SOVIET X - PLANES : Experimental and Prototype Aircraft, 1931 to 1989

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160 pages - 1992 - Used, very good condition
Illustrated with photographs, this very interesting book is a small sample of the secret history of aviation in the Soviet Union, between 1931 and 1989.

Characteristics

Book cover finish Offset varnish, Perfect paperback
Special features First edition, Insert, Original edition ( O.E. or Or.E ), Label on the back cover
Condition Used, very good condition
Number of pages 160
Published date 1992
Language English
Size 21 x 27 x 1 cm
Authors Yefim Gordon with Bill Sweetman
Editor Motorbooks International Publishers & Wholesalers

Description

Government secrecy is like the basement of an old house. When you're not sure what to do with something, it's easy to cart it down the stairs and stick it away in a corner. It is much harder to carry something back up the steps and clean it up, so what goes down there tends to stay down there. After a few years, even the most compulsive people tend to forget what is in the basement. When they do find something down there, they often have a difficult time remembering why they bought it in the first place.

 

The Soviet government archives are the biggest, messiest basement in the History of the world. If glasnost endures for fifty years, historians will be lucky to turn over the first layer of records, reports and files, microfiches, old computer tapes, punch cards and handwritten memos.

 

In the Soviet Union, between the revolution and the late 1980s, almost all aerospace research and development was, by definition, a military secret. Some information was released : When a new fighter entered service, for example, Tass or Novosti would issue a photograph of it ( usually distorted beyond recognition by a near - fisheye lens held at a peculiar angle ) but the aircraft would not be identified in the caption. In 1961 and 1967, the Soviet Ministry of Defense mounted big air shows near Moscow ; but they never invited skilled aviation photographers, and the pictures always seemed to be taken from a great distance on a rainy day.

 

Western intelligence usually had access to better raw data, but the best information was secret because it might compromise the source. But even the intelligence agencies often did not know what was happening until hardware turned up in East Germany, within telephoto range of N.A.T.O.'s Military Missions.

 

On the other hand, an informed Western reader knew much more about Soviet military developments than most Soviet officials did. ( ... ) This is why this collection of photos, ranging across four decades and many design bureaus and taken in many locations, is so unusual and valuable.

 

( ... ) This is not a comprehensive history of Soviet prototypes ; the documentation of the history of Soviet aviation has only just started. The reader will notice that the quality of the photographs is not up to Western standards. ( ... ) What is in this book is a small sample of the secret history of aviation in the Soviet Union. What it tells us in the West is, mostly, how little we knew.

 

Bill Sweetman 

À PROPOS DE CET AUTEUR
Yefim Gordon with Bill Sweetman

Yefim Gordon ( 1950 ) was born in Vilnius ( former Soviet Union, present day Lithuania ). He graduated in 1972 from the Polytechnic Institute Kaunas as an engineer / electronic technician. 


Since 1973, he lives in Moscow ( present day Russia ), where he collected as a hobby photographs and books on the history of Soviet aviation. This collection became a large archive. Since the 1980s, he is a professional aviation journalist and writer. 


Yefim Gordon has authored and co - authored about 100 books on Soviet and Russian aviation in Russian, English, Polish and Czech, published articles in nearly 100 journals and photo reports. He also works as a photographer. 


The 2018 edition of Jane's All The World's Aircraft shows 50 of his photographs. Yefim Gordon is co - owner of the Moscow aviation publisher Polygon Press Ltd. His works are also distributed by Midland publishing ( now Ian Allan Publishing ), Hikoki Publications Japan and Crécy publishing ltd. As a co - author, he regularly collaborates with Dmitriy and Sergei Komissarov. 


His works include the following titles : Red Star No. 9 - Tupolev Tu - 160 Blackjack : The Russian Answer to the B - 1 ( 2003 ), Tupolev Tu - 144 ( 2006 ), Red Star No. 33 - Antonov An - 12 : The Soviet Hercules ( with Dmitriy Komissarov, 2007 ), Unflown Wings : Soviet / Russian Unrealized Aircraft Projects, 1925 - 2010 ( with Sergei Komissarov, 2013 ). 


( source : Wikipedia )

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