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The FE2B flies again!
Recreating a WWI Legend

Albatros Publications

 

S u m m a r y

Publisher and Title: The FE2B flies again! Recreating a WWI Legend
Albatros Publications
Media: Soft cover, A4 format magazine
Price: 20.00 available online from Albatros Productions' website
Review Type: First Read
Advantages: Entertaining and informative text, interesting selection of contemporary images, sequential colour photographs of TVAL FE2b build, comprehensive ordinance survey, competent aircraft profiles.
Disadvantages:  
Conclusion: A superb publication that not only takes you inside the workings of the FE2b but into the minds of the pilot and observer as well.


Reviewed by Rob Baumgartner



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FirstRead

 

In only three years The Vintage Aviator Ltd. built a perfect replica of the FE2b.

It’s been almost a century since these iconic British two-seaters took to the sky and thanks to TVAL we have one flying again today. The road to success was not an easy one with many challenges along the way.

What better way to document the whole process than to get together with Albatros Productions and produce a publication that chronicles the event. And what a publication it is!

Including the covers, this A4 sized edition contains 68 jam-packed pages. There are over 70 contemporary black and white photographs as well as a further 87 in colour. These latter pictures show the steps involved in making this reproduction aircraft and include shots of every facet of its construction.

Naturally a type history is included and all images in this section are accompanied by authoritative captions that add much to the text. Speaking of which, this is well written in a style that is easy to digest and keeps the reader’s interest throughout the narrative.                  

Also interspersed during this chapter are fascinating anecdotes from those that served during “The Great War”. We hear from pilots as they describe what it was like to take off and land in these machines, what it was like to go on a bombing mission in the type, and even how the observers coped in the open pulpit.

Harry Woodman makes a welcome appearance and shares his vast wealth of knowledge. He explains the various pieces of ordnance carried by these aircraft which include the Lewis gun, its mount, the Holt landing lights, the different types of bombs, and of course the carriers. These items have either scale plans or sketches to help the reader understand their more subtle features.

As we now have an airworthy FE2b to fly around, Gene DeMarco can give us a first-hand description of the pre-flight routine, take-off procedure and the all-important flying characteristics. There is also enlightening commentary on the cockpit layout and how this affects the pilot.

The appendices take care of the housekeeping and describe the specifications of the FE2b, its short-lived variants, and a listing of the squadrons that flew it.


 

Conclusion

This is a book for those wanting a more personal appreciation of life with the FE2b.

We get this from a collection of voices from the past and, thanks to the TVAL replica, from more modern times as well. The documenting of its build process is of immense technical interest and Ronny Bar’s excellent artwork is icing on the cake.

If you have any interest at all in “pusher” aircraft, this entertaining book will prove to be both educational and enlightening.

Thanks to Albatros Productions for the review sample


Review Copyright 2009 by Rob Baumgartner
This Page Created on 15 June, 2009
Last updated 15 June, 2009

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