Stratus Publications' Polish Wings #36: TS-11 Iskra


Dariusz Karnas & Artur Juszczak




$25.00 from Casemate Publishers


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 112 pages, softbound, A-4 format
ISBN: 978-83-6

Many feel that once the grip of communism grabbed the nations of eastern Europe, that all military equipment had to come from the Soviet Union. That was not the case at all and countries like Czechoslovakia and Poland had, once their infrastructure had been rebuilt, a fairly robust manufacturing base. This was especially true when it came to aircraft. In Poland, the company PZL fairly dominated the scene, but not all aircraft were designed by this venture. Case in point is the TS-11 Iskra, a home designed jet trainer that came on the scene in the late 1950s.

Development of the aircraft was not exactly rapid, but prototypes had flown by the early 1960s and the Polish Air Force was very much on board with the design. In the mid-1960s, a competition between the TS-11 and the Czech L-29 was held to determine who would provide the next Soviet/Warsaw Pact trainer. Though the TS-11 was superior in all aspects of the competition, politics played its hand and the L-29 was chosen. Despite this, the type served in the Polish Air Force for decades until retired in 2022. Its only foreign success was with India who ordered a goodly number and operated them until 2004.

This book follows the format of previous editions with a fairly in-depth developmental history. It then goes into PAF operations covering every unit that operated the type. What is a major draw for many of us are the superb photographs that are part of the series. This includes a very large number of superb full color profiles based on various photos that is a trademark of the series. I dare say that almost every aircraft built is covered in this way, making this an exceptionally image intensive volume. This particular edition is entirely in English, which is important for most readers. Another excellent book in the series and one that I know you will like.  

March 2024

Copyright All rights reserved. No reproduction in part or in whole without express permission.

Review book courtesy of Casemate Publishers. You can get yours direct from this link.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly , please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.