• Hi Guest! Forum rules have been updated. All users please read here.

Dragon's Wings-Chinese Military Aviation Since 1949 -Andreas Rupprecht ("Deino")

Firebee

CLEARANCE: Confidential
Joined
Apr 1, 2011
Messages
100
Reaction score
1
Looking around one of the distributors I deal with (book sales), I came across an upcoming book that may be of interest to folks here. This is all of the information I have at present:

Dragon's Wings by Tony Buttler and Andreas Rupprecht
Publisher: Ian Allan Publishing
Pub. Date: 04 July 2013
Format: Hardcover, 224 pages
ISBN: 1906537364
Publisher description:

As China continues its rise as a world power, there is growing interest in its military aviation. Very little has been published in the past on the subject because of the difficulty of obtaining information, but aviation authors Tony Buttler and Andreas Rupprecht have been researching this subject together for a number of years, both from the perspective of their interest in the Chinese aircraft and also through an interest in Chinese secret aviation projects. They have now amassed enough material to put together a book on Chinese fighter and bomber aircraft development since Mao's Communist Party took control of the country in 1949. The book examines the design and development of the country's major military combat aircraft (fighters, bombers, attack aircraft, antisubmarine) since the industry became established after the Second World War, plus a good number of design proposals which, for whatever reason, were rejected or abandoned. The text is supplemented with photographs, line drawings, and color artwork of the aircraft.
 

Antonio

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Staff member
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Messages
3,440
Reaction score
143
Yessss! :)

Thanks Tony and Andreas
 

fightingirish

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2006
Messages
2,255
Reaction score
425
Hmm, now I know why Deino was so busy and not a lot active on this forum over the last few weeks... ;)
Looking forward to a great book! :)
 

Deino

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
2,658
Reaction score
354
So, after getting finally the PLAAF-Orbat book done, up to get the next one finished.

What do You thgink besides a HUGE THANKs to Rob ! ????

Deino
 

Attachments

sferrin

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
13,017
Reaction score
1,067
'nother book to add to the collection. :)
 

Deino

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
2,658
Reaction score
354
What do You think ?? ... just a quick proposal made by me (and not the publisher, as such nothing official) after putting a few images together !??

I surely need to change the typical "Russian-AF" star into the PLAAF-symbol ... but that's for later.

Deino
 

Attachments

BAROBA

3D artist
Joined
Jul 6, 2007
Messages
328
Reaction score
9
Website
www.baroba.be
Quite nice, but it could be a bit better.
I quite like this one:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Art-Kung-Fu-Panda/dp/1933784571
The cover of Kung Fu panda.
I have the book and the cover screams 'Chinese art'.
So choose one big picture ( J-20 is nice with all the black)
And then use the Chinese Airforce symbol ( just one side of the bar and the whole star)
And put your text in the bar.
You could use silhouettes of different planes as replacements for the dragons.

Cheers,

Rob
 

Stargazer2006

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Staff member
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
13,241
Reaction score
376
Deino, I quite like your cover, and especially love the red stripe and the font used for the white lettering.

One little thing though: having an aircraft in flight for the top photo and one on the ground for the bottom one is very goo.
However, the aircraft that really sticks out here is the Soviet-based bomber, not the locally-designed fighter.
Perhaps you could put a photo of a Chinese fighter in flight in the top part of the cover, and another type on the ground in the bottom one?
Just my two cents...
 

Antonio

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Staff member
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Messages
3,440
Reaction score
143
I'm going to buy the book even if you put just a plain colour in the cover!

My candides for the cover: J-20, J-31, Z-10, Y-20 and latest drones.
What about a photo and a profile instead of two photos.

I like the design of the cover already selected
 

Deino

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
2,658
Reaction score
354
Thanks a lot guys for all Your suggestions and proposals. To admit I received four "concepts" yesterday from Ian Allan and was not very satisfied with them ... to admit I won't show them but with a flying aircraft on the bottom and one standing on the ground on top, the Russian Red Star as well and several old MiG-15/J-5/JJ-5 ... this was not what I expected for a book, which really covers all fighter, fighter-bomber and bomber project right after the delivery of the first MiG-15 and MiG-9. As such it should represent the development – and even more the progress – of the Chinese aviation industry during the years.

My idea in mind of the sub title “Fighter and Bomber …” was to show both a fighter as well as a bomber - I like the idea of using one of the profiles (maybe one of the secret projects) very much. and as such IMO the best suitable type (and most favourite one !) is the J-10 for the fighter. In regard to a bomber it's a bit difficult, since there are simply only Russian design ... and I wasn't sure if a JH-7 would be better ?! Another idea was Your DF-113, Rob !

@ pometablava: A J-20, J-31, Z-10, Y-20 and the latests drones are surely nice, but they are only the latest peak of the development (sadly helicopters and transports are not even included since they are marketing-killers !)

