This second entry in the new Flightcraft series looks at three Soviet helicopter gunships - the famous Mil Mi-24 Hind, the more recent Mil M-28 and the current Kamov Ka-52. Each chapter begins with a look at the development of the helicopter, followed by its service record, then a detailed physical description and finally a look at the available models.
The sections on the developments are interesting, showing how each design changed before entering production. The early Mi-24 looked like a copy of the Bell UH-1, although was different internally. The first Mi-28 design had side-by-side twin rotors carried on a large wing, and a pusher tail rotor and the Ka-52 was developed from the less successful single-seat Ka-50 (let down by its electronics). The authors clearly know their subject very well, and the advantages of having native Russian speakers writing on this topic are clear.
The authors don’t pull their punches over the lower quality models, with dimensions and even the shape of some of the models incorrect (in part this must be explained by the difficulties of accurately modelling a top secret weapon, especially for the early Western models such as the Airfix kits). I was also amazed by how much reboxing of kits there was, with a small number of original kits being sold by a large number of companies. Unlike many of the similar works I've read on warships the focus here is on commercially available kits rather than on scratch built models.
The text is supported by a good selection of photos, with a mix of pictures of the real aircraft and well built examples of the better models, detailed plans and colour side plans showing different paint schemes.
Mil' Mi-24: The 'Flying Crocodile'
Mil' Mi-28: The Russian Apache
Kamov Ka-52: The Alligator
Author: Yefim Gordon and Dmitriy Komissarov
Publisher: Pen & Sword Aviation