“The Hush-Kit Book of Warplane” (2022) Edited by Joe Coles

December 15, 2022

I have been waiting literally years to get my hands on this book and let me just say, if you are an aviation aficionado, then this is a book for you. If you are not aware of Hush-Kit, it is a website that for several years now has been posting great articles, quite often by serious scholars, on aviation history. And it does this with a generous dash of humour as well.

Well, a few years back the Hush-Kit editor, Joe Coles, announced that he was launching a crowd funding effort so as publish an actual book based on the websites content. It took a while, but here it is!

And I have to say, I am really impressed. The quality of the print and pictures is first rate, and the whole feel of the book is of a quality production that isn’t going to come apart the first time you knock it off the table.

But the actual content is what makes this a real treat for aeroheads. For the geeks, you’ve got a whole section comparing statistics of a range of modern fighters, which includes more exotic information that you likely won’t find in more conventional publications such as comparisons of different radar cross sections.

The book also has a host of interesting and sometimes controversial historical articles, a favourite example of mine was the one on “Overrated Aircraft”. Let’s just say that some of the choices will cause howls of outrage in some readers, but that’s the nature of historical debate and these sort of pieces in the book are always entertaining and informative. I mean, where else can you find the Spitfire described as “perfectly average” or the B-17 compared to Adam Sandler?

But the real gems, in my opinion, are the pilot interviews. After all, reading a pilot’s flying and combat experience in an aircraft is generally interesting, but having an eclectic combo of such interviews from so many different nationalities and aircraft in a single book is a rare treat! And they are absolutely enthralling.

So, in summary, the “Hush-Kit Book of Warplanes” is a thoroughly engaging read that is, quite frankly, a must for anyone with an interest in military aviation. It also seems likely to be the first of a series, as Joe Coles has already started another crowd funding campaign to get a second edition printed.

Might make a handy last minute Christmas present.

Sources/Related:

Book Review: Desert Sniper, by Ed Nash

“The Armed Forces of North Korea; On the Path of Songun” (2020) by Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

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