Polish Wings 20: Yakovlev Yak-1, Yak-3, Yak-7, Yak-9
Wojciech Zmyslony and Wojciech Sankowski author the latest in Mushroom Model Publications’ series of aircraft used in the Polish Air Force. This volume’s focus are the piston engine Yak fighters deployed by the ‘People’s Polish Air Force’ during WWII and the late 40s.
The front and back covers are by Marek Ryś of a Yak-1b, one of three aircraft adorned with a presentation inscription.
I counted 177 black and white photos along with 2 color photos of museum aircraft. Thierry Vallet contributes 42 color side views as well as top and bottom views as appropriate. Colors are even called out with Russian AMT and US FS numbers. The great part of these color side views is they are backed up with period photos of the aircraft that is being portrayed. Wojciech Zmyslony and Wojciech Sankowski also include two tables (see below) that detail the date, unit, aircraft, markings, and pilot.
The Table of Contents focuses on the following sections:
- Yak-1 and Yak-1b
- Yak-9D, M and T
- List of Pilots Killed While Flying Yak-1, -3, -7 and -9 of Polish Units Table
- List of Victories Scored in Yak-9s Table
Polish Wings 20 provides an interesting view into a lesser known chapter in aviation history. The text and captions are well translated into English thanks to Wojtek Matusiak, alleviating the need to bone up on your Polish reading skills. Wojciech Zmyslony and Wojciech Sankowski are able to craft the storyline with interesting tidbits to prevent this from being simply a progression of facts. The last chapter on ‘YakFire’ caught my attention on four Yak’s that doubled as Spitfires and a Hurricanes for the movie “The Story of One Fighter” produced in 1958. They would only require minor modification and a British paint job to be a hit at the next IPMS event.
My thanks to Mushroom Model Publications and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this great book.