This book is very unique in the sense that it covers one century of aviation history, but selected in a particular way: French airplanes in Peruvian Service. Let me be clear, from reading the book you learn -in great level of detail- not just about that topic in the title, but about the overall history of Peruvian Air Force (PAF), with a strong emphasis on French airplanes in the PAF.
The book is broken down in four main sections
- Early Years (up to 1920s)
- InterWar Years (1930’s)
- The Deltas (1960s-Today)
- Alouettes and Falcons (Today)
The first chapter covers mainly the history of aviation entrepreneurs and fledging military aviators in Peru. Well illustrated with period photos it helps to set the tone for the book. The second chapter covers the 1930’s years, after the Peruvian-Colombian war, a period of high tension and military readiness.
The third chapter jumps around 30 years (where probably there were no French airplanes in Peruvian services) to the mid-1960s and the entry of the Dassault Mirage in Peruvian service.
I admit, I’m a bit of an addict of the Mirage, so I deeply enjoyed that chapter. It is the longest chapter of the book (about half of the book actually) and it covers in deep detail the modern conflicts of Peru with Ecuador and the participation of the French Deltas in both conflicts (Paquisha in 1981 and Cenepa 1995). While in the first conflict the Mirage performed really well, they did not do as well in the second one. Reasons behind that are well explained in the chapter.
Color images of the Mirage (together with some Soviet manufactured types) add a lot of interest to the reading. There is some reference as to how Peru tiptoed the neutrality line during the Falklands war by honoring a pre-war agreement with Argentina for the selling of 10 Mirage and by triangulating the purchase of military aircraft from Israel. This chapter ends briefly covering the service of Mirage 2000 in the PAF.
Finally the last chapter is very brief and covers the helicopter and transports needs of the Peruvian military.
You can see a video of the whole book (page by page) at the following link
If you are interested in the history of Peruvian Aviation, I highly recommend this book. If you are into French Airplanes, again I highly recommend this book. If you are just into general aviation history, you won’t be disappointed either. It is a really good book.
I would like to thank Mushroom Model Publication and IPMS/USA for the review sample.