Title: Polish Wings 24: MiG-19P & PM, MiG-21F-13
Author: Lechoslaw Musialkowski
Number 24 is the latest in their Polish Wings series from MMP. This time we get coverage of two more Cold War jets in Polish service, the Mig-19P & PM along with the Mig-21F-13. The twin engine Mig-19P was the first supersonic fighter in Polish service after WW2, while the Mig-21 was their first one capable of twice the speed of sound.
As someone who grew up during the Cold War I find it really interesting to discover more about what was happening on the other side of that 'Iron Curtain' at the time. Here we get the story of how the Polish Air Force acquired their first supersonic fighters, and the PM variant with only missile armament. We hear about pilot training and operational use, including the problems they had with them in service. Coupled with the text are a good selection of archive photos with detail that aviation historians and modellers will like, as well as some fine colour artwork profiles.
Next comes the Mig-21, and here we learn about the mistrust between the Soviet Union and some of their Warsaw Pact customers, with Poland not being given a licence to build their own Mig-21 variants. For the Poles, the aircraft as well as the associated training for pilots and engineers made it an expensive acquisition. Again we get the service story of the type in the Polish Air Force, engines and armament and the use of the delta wing configuration for this much faster aircraft. Again we see plenty of archive photos along with current museum exhibits and more of their fine colour profiles. For the aviation modeller and historian with an interest in Cold War jet, this is a good 'peek behind the (Iron) curtain'.
Thanks to MMP Books, who kindly provided my review copy.