Cockpits are the critical station for the pilot and the control of any aircraft. While not always visible from the outside, it is always an interest for both young and old. Over the years since the early time of flight, these same cockpits have evolved from almost nothing to simple dials to sophisticated computers and displays.
A recent book from Donald Nijboer
provides us now with In the "Piliot's Seat of Great Military Aircraft from World War 1 to Today: Fighting Cockpits".
Written By: Donald Nijboer
Photography By: Dan Patterson
Forward By: Capt. Eric M. Brown
I was excited when I heard this book was on its way, and was not disappointed. The book is large, size of a coffee table book, measuring 12" by 10". The photograph on the front of the hard cover book sets the scene for a book full of information about cockpits. It containa well written text and excellent photographs, both in color and black & white.
The Forward is written by Capt. Eric M. Brown, former Chief Naval Test Pilot, RAE Farnborough, which sets up the content of the book very well.
The book is broken down into chapter covering the different era of aircraft as follows:
- World War 1 - Wind in the Wires
- Between the Wars - The Rise of the Monoplane
- World War II - Death at 30,000 feet
- Cold War to Present - Mutually Assured Destruction
Each chapter starts with a description of aircraft, use within the era and information about the instrumentation available and used, as well as information on the progression of that instrumentation. Then into the chapter itself, it is broken down into different well known aircraft, with a picture of the cockpit from the rear, providing a great reference. There is also a description of the aircraft, and most also include insight to the aircraft and the cockpit from real pilots.
The Pilot Impression parts provide real good insight to how the layout and usage of the cockpit affected the aircraft, and I definitely found it very informative. It real told the struggles of pilots in certain aircraft, especially some of the early ones. These impressions not only provide information on the flight of the aircraft, but the usage of the instrumentation and controls within the cockpits.
The photographs themselves are also very informative, showing what the pilot had to work with while flying the aircraft and dealing with enemy aircraft. As well as being informative, these photos would be a great asset to modelers, as it shows the details of these aircraft. Also included are some period images of the aircraft.
The book is full of great information, and while we may have seen images prior, reading the descriptions and pilots views was a learning experience for myself. For example, it really brought home how small and contained the cockpit of the Bf-109 was, and made me think how skilled some of the pilots must have been to control this aircraft is such a confined place.
The book covers many different aircraft to include from World War I the Nieuport 28, S.E.5, Sopwith Camel, Fokker Dr.I, and more. From Between the Wars there is the Martin MB-2, Fiat CR.32, P-26 and more. From World War II you will find the Spitfire, Thunderbolt, Halifax, Sturmovik, B-17, and many more. And from the Cold War to Present the is the Sabre, Aardvark, MiG-28, F-117, even the F-35, and more.
Overall this is a great book from Donald Nijboer
, and is packed full of information about Fighting Cockpits. With great photographs, text, and insights this is a must book for aircraft enthusiasts and a definite great reference to model builders. I would highly recommend this book.