-bodied variants - which are regularly seen in and between Airbus Company plants); no illustrations of Dornier 328 (over one hundred built), but full treatment of Fairchild Dornier 328JET (only in prototype form according to the book); Ilyushin 103 (35 built according to the book)- full treatment, but only a small picture of the Liberty XL2 (several hundreds built/ordered). I could go on, but you get the picture. Oh, and I still don't know what is the low/medium-, straight-wing, twin-prop, very long nacelles, T-tailed business/feeder liner which flies regularly over my house!
There is a major gap in the useful-sized spotters' guide market, but it seems that we'll have to wait for the next (and long-overdue) version of Jane's before it's filled. This one certainly doesn't meet the need.
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on 21 August 2017
Cav
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on 7 August 2014
A handy little volume for those with a casual interest in aircraft recognition. Not bad for a pocket sized guide. it is genuinely pocket sized. Nice silhouettes and reasonable pictures.
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on 28 October 2015
Very nice pocket size book. Very good value for money. I gave four stars out of five because it would have been useful to have an angle silhouette from looking up. But the three angled sihouettes are clear and concise.
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on 22 November 2013
It's ok. Although vry old publication and so the information. Is not very up to date. For a keen aircraft enthusiast it is not that valuable.
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on 1 September 2013
Few modern aircraft are featured.
It appears to be rewright of an earlier publication. Not much detailed data. A disappointing read.
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