Regarding placement I agree with You even if I try to look for a nother image of a H-6 "looking" to the left .... and finally the PLAAF-symbol that is surely my biggest concern of "need to be changed".


I'll keep You updated ...

Cheers & THANKx,
Deino
 

foiling

CLEARANCE: Secret
Joined
Aug 12, 2007
Messages
277
Reaction score
5
I quite like the cover, although it looks dated. If I saw it in a book shop, I'd probably think it was written maybe a few decades ago. Perhaps I am wrong; just the feeling it gave me. However, I will definitely buy the book.
 

famvburg

I really should change my personal text
Joined
Jul 24, 2011
Messages
323
Reaction score
5
Put it in a plain brown wrapper cover, I'll buy it. You can't judge a book by its cover.
 

Deino

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
2,658
Reaction score
354
.... another proposal I received by a friend ! Thanks a lot & what do You think ???
 

Attachments

CJGibson

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
May 26, 2011
Messages
1,339
Reaction score
465
Call me strange, but I hate aircraft diving down the page. Don't I Mike?

Chris
 

Attachments

Deino

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
2,658
Reaction score
354
No I do't call You strange since I had the same idea (but to admit I' surely strange ! :eek: ) as a sign of "progress" or so ;) .... anyway I simply posted the image I received from my friend and I think he just took the image as it was.

Thanks a lot,
Deino
 

Antonio

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Staff member
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Messages
3,440
Reaction score
143
Call me strange, but I hate aircraft diving down the page
I agree.

In my opinion, better with much bigger China AF roundel. In such a small size looks like a discreet logo. :(
 

ov-101

CLEARANCE: Confidential
Joined
Feb 18, 2013
Messages
85
Reaction score
9
The cover looks like a Hikoki book rather than Ian Allan.
 

Deino

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
2,658
Reaction score
354
Hmmm ??? ... but I hope that don't mind !??
 

overscan (PaulMM)

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 27, 2005
Messages
12,049
Reaction score
2,428
Apologies for any confusion, its definitely an Ian Allan publication.
 

Deino

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
2,658
Reaction score
354
Never mind but I was a bit surprised especially in mind of Ian Allan's "downscaling" the aciation sector ... anyway I hope the book was worth all efforts (and even more the sufferings of my family !)

Deino
 

overscan (PaulMM)

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 27, 2005
Messages
12,049
Reaction score
2,428
Several recent and planned Ian Allan books have departed from the previous house style.
 

Deino

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
2,658
Reaction score
354
Just a short update ... I just submitted my final corrections and if everything goes well, the book will be at the printer next week to be out in early September !

Thanks to all involved and I hope it was worth the efforts.
 

Attachments

Deino

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
2,658
Reaction score
354
;)
http://www.ianallanpublishing.com/aviation-military/post-world-war-ii/dragons-wings-chinese-fighter-and-bomber-aircraft-development.htm
 

SOC

I look at pictures all day
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2006
Messages
1,184
Reaction score
17
This looks interesting, and maybe a bit more historically detailed/currently relevant than the Yefim Gordon thing a while back. A few questions: 1) any info in there on AAM development? 2) how "current" is it? Obviously something like the Y-20 might not have made it, but is the J-20 covered? PLANAF aircraft like the J-15? China is a hole in my library and this looks like a prime contender to start plugging the gap.
 

Deino

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
2,658
Reaction score
354
I think it would fit nicely ...

But to Your questions:

1) any info in there on AAM development?
Yes ... to most types a box of information is included in the chapters of the types, which introduced these missilres. But to admit, these are only brief summyries in most cases without images only as some background info ! For more You might take a look in this book:

http://www.harpia-publishing.com/index-ModernChineseWarplanes.html


2) how "current" is it? Obviously something like the Y-20 might not have made it, but is the J-20 covered? PLANAF aircraft like the J-15?
That's a bit difficult to answer: this book started originally as anyther one of Tony Buttler's "Secret Projects" titles and as such included most of all the older types like the Dong-Fengs, the J-7 to J-8, the Secret projects J-9 to J-13, as well as the older Q-5 and H-5, H-6 ... in the chapter containing the most recent types like the CAC J-10, FC-1/JF-17 as well as the Flanker family to the J-20 and J-31 ones is a bit shorter than I wanted it originally to be but that was necesary in order to reach the agreed number of pages (224). As such they are surely longer and more comprehensive than what I did so far in WAPJ or for CA but surely - esp. for the Flanker-family - a lot more could be told.
In mind of the most recent type, that entered the book ... the J-31 and even the Sharp Sword UCAV are included. The Y-20 however is not, since transports, UAV and helicopters are said to be "no-seller" and as such were simply left out.

Hope that helped a bit,
Deino
 

SOC

I look at pictures all day
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2006
Messages
1,184
Reaction score
17
Very good, thanks! I'll be picking up this one and the Modern Chinese Warplanes book.
 

