Portuguese Fighter Colors 1919-1956 Piston-engine Fighters

Published on
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Luiz Armando Tavares, Armando Jorge Soares
Other Publication Information
A4, 240 pages, hardcover, abundant period pictures (b&w), and color profiles
Product / Stock #
White Series 9130
Front cover

The Portuguese Air Force might have been modest in size before the jet-age, but certainly was rich in the variety of fighter airplanes they flew. Their fighter aircraft inventory included French, British and American designs, some of them acquired and pressed into service through very colorful circumstances!

The book has chapters for each aircraft type in detail, including an introduction to the aircraft type and their service in the Portuguese Air Force, before having a section on camouflage and markings for the given aircraft being depicted in the chapter. After the section on camouflage styles and markings, the main feature of each chapter follows: numerous and gorgeous color profiles (sometime even 3-view) of different aircrafts, next to a historical picture of the airplane.

This book covers all the fighter aircraft in the Portuguese Air Force between the end of WWI and the beginning of the jet era for Portuguese pilots. Specifically, the book includes: Spad S.7C1; Martinsyde F.4 and F.4A; Morane-Saulnier MS.133; MS.230 and MS.233; Hawker Fury Mk.I; Gloster Gladiator Mk.II; Curtiss Mohawk; Lockheed P-38 Lighting; Bell P-39 Aircobra; Supermarine Spitfire Mk.I and Mk.V; Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIB and MkIIC; Republic F-47 Thunderbolt; and Bristol Beaufighter Mk.X.

The Portuguese Air Force did not see combat during WWII, and it kept a vigilant attitude towards both sides, and even Spain, protecting the air space over continental Portugal and more importantly the Azores. There is one confirmed case of Portuguese Fighters chasing away a German aircraft over continental Portugal, and one claim over the Azores. Some of the airplanes were acquired via unconventional methods. For instance, they had so many P-39 interned during WWII (often being ferried between the UK and North Africa), that they decided to setup a P-39 flight in the Portuguese Air Force.

You can see a full preview of the book – including all the pages - at : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxOi5NVCwFY

Finally the book has a few appendices covering the following details: the Portuguese Air Force Markings and Insignia over the years; colors and camouflage details; identification and numbering system; evolution of the air arm in Portugal; and finally a very brief section on some Luftwaffe airplanes interned in Portugal.

I’ve truly enjoyed reading this book. It is a great historical read; it has very good quality black-and-white pictures, and amazing color profiles.

This book is highly recommended to historians, modelers and aviation aficionados.

I would like to thank Mushroom Model Publications and IPMS/USA for the review sample.


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