Mil Mi-24/35 Hind... from MMP Books

Title:  Mil Mi-24/35 Hind

Author: Jakub Fojtik

Publisher:  MMP

ISBN:  978-83-65281-53-1

This new Yellow Series softcover book from MMP has over 200 pages packed with fascinating detail.  As someone with a long time interest in military aviation, I still have vivid memories of the Cold War period.  One of the 'Bogeymen' of that time was the existence of the Soviet built Hind attack helicopter.  At that time, while Western intelligence services may have known more about this new helicopter than the casual Western observer, nothing beats the information that is available to us today.  In the 1980's there was news footage from the Russian involvement in Afghanistan where the Hinds could be seen attacking rebel positions.

This book provides information on the development story of the Mil Mi-24, the Hind, and the introduction of the first production Hand-A machines.  The larger cockpit proved to have a number of limitations, and this led to the building of the Hind-D, with the now distinctive twin bulbous cockpit glazing for the pilot and the weapons systems operator.  The significant difference between the Hind and Western helicopter gunships was that the design includes a separate crew cabin, so it can carry troops as well.  It was, and is, a tough machine, evident from the fact it is still in service over 50 years later and with upgrades likely to be so for many years to come.  The text gives us the development and production history, as well as useful descriptions of the technicalities of the aircraft, such as fuselage, undercarriage, engines and transmission, control system, air-conditioning, De-Icing, Electrical systems and more.  Added to all this are details of operational use and of a successful export programme which has seen the Hind go into service with around 75 countries around the world.  Those customers are noted for each of the main production versions, the Mi-24A, -D, -V, -P and -VP plus the newest models of the updated Mi-35M and -MS VIP modification.  Added to these are details on experimental and special purpose versions and a full list of all those export customer that includes how many were purchased and when.  Similar details cover all the different armament options as well.

All of this is supported by a host of photographs, most of them in colour and showing the Hinds in service with nations all round the world.  Coupled with photos from examples during major servicing, even the smallest details are illustrated.  Internal colours of the cockpits and the crew cabin as well as the different coloured pipework in the engine compartments alongside the various camouflage schemes used by different operators, this is a first class modellers reference.  Still with the modeller in mind, there are scale drawings and (in 1/72 scale) and numerous colour profiles as well.  Among all the different camouflage schemes, two stand out for me.  One is a Hungarian machine finished with the beak and plumage of an eagle which I dread to think about trying to replicate on a model but my goodness it looks good.  The second is for a Czech Air Force example that carries an elaborate scheme of what is described as an 'Alien Tiger'.

If you have an interest in this tough looking gunship and especially if you are modelling, I can't think of a better set of references all in one book.  Highly recommended.

Thanks to MMP Books, who kindly provided my review copy.