Since their humble beginnings in the early 20th century, aeroplanes have revolutionized warfare. From the early dogfights about Europe in World War I to the Battle of Britain, the first jet aircraft, spy planes and beyond, aviation has become an essential component of military forces across the world.

Spotter's Guide

Spotter's Guide

But do you know your Spitfire from your Messerschmitt Bf 109, or what a B-52 looks like? Do you know how heavy the F-4 Phantom II is, or how quickly it can fly?

The Plane Spotter’s Guide uses detailed profile artwork to illustrate and aid recognition of 70 iconic aircrafts, and provides specification boxes to give all the technical details.

That short-sized book is an excellent resume about the evolution of warplanes. It contains a selection going from WWI aircrafts to modern ones.

Each plane(or family of planes: Albatros D.III and D.V are mixed in one presentation only) is depicted in three pages. For each plane, you have a short historical presentation, technical datas and two splendid drawings of profiles from actual aircrafts.

Spotter's Guide inside

Spotter's Guide inside

The 70 aircrafts selected in the book are representative of the materials used during the different periods since WWI: Sopwith Pup, Nieuport 17, Albatros D.III, Spad VII, Sopwith Camel, RAF SE 5/5A, Fokker Dr I, Fokker D.VII, Polikarpov I-16, Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Bristol Blenheim, Consolidated PBY Catalina, Messerschmitt Bf 109, Gloster Gladiator, Hawker Hurricane, Junkers Ju 87, Supermarine Spitfire, Short Sunderland, Messerschmitt Bf 110, Fiat CR.42 Falco, Junkers Ju 88, Mitsubishi A6M Zero-sen, Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, North American B-25 Mitchell, Grumman F4F Wildcat, Douglas SDB Dauntless, Bristol Beaufighter, de Havilland Mosquito, Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik, Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa, Martin B-26 Marauder, Lockheed P-38 Lightning, Focke-Wulf Fw 190, Hawker Typhoon, Consolidated B-24 Liberator, Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien, Macchi C.202 Folgore, North American P-51 Mustang, Curtiss SB2C Helldiver, Grumman TBF/TBM Avenger, Vought F4U Corsair, Avro Lancaster, Lavochkin La-5/7, Boeing B-29 Superfortress, Grumman F6F Hellcat, Messerschmitt Me 262, Yakovlev Yak-3, Mikoyan MiG-15, North American F-86 Sabre, Martin B-57 Canberra, North American F-100 Suoer Sabre, Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, Handley Page Victor, Avro Vulcan, Vought F-8 Crusader, Republic F-105 Thunderchief, Mikoyan MiG-21, Mc Donnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II, Dassault Mirage III, Lockheed SR-71, Grumman F-14 Tomcat, Mc Donnell Douglas F-15 eagle/Strike eagle, General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon, Mc Donnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet, Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk, MC Donnelle Douglas AV-8B Harrier II, Rockwell B-1B Lancer.

Spotter's Guide cover

Spotter's Guide cover

On my own point-of-view, I find this is an excellent selection. Fighters are of course well represented but there are also bombers, ground attack aircrafts and so on.

Osprey’s Plane Spotter’s Guide is an interesting introductory-level book about warplanes that takes no place and can be transported everywhere. Nice idea! Get your sample here!

…To be noted also that such an e-book about tanks is available from Osprey.

Daniel Clamot

Special thanks to Osprey for sample publication