French Wings No. 3
Breguet 27, Potez 39, Mureaux 115/117
This third in the French Wings series tells the story of the Breguet 27,Potez 39 and Mureaux 115/117 aircraft in the French Air Force.
The acquisition and operations of these aircraft are described in detail, illustrated with many previously unpublished photos.
Also service in China, Venezuela and Peru is described.
Reviewed by: Hub Plott, IPMS# 31328
This is the third book in the French Wings series and it continues to provide an interesting and informative look at some of the less famous French aircraft of the pre-WWII and WWII period. All three aircraft in this book were used in the observation and reconnaissance role by the French military. The book gives you information about both the process by which they were acquired and their actual operational use. In addition to the aircraft used by France, their use by China, Peru and Venezuela are also discussed.
The book starts off with the Breguet 27, which is covered in the first 24 pages. I have always wondered why this aircraft was designed and looked the way it did. The authors clarify this early on! The reason for the rear fuselage’s unique look was that the specification it was designed to meet called for exceptional rearward view for the observer. Thus the design team made the rear fuselage as small as possible. To accomplish this goal, the aircraft was made of all-metal construction with steel used in place of aluminum for strength and as a cost savings!
The book is filled with many pictures, including some very nice interior detail shots, many of which have not been published before. The use of these aircraft by the forces of France is well told by the author. In addition, there are beautiful color profiles of the Venezuelan and Chinese aircraft, which would certainly be unique on a contest table or in a model collection.
The next 26 pages detail the Potez 39/390. This aircraft had a long development period. First flying in December of 1929, a production order was not placed until mid 1932 and then only for 100 aircraft. These aircraft were still serving at the start of WWII and after May-June 1940. 41 still survived, but were scrapped shortly afterwards. Again, there are many previously unpublished photos, including interior detail shots. The final part of this section covers the use of this aircraft by Peru, treating us to some nice color profiles.
The last section covers the Mureaux 115/117. This aircraft saw widespread service in the period between September 1939 and the German occupation. With a top speed at ground level of 168MPH and 150MPH at altitude, these planes suffered horrible attrition in combat. Both the 115 and the 117 were fitted with the inline Hispano-Suiza 12Ybrs 860hp engine, with some being refitted with the 12cyr engine that increased the top speed to 203MPH. Though designed as a reconnaissance aircraft, both the 115 and the 117 were reconfigured for use as a night fighter and also as a bomber due to desperate times. These aircraft only served with the French forces, and they are well documented in both photographs and color profiles.
I really liked this book. It gives you a look at some of the lesser know and less glamorous aircraft used in WWII! The color profiles and interior details will be of great benefit to the modeler, especially those covering subjects off the beaten path, such as a Venezuelan marked Breguet 27. A quick search on the Internet shows that Azur has the Breguet 27 in 1/72 scale, but nothing in 1/48 (that I could find). There are no kits of the Potez 39 unless someone did a small run vacuform kit. The Mureaux 115/117 is better represented! POMK and WSW Versand have done 1/48 resin kits, and in 1/72 there are kits by Heller and Aerofile. I can recommend this book to modelers and historians alike as I feel that both will find the contents very appealing.
Our thanks to Mushroom Model Publications for the review copy and my thanks to IPMS/USA for the review opportunity!
SAMI 03/2014 2014-08-25
MAI 03/2014 2014-08-25
Air Modeller No. 53 2014-08-25
Reviewed by Mark Davies
The author of this book, Jose Fernandez, may be well known to some as he has written or is associated with numerous aviation publications, including one of my favourites, the excellent Air Magazine. What may be less well known is that he owns a model shop in Paris, and has realised some kits as joint projects between Air Magazine and Azur (a Czech MPM-Group brand). Suffice to say, he has a good understanding of what appeals to modellers as well as aviation historians.
This review deals with the third volume in The French Wings series, published in English by Stratus Books of Poland. This soft-cover A4 portrait format booklet covers the Breguet 27, Potez 39 and Mureaux 115/117. Both French and foreign service is covered where applicable. It includes aircraft development backgrounds, operational service, and deals with various versions of these three aircraft. Replete with superb photos and well-executed artwork, everything is sensibly organised and easy to read.
French aircraft of the 1930’s and 40’s are not everyone’s cup of tea, but for those who do appreciate the subject this represents a valuable resource, and is highly recommended.
Model Aircraft 05/14 2014-08-25
IPMS UK Magazine 06/2014 2014-08-25
The French Wings series from Stratus Publications has showcase between-the-war aircraft types flown by France that other publishers haven't tackled. The first book in the series was on the Latécoère 290 & 298 while the second was on Nieuport-Delage Ni-D 29 and 62. Stratus continues in this series, with the same author, thankfully, by publishing a book on two-seaters.
The first covered in the book is the Breguet 27, an unusual looking aircraft with the rear "fuselage" more of a "boom" than anything else. It is mentioned in the book why this is, which is why this book is a must. Not only does it cover the usual when it comes to the three aircraft, but also items that most would not think of. Some might call it "ugly" but I personally find the looks of the Breguet 27 intriguing enough to always wanted to perform further research on it. The publication of this book definitely helps. Not only does the section on the Breguet 27 cover French usage but other countries as well.
The second aircraft covered is the Potez 39 and its derivatives. One excellent aspect of these publications from Stratus is the use of color profiles and how most of these are presented on the same page (or page opposite) has a photo of the actual aircraft being profiled. A definite excellent touch. There are plenty of color profiles of the Potez 39 to keep the modeling-mouth salivating. Finally the book concentrates on the Mureaux 115/117 and its early siblings. While the Mureaux was primarily built for reconnaissance there was a contract put out for bomber versions of these aircraft although they rarely carried bombs – in fact there are no photos within the book showing bombs attached. Even though it's interesting to know that there were other uses for the aircraft.
Since I primarily build 1/72, I know of that modeling world.
For the Breguet 27 Azur released both the "standard" version along with the later one with the enclosed cockpit. Unfortunately there are no kits of the Potez 39 but Heller and Aerofile did the Mureaux 113, 115 and 117. Unfortunately I have not seen the Aerofile kits and the Heller 117 is not accurate.
If there are modeling companies reading this, the 1/72 modeling world really could really use accurate kits of the Potez and Mureaux aircraft this book deals with. There were enough of the "real" aircraft built I don't think this would be a total waste of time.
In fact, there is one page someone could use to scan the emblems of the recce squadrons covered in this book to produce decals. They are presented in color and are really well done.
Unfortunately there is one complaint I have had with this series and continue to have: there are no scale drawings at all of any of the aircraft. If these were provided then you would have everything you need in one publication for building these aircraft. However, even with their elimination I definitely recommend these books. Nowhere else are you going to find publications on French 'tweeners.
Amazon.co.uk Cunstomer review (1st) 2014-08-25
Skrzydlata Polska 3/2014 2014-03-20