Book Review by © Kevin Williams 2021
from HMH Publications Aircraft in Detail 014: Douglas A-4M/N/AR Skyhawk | Large Scale Planes
Now we're talking. This particular volume covers the ultra special Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, and I'm thrilled silly to finally get my hands on this. I've been searching long and hard for better references than I already have on this machine, though I actually have quite a lot, and now here it is. I was privileged to recently see an A-4C "in the flesh", doing it's thing in the air, and that just strengthened my passion for the A-4. Everything the Skyhawk enthusiast could want, and gobs of it, is featured in this book. This volume, I don't hesitate to state, will set the bar for any and all future Skyhawk references.
Large scale aircraft modelers are blessed with some options here, notably the Hasegawa and Trumpeter versions, though the Hasegawa versions are admittedly a bit dated.
As with the majority of titles from this publisher, this is very much a collaborative effort, using photos from many varied sources, each with appropriate photo credits given, and there are quite a substantial number of them, especially in this magnificent volume. Printed on good quality semi-glossy stock, the photos are nothing sort of magnificent, highlighting many areas of the air-frame, giving both modelers and aviation enthusiasts alike, a wealth of eye candy on this fascinating plane. If there's a detail of the A-4 that you'd like to see, it's more than likely in this book.
This particular book (No. 014 in the series), depicts the rather interesting and iconic Douglas A-4 Skyhawk ("Heinemann's Hot Rod" & "Scooter"), and it’s geared toward both modelers and aviation enthusiasts alike, being very much a detailed, walk around overview of the type, and that pleases me immeasurably, as it's the major reference type that I seek these days.
Photos are broken down by section; types, forward fuselage, air intakes, wings, cockpit (numerous pages), fuselage, front landing gear, speed brakes, main landing gear, Brazil's AF-1, vertical tail, horizontal tail, maintenance (quite a lot, but certainly not all of the detail photos, are located in this section), engine, aft fuselage, pylons, and finally, Action!! Certainly enough material is presented here, to satisfy even the most ardent Scooter fan.
The myriad photos obviously form the backbone of this book, and for me, this is a true blessing, as I can never seem to get enough details, and this book certainly has them in great abundance.
Even if you have just a passing interest in the Skyhawk (or fighter aircraft in general), you can’t go wrong with the purchase of this book. You may just become a fan.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d rate this book as a solid 10, no question about it. Topping out at a whopping 114 pages of Skyhawk goodness, it's just packed wall-to-wall with details, details, and more details, and is therefore highly recommended. Another one "knocked out of the park" for HMH.
(Several additional volumes; MiG-29, Mirage F1, MiG-31, etc., will definitely be added to my ever growing book collection, and that can't happen soon enough, as far as I'm concerned.)