Stratus Publications' Polish Wings #24: MiG-19F/PM & MiG-21F-13
72 pages, softbound, A-4 format
For those unfamiliar with this series, Polish Wings covers the various aircraft flown by the Polish Air Force since Poland regained its freedom from Imperial Russia in 1918. 2018 is the 100th anniversary of the PAF and such is proudly marked on the book cover.
The book covers the PAF's first supersonic fighters, the MiG-19 and MiG-21. In the case of the MiG-19, Poland never bought the fighter version, but instead concentrated on the interceptor version. None of these planes were bought in large numbers as much due to the cost as anything else. The P version was strictly cannon armed and had a fairly weak radar system. The later PM had a much better radar, though still not up to Western standards and was armed only with missiles. These were beam riding missiles so the firing aircraft had to maintain a radar lock for them to work.
The other type in the book is the MiG-21F-13. This was the initial lightweight point defense interceptor armed with a single canon and two missiles. By all accounts, this was the hot rod version thanks to its light weight. It also had very poor range, but this was not really important considering how it was to be used. Like the earlier MiG-19 this was also bought in small numbers.
Requests for a license to build these planes were made, but the Soviets did not think that the Polish government was trustworthy enough to allow them to be built in country.
This series is as much a photo book as it is anything else and while there is a great history of the type in squadron service as well as the reason for ordering the planes, it is the photos and full color profiles that are really the main draw of the series. The photos and profiles are large and you get a lot of information in the captions. For those concerned about it possibly being written in Polish, it is not. It is also well edited, unlike several other books I have read from countries where English is not the main language.
It all makes for another outstanding book that is well researched, jammed full of images and with interesting stories. Another winner from Stratus and a book that enthusiasts should really consider for their library.
Review book courtesy of MMP Books, where you can order your copy of this and many other superb aviation and modeling books. Also available in the US from Casemate Publishing and in Australia from Platypus Publications. You can get yours direct from this link.
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