Reviews of Our Publications

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Jan 012011
 

Streamlined Dreams: Ten Amazing Unbuilt Automobile Designs, 1916-1939

“It would do a disservice to the book not to mention the illustrations that Mr. Zichek generated for this book. They are perfectly rendered, well researched and wonderfully detailed. A true artistic effort. After looking through the book, my first thought was how these would make excellent models or great scratchbuilt projects. This is a wonderful book whether for the artwork or as a book to generate ideas for that next special project.”

-Dave Morrissette, IPMS/USA

Awarded “Book of the Month” by Classic & Sports Car Magazine (May 2017, Volume 36, No 2):

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A positive review from Octane Magazine (May 2017, Issue 167):

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Northrop N-63 Convoy Fighter: The Naval VTOL Turboprop Tailsitter Project of 1950

“In this book, the author covers every known aspect of the Northrop N-63 project including a wealth of engineering drawings of the aircraft in question along with the original and updated brochure offered by Northrop. There are also artist’s impressions of these aircraft as well as full color profiles of what might have been. It makes for a fascinating look into what might have been and sheds some light on a little known aviation project.”

-Scott Van Aken, ModelingMadness.com

“If you’re an aviation enthusiast or modeler that enjoys looking at the ‘what-if’ side of aviation, this monograph is worth adding to your library!”

-Michael Benolkin, CyberModeler.com

“Like the other convoy fighter books, Retromechanix put a lot of time and effort into research for the book, and if you have any curiosity about these aircraft then you’ll want to track down this entire series.”

-Matt Bittner, InternetModeler.com


Convair Class VF Convoy Fighter: The Original Proposal for the XFY-1 Pogo

“”In this book, the author covers every known aspect of the development of the Convair XFY-1 project including a wealth of engineering drawings of the aircraft in question along with the original and updated brochures offered by Convair to the Army as a possible recce platform. There are also artists impressions of these aircraft as well as full color profiles of what might have been. It makes for a fascinating look into what many consider an unusual, but dead end project.”

-Scott Van Aken, ModelingMadness.com

“The author has put together the background, concepts, and even the engineering drawings of the Convair proposal which makes for some interesting reading to see what might have been. If you’re an aviation enthusiast or modeler that enjoys looking at the ‘what-if’ side of aviation, this monograph is worth adding to your library!”

-Michael Benolkin, CyberModeler.com


Martin Model 262 Convoy Fighter: The Naval VTOL Turboprop Project of 1950

“In this book, the author covers every known aspect of the Model 262 and includes a wealth of engineering drawings of the aircraft in question. The three alternate proposals are also covered in detail as are the various methods of landing and taking off from a ship. There are artists impressions of these aircraft as well as full color profiles of what might have been. It makes for a fascinating look into what might have been and sheds some light on a little known aviation project.”

-Scott Van Aken, ModelingMadness.com

“If you’re an aviation enthusiast or modeler that enjoys looking at the ‘what-if’ side of aviation, this monograph is worth adding to your library!”

-Michael Benolkin, CyberModeler.com

“The book is packed with plans and cutaway drawings of each of the designs and the launch/landing system, and these contain ample detail to scratch-build models. It all adds up to a great read and I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

-Rowan Baylis, Aeroscale.co.uk

“Like the Goodyear book, Retromechanix put a lot of time and effort into research for the book, and if you have any curiosity about these aircraft then you’ll want to track down this series of books.”

-Matt Bittner, InternetModeler.com


Goodyear GA-28A/B Convoy Fighter: The Naval VTOL Turboprop Tailsitter Project of 1950

“If you have any interest in ‘what-ifs’ or would like to know more about the convoy fighter concept of the 1950s then this is definitely a book for you.”

-Matt Bittner, InternetModeler.com

“Jared Zichek has published a fascinating study of Goodyear’s submission for the 1950 US Navy Bureau of Aeronautics specification for a small convoy protection fighter.”

-Rowan Baylis, Aeroscale.co.uk

“If you’re an aviation enthusiast or modeler that enjoys looking at the ‘what-if’ side of aviation, this monograph is worth adding to your library!”

-Michael Benolkin, CyberModeler.com

“In this book, the author covers every known aspect of the GA-28 series and includes a wealth of engineering drawings of the aircraft in question. There are also artist’s impressions of these aircraft as well as full color profiles of what might have been. It makes for a fascinating look into what might have been and sheds some light on a little known aviation project.”

-Scott Van Aken, ModelingMadness.com

“An interesting publication of a concept that may have possibly have been a successful aircraft if it had ever got off the drawing board. Highly Recommended.”

-Brad Fallen, Hyperscale.com

A positive review from Koku-Fan magazine (December 2015, No. 756):

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A positive review from Scale Aviation Modeller International (Vol. 21, Issue 12, December 2015):

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A positive review from Model Airplane International (January 2016, Issue 126):

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Mother Ships, Parasites and More: Selected USAF Strategic Bomber, XC Heavy Transport and FICON Studies, 1945-1954 (American Aerospace Archive 5)

“If you are interested in these unusual concepts that were being contemplated by the US Air Force, then this book will make a valuable addition to your library.”

