P-51 Mustang

This book is mostly a "colours and markings" book, originally published in French but also available in English. The quality of Jouineau's profiles is rather good and it's a nice overview of what the Mustang looked like. The book also covers both Korea and foreign service up to the 1980's, which is rare enough to be mentionned.

On the other hand, there are some bad points. I'm being picky here, but Jouineau could have bothered to add the camera ports and such details on the profiles. Obviously, he uses one computer model and then doesn't modify it. Thus, you won't see the camera ports on F-6 conversions, nor will you see P-51D/Ks without the fin fillet, even when the aircraft being depicted is an early version not fitted with the fin fillet.

This lack of concern for detail would still be OK, but bad becomes worse. The P-82 Twin Mustang profiles are a joke. The Twin Mustangs are shown with a nose which looks like it belongs on a Mirage III rather than a P-82. On the P-82F version (which carries a large radar), the radar pod sticks out in front of the aircraft by about 5 feet, which looks rather stupid too. One also has to be careful about the foreign aircraft. For example, Cuban FAR-401 (see Cuban Mustangs article) is represented with markings and a national roundel which figure on no picture or description whatsoever. Basically it looks as if Jouineau just invented the whole thing up.

The book is rather cheap, which would partially compensate for its weaknesses but for Breffort's work. He writes the description of the Mustang's history. Although he didn't have much to write, as the book is mostly illustrative, he nevertheless manages to get several things completely wrong. According to Breffort, Schmued was indeed an ex-Messerschmitt employee, the NA-73X was designed, built and flown in three months, etc...

On the overall, the book is somewhat dissapointing. A little more rigor would have made it a fine book.

Editions Histoire & Collections, collection Avions & Pilotes, in French (available in English).




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