Customer Reviews for

Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2002

    Great idea defeated by poor balance!

    In 1997, B&N published a book with the same title in conjunction with Aerospace Publishing of Britain. The book received generally favorable reviews but was criticized about poor balance, with aircraft built by manufacturers with names in the latter part of the alphabet receiving far less coverage than those near the beginning. Now, the same team has done it again, and this book is not a mere update but is entirely new. As before, this is actually a compilation of articles from one of Aerospace Publishing's weekly "partworks", in this case "World Aircraft Information Files", which is fairly current. You would expect that with that fact and over 200 additional pages, that this book would be superior to the 1997 volume. But you'd be wrong! The problem is again with the balance, which is much worse than in the earlier book! Letters A and B receive over 200 pages each, and no other letter comes close. Letters A thru F make up fully 64% of the total (versus 48% in the 1997 book) while letters P thru Z make up a dismal 9% (versus 23% in the earlier volume). In fact, all the letters A thru L receive superior coverage in the new edition (some considerably so) while all the letters M thru Z receive inferior coverage (ditto). You still may want to buy the new book if you want the enhanced coverage of aircraft built by manufacturers in the first half of the alphabet. But you'll want to keep the earlier book handy if you want coverage from P onward. (Incidentally, if the coverage level for A and B had been carried forward through the alphabet, this would be a 2150-page book!)

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