-Rob Baumgartner, Hyperscale.com

“I knew about the FICON studies with a B-36 parasite aircraft; I also knew about the XF-85 Goblin and how it was to be used with the B-36. However, I did not know about all the studies that the book tells about. Amazing. There were a ton of studies made and most—if not all—have made it into the book…some of these drawings are so well detailed that scratch-building your own model from them is entirely possible. I think some of these studies would look pretty cool in 1/144 scale.”

-Matt Bittner, InternetModeler.com

-Wolfgang Mühlbauer, Flugzeug Classic (March 2011)

“Unlike previous titles from The American Aerospace Archive, this title is quite large and heavily illustrated. This title has accessed a huge library of blueprints which are put into nice perspective with some outstanding photos of the concept models themselves…you can see some amazing approaches to aircraft design in these historical pages and glimpse at what might have been. Whether you are an aviation historian or modeler (or both) this is another must-have title for your library. This title is recommended!”

-Michael Benolkin, CyberModeler.com

“I found it to be a fascinating look at some of America’s ‘Secret Projects’ and I’m sure you will feel the same way. The excellent illustrations and images make for a most interesting book. If you have an interest in paper projects, then this is a must have for you.”

-Scott Van Aken, ModelingMadness.com


McDonnell Naval Jet Fighters: Selected Proposals and Mock-up Reports, 1945-1957 (American Aerospace Archive 4)

-Dennis J. Calvert, Combat Aircraft Monthly (April 2010, Vol 11, No 4)

“The quality of the photographs is excellent considering the era that the photographs were taken…This is an excellent publication on McDonnell Naval Jet Aviation from the late 1940s through to the late 1950s and one that most people interested in this era of US Navy Aviation would certainly enjoy having in their reference collection.”

-Mick Evans, Hyperscale.com

“…there are some great photos of the development mock-up cockit, ejection seat, and gun bays, avionics bays, and even one of the aircraft [XF3H-1] being deck-handled aboard ship.  If you want to see some forgotten aviation history, American Aerospace Archive has really done a nice job compiling the different designs that McDonnell engineers developed in their quest to expand their fighter pedigree for the US Navy.  This title is recommended!”

-Michael Benolkin, CyberModeler.com

“This book contains copious amounts of factory drawings and general arrangement sketches highlighting these various types. A detailed text documents the evolution of design quite nicely, and all together makes for a fascinating read into 1950s aviation engineering.”

-Chris Banyai-Riepl, InternetModeler.com

-Editor, Koku-Fan Magazine (December 2009)

-Wolfgang Mühlbauer, Flugzeug Classic (January 2010)


The B-52 Competition of 1946…and Dark Horses from Douglas, 1947-1950 (American Aerospace Archive 3)

.“One for the aviation historian and enthusiast who wonders what might have been. Potential to plant the seed of an interesting what-if design.”

-Ken Bowes, Hyperscale.com

This is an interesting glimpse into the development cycle of an Air Force contract, and examining some of the failed designs provides insight into the development of the B-52. At only $14.95, this is an affordable and interesting title to have.”

-Chris Banyai-Riepl, InternetModeler.com

“The title is very nicely illustrated with images of the actual blueprints that showed the different configurations of the proposed airframe…if you want to see some forgotten aviation history, American Aerospace Archive has really done a nice job compiling the different designs that Douglas engineers developed in their quest to capture the B-52 contract for their company.  This title is recommended!”

-Michael Benolkin, CyberModeler.com

“The text is detailed, intelligent and informative. This is utterly fascinating material, charting progress towards the ‘final’ B-52 we know today.”
-Editor, Aircraft Magazine (2009)

-Editor, Koku-Fan Magazine (June 2009)


Secret Aerospace Projects of the US Navy, Volume 1: The Incredible Attack Aircraft of the USS United States, 1948-1949

“The book is a visual feast…What is wonderful is the full gambit of designs displayed by the various manufacturers; from the normal to the unconventional to the out right bizarre. With the wealth of information presented one could make many “what if” models. The author and publisher should be commended for the hard work in collecting, arranging and publishing this book. If this is an example of what is to come, then this series will be most welcomed. This is a highly enjoyable book and I recommend it to anyone interested in this period or subject.”

-Benjamin Guenther, IPMS/USA

“This is a well-produced book, and the Model 1186 is not the only weird design featured inside…The bulk of the book is a treasure trove of illustrations and information from the many proposals submitted to meet the two requirements.”

-Graham Warwick, AviationWeek.com

“Secret Aerospace projects of the U.S. Navy (The Incredible Attack Aircraft of the USS United States – 1948 -1949) is without a doubt one of the most interesting gee-whiz, what-if books I have read…if you are into esoteric themes related to the history of aviation I do not believe this book will disappoint. Even model builders might find it interesting in that a number of the drawings included look to be very usable for construction purposes.”

