Petlyakov Pe-2 & Upe-2 / Tupolev USB
Lechoslaw Musialkowski author the latest in Mushroom Model Publications' series of aircraft used in the Polish Air Force. This volume's focus is on the Petlyakov Pe-2 / Upe-2 and the Tupolev USB. This volume represents Lechoslaw Musialkowski’s fourth book for MMPBooks. MMP was founded in 1996 by Roger Wallsgrove, to publish "Mushroom Model Magazine". This quarterly modeling magazine was developed from "Mushroom Monthly”, a club newsletter which ran from 1985 to 1995, achieving a worldwide reputation for quality articles, fearless and honest reviews, and a great sense of humor. From 1997 the magazine was produced in collaboration with Robert Peczkowski and Artur Juszczak (Stratus), which meant a big leap in print quality and design. MMP expanded into book publication in 1999, and since then we have built up a list of books on aircraft and aviation, naval, military vehicles, and military history.
The front cover by Marcin Gorecki features a Petlyakov Pe-2 of the commander of the 7.SPLBN in the wartime paint scheme. The back cover by Marcin Gorecki features the trainers, a Petlyakov UPe-2 in the background and a Tupolev USB in the foreground. I counted 130 black and white photos. Karolina Holda contributes 25 full-color side views as well as top and bottom views as appropriate. Colors are called out along with any unique logos or designs with scrap views. The great part of these color side views is they are backed up with period photos of the aircraft that is being portrayed. The
Table of Contents focuses on the following sections:
- Petlyakov Pe-2 [Page 14, 29 44]
- Petlyakov UPe-2 [Page 71]
- Pe-2 and Upe-2 Aircraft in Poland [Table]
- Tupolev USB [Page 76]
Lechoslaw Musialkowski starts off each section with a development history of the aircraft and its operational integration into the Polish Air Force. I especially appreciated the first person interviews as it provides the reader with a sense of time-travel to find out how things really were. I found the photographs on Page 35 quite interesting as they portrayed the use of the Pe-2 as a supersonic ramjet engine testbed in 1950.
Polish Wings 26 provides an interesting view into a lesser-known chapter in aviation history. The text and captions are well translated into English thanks to Jaroslaw Dobrzyński, alleviating the need to bone up on your Polish reading skills. Lechoslaw Musialkowski is able to craft the storyline with interesting tidbits to prevent this from being simply a progression of facts. This tome is essential if you're considering building the recent Zvezda / Eduard 1/48 Petlyakov Pe-2 (especially if you are still hanging on to the older MPM and Historic Plastic Models kits). If you have any interest in Polish (or Soviet) aircraft, this is a must-have book.
My thanks to Mushroom Model Publications and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this great book.