PZL Combat Fighters PZL P.7, PZL P.11, PZL P.24

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Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Artur Juszczak
Other Publication Information
Card Stock Paperback Softbound, 96 pages, landscape orientation
50+ color profiles
Product / Stock #
Book Cover

The PZL (Państwowe Zakłady Lotnicze) State Aviation Works were established in 1928 with the main purpose of producing military aircraft of their own design and development. One of the characteristics of the PZL fighter aircraft was the gull-shaped wing which was later known as the Polish wing. The first design developed by the Works was the PZL P.1 which was also the first all-metal aircraft construction in Poland. This development was followed by the PZL P.6 and then the PZL P.7 airplanes. In 1931 the prototype of the PZL P.11 was tested and flown. Several versions of the PZL P.11 were developed: P.11a, P.11b, P.11c, and P.11f. Romania acquired the license for the P.11b but built the P.11f. The PZL P.11 and PZL P.7 were engaged in air combat against the German Luftwaffe in September 1939. Many surviving PZL P.11 aircraft were evacuated to Romania after the Soviet Union attacked Poland on September 17, 1939. The Romanian Air Force used these interned airplanes together with their licensed-built PZL P.11f’s to form several squadrons in 1940. Later in the war, these aircraft were moved to the training duties. The final development of the combat fighters by the PZL State Aviation Works involved the PZL P24 fighters which were intended exclusively for export. Turkey purchased the PZL P.24’s, followed by Bulgaria in 1936. At the end of 1936, Romania signed an agreement with the State Aviation Works for several PZL P.24s, and then Greece ordered over 50 PZL P.24s in different configurations. In all, 508 aircraft from PZL P.1 to PZL P.24 were built in Poland.

The Stratus “PZL Combat Fighters” book features over 50 color profiles and showcases the PZL combat fighters. The profiles provide a high level of detail. Artur Juszczak is both the author and illustrator of the book.

The first two pages provide a very detailed, yet concise history of the development of the three aircraft designs: PZL P.7, PZL P.11, and PZL P.24. The book is divided into three segments that follow the above designs respectively. In the first segment, from pages 4 through 15, we have thirteen different color side profiles of the PZL P.7a aircraft in both Polish and Romanian Air Force service. In the second segment, from pages 16 through 63, the author presents numerous color side profiles of the PZL P.11 versions. The first version is the PZL P.11a with airplanes in the Polish Air Force and in the Hungarian Air Force. These are followed by color side profiles of the second versions, the PZL P.11b-L and P.11b-K airplanes, in the Romanian Air Force. The next version, and the most numerous one, is the PZL P.11c with color side profiles of aircraft in both the Polish and the Romanian Air Forces. Finally, this segment is concluded with the PZL P.11f version covering color side profiles of aircraft solely in the Romanian Air Force service. The last segment of the book, from pages 64 through 95, covers color profiles of the PZL P.24 (P.24A, P.24B, P.24C, P.24E, P.24F, and P.24G). The color profiles show the Turkish Air Force, the Bulgarian Air Force, the Romanian Air Force, and the Greek Air Force. The color side profiles are supplemented by several color top aircraft views with undersides of the wings as well. In some cases, aircraft emblems and unit badges are also included and they are enlarged to provide an additional level of detail. All text is in English. The captions by each profile provide a short description of the aircraft as well as the FS colors. This makes the book especially valuable to the model builders. This is an incredible collection of color profiles of the PZL combat fighters in superb quality. I have not seen such a thorough and large compilation of camouflage painting schemes of this type of aircraft in other books. The three-color camouflage of the Romanian Air Force planes is especially eye-catching. I only have one observation that would make this book even more thorough. I wish there were more details and historical information included in the captions about the pilots or units. Nevertheless, I highly recommend this book to everyone who wants to expand their knowledge about the PZL fighters and intends to use the book as a reference for their models. I truly enjoyed reviewing this topic because it offered a new perspective on the camouflage and markings of the Polish PZL combat fighters, not only in the Polish, but also in the foreign service.

My sincere thanks go to Wydawnictwo STRATUS / MMPBooks for providing this book for review and IPMS USA for allowing me to review it.

Reviewer Bio

Tomasz Menert

I grew up in Poland and immigrated to the US 35 years ago when I was in my twenties. Ironically, I majored in English here, but I have fond memories related to my interest in aviation. What spiked my interest in reviewing items were the books on some familiar subjects. For example, I received a glider pilot license in Poland and one of the books Pablo Bouleo mentioned in the 'stash' is from MMP (PZL-104 Wilga 35A, Single No. 46). In my glider training, the plane towing us was the PZL-104 Wilga! So, anything around Polish subjects like PZL Combat Fighters, etc., would land you a quick and thorough review just because I had an exposure to some of the topics. Not to mention an uncle who flew a total of over 4000 hours in Mig-21s. Therefore, I want to thank you both for giving me the opportunity to join this review. group.

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