-Gerry Nilles, InternetModeler.com

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-Editor, Koku-Fan Magazine (May 2009)


The North American FJ-5 Fighter: Proposal for a Navalized F-107A (American Aerospace Archive 2)

“Included in the 39 pages are written summaries of technical information as well as a number of various drawings that cover everything from potential aircraft carrier deck parking layouts to some rather nice general arrangement and details drawing of the FJ-5 aircraft itself…There are definitely enough drawings, including cross sections, for model building usage, should one wish to…This is a very interesting little book of and unusual subject and definitely different.”

-Gerry Nilles, InternetModeler.com

“This title is definitely a gap-filler in the history of aircraft that didn’t get far off the drawing boards, and with the drawings and details in these pages, modelers can finally have a great starting point to create their own versions of the naval F-107A/FJ-5. This title is recommended!”

-Michael Benolkin, CyberModeler.com

“In all it is a fascinating look at what could have been. ‘Whiffer’ modelers will appreciate it as well for it opens up a whole new area with which to expand their area of interest.  It is a book that I found quite interesting and I know you will as well. The most reasonable price also makes it a bargain and is a book that I can easily  recommend.”

-Scott Van Aken, ModelingMadness.com


Martin JRM Mars Flying Boat: Commercial Projects of 1944 (American Aerospace Archive 1)

“It has an excellent balance of technical data, text, illustrations and photographs and when you consider that the passenger variant was purely a concept and never made it into production I found the illustrations to be very interesting…In summary, this is a very concise and complete history of a little known concept for any person who is interested in the history of aerospace research and development in the United States.”

-Mick Evans, HyperScale.com

“This is a nice addition to your aviation archives and nicely recreates the color artwork of that era.  This title is recommended!”

-Michael Benolkin, CyberModeler.com

“Given the great potential that the Martin Mars would have had over other designs at the time, it is a bit disappointing that these commercial variants did not see the light of day.”

-Chris Banyai-Riepl, InternetModeler.com

“I found it to be a fascinating look at what could have been and the way long range travel was done prior to the mass of island airstrips that made flying boats obsolete. The most reasonable price also makes it a bargain and is a book that I can easily highly recommend.”

-Scott Van Aken, ModelingMadness.com.

“This reproduction offers a feast of period artwork. This book was a delight to read when it arrived and it is to be hoped that, as the series unfolds, more maritime aircraft will feature.”

-Editor, The Catalina News (May 2009, Issue 71)

-Editor, Koku-Fan Magazine (January 2009)


The Boeing XF8B-1 Fighter: Last of the Line

“Superlatives come easy when describing Jared Zichek’s tribute to the XF8B-1 fighter! Zichek’s book is THE definitive history of Boeing’s ill-fated giant. And it’s largely a one-man tribute since Zichek not only wrote the book, he illustrated it as well. THE BOEING XF8B-1 FIGHTER: LAST OF THE LINE could stand as the benchmark against which other aircraft histories are judged. The research done is quite impressive as is the wealth of illustrations. Though I’ve been critical of Schiffer prices in the past, this book is worth every penny of its $59.95 price-tag. Zichek’s goal was to rescue the XF8B-1 from obscurity and he’s certainly done that in spades.

The XF8B-1 was Boeing’s late-war attempt to get back into the Navy fighter business. Navy brass pretty much gave Boeing a blank check to design the aircraft. The result was the gargantuan XF8B-1, the only Navy fighter I know of that featured an internal bomb bay! Powered by a massive 3,000 hp P&W radial driving counter-rotating propellers, Boeing’s fighter was promoted as a triple-threat aircraft, capable of serving as an escort fighter, nightfighter, torpedo-bomber, dive-bomber, etc. Unfortunately the aircraft died a-borning, the oversized, overly-complex XF8B-1 being quickly cancelled since it offered inferior performance compared to types already in service in 1945. Only three protypes were built. Total cost for the XF8B-1 program was over eight million dollars!

Zichek does a bang-up job of chronicling the development and short life of the XF8B-1 in the first 44 pages of the book, which runs to 372 pages total. He then offers a series of appendices on proposed modifications and variants; general arrangement drawings, most of which Zichek drew himself; wind tunnel reports, photos and drawings; mock-up photos; construction photos; general photos; the XF8B-1 Service and Maintenance Manual(!) along with color profiles and artwork of the proposed variants, all done by the author.

You have to give Schiffer Publishing credit. I can’t think of any other publisher IN THE WORLD who would have invested the time and money to publish this book. It’s a great book. Yet realistically how many XF8B-1 fans are out there?

If you’re interested in all things Boeing or rare aircraft, you’ll want a copy of this book. I’d give it six stars if possible. It’s everything an aircraft history book should be…and then some. Highly recommended.”

-Michael O’Connor, Amazon.com

“Absolutely every inch of the XF8B-1 is covered and this is the type of title that modelers and aviation enthusiasts alike love, it is just jammed full of information and images.  If you are into prototypes or USN aviation in general, don’t miss this one! Rating: 10/10.”

-Editor, Model Airplane International (May 2007, Issue 22)

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