Antonio

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Staff member
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Messages
3,440
Reaction score
143
Congratulations Andreas!

I anxious to get my copy at home ::)
 

Sundog

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2006
Messages
2,752
Reaction score
195
WTG Deino! I ordered my copy, through Amazon, which doesn't have it listed for release until Oct. 4th here. I'm sure it will be worth the wait.
 

Deino

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
2,658
Reaction score
354
Thank You so much guys ... not only for these kind words, but also - and even more important - for all Your inputs during the countless discussions, several posts of different points of view which all helped to redraw that so far mysterious chapter of Aviation history.

I hope if that book is really available, someone will take the opportunity for a review ...

Cheers and Thanks to all "involved" even if most of them really don't know what and how much they helped to make that book what it is.

Deino
 

SOC

I look at pictures all day
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2006
Messages
1,184
Reaction score
17
OK, so apparently this whole "Sean plays at journalism with IHS" thing has given people an overinflated idea of my general importance! Case in point, I was asked to review some pre-release material for this new and interesting book recently, and decided to let you all in on what I thought. As an amusing aside, what is it with August? I got a new computer that could probably host a partition of Skynet, got to read over probably the most impressive book I've seen in a while, got to listen to the most impressive album I've heard in a decade...anyway.

As both a historian by degree (my first, before I got into things that sound more amusing like space warfare) and someone with experience dealing in Chinese military matters, my opinion is that this is an impressively executed look at one of the traditionally less accessible facets of combat aviation history. I can easily see this book revisited and updated down the line rather than simply being supplanted by a different title. It's like writing about the Blackbird: lots of others have produced excellent content on the subject, but it's Paul Crickmore's work that is seemingly constantly revised and updated.

The text is very well written, and as someone who has read a buttload of Yefim Gordon's books, it's very refreshing to see someone take a noticeably neutral written stance on the often controversial politics involved, framing events in the context of simply "this happened, and it affected the program as such". Put another way, Andreas at times treats the politics as simply another factor to be contended with, without getting bogged down in the details. For example, the PEACE PEARL program: mentioned, described, and then Tiananmen is given as the reason for its cessation without getting into a description of what the event was/who was right vs. wrong/etc. The reader comes away with the correct idea that the political event derailed the military program, and continues reading to see what program took up the slack, and that's it. And speaking for myself, that's the way I prefer it to be. I've read too many books on very interesting topics and seen their impact or appeal be significantly lessened because of the author's overtly obvious politics. Given just how much politics affected life in the PRC, especially during the earlier post-war period, the Cultural Revolution, etc., the fact that Andreas managed to successfully devolve all of this down into, basically, a simple examination of cause vs. effect is certainly something to be commended.

The mostly chronological layout made reading through the history very easy to do. It's one thing to simply have tracked the development of something current like the J-20, with a comparatively recent and therefore short history, but another thing entirely to be able to track down the history of the J-9 series and frame it within the proper overall context. Furthermore, this reads more like a history text than a technical text. I find that overly technical texts are more appropriate when dealing with something very specific, such as a program (I.e. Pete Merlin's AIAA Blackbird volume) or a limited subject area. Choosing historical rather than technical framing also makes the text more accessible. That's not to say technological details or terminology are lacking, far from it. Specifications abound and if a tech issue led to a redesign or cancellation it is certainly described and analyzed, but the point is to tell the complete story, not examine each and every little detail.

The images were also very well selected, particularly some of the newer projects. While there are a ton of images, as well as some drawings and diagrams, and to be sure they'd all look very impressive to someone picking up the book in a store, the work would lose nothing if you took them all away and reduced it to a text-only volume. I'd place it conceptually on par with something like Andrei Fomin's earlier Su-27 book; very detailed text, with equal effort given to the visual side of the house, but clearly a book you aren't buying for the pictures. OK, I might, but that's beside the point. The artwork by JP, Bai Wai, and others is also well done, the only complaint being that there could've been a far more liberal use of it! Which, of course, would've made a bigger and therefore more expensive and therefore probably less marketable book, so take that less as a complaint but more as an appreciation for the work the artists did.

One thing that would've been useful is a table or two at the back listing the weapons mentioned in the text, with some basic characteristics. I did find more than enough information in the text but the lack of an index (at least in the material I got) can make it a bit obnoxious to hunt down the right details. For that matter, if you simply took the weapons boxes (you'll see) and placed them at the end in a continuous appendix, it'd fit very well. It was a bit frustrating to see PL-1, then see the PL-1 info, the same for PL-2, but then see PL-8 mentioned and have to skip forward to find the detailed PL-8 info later. Oh, and welcome to basically the only real complaint I had about the whole thing.

After seeing the effort that went into this and the quality of the product, one can only hope that Andreas's next project will be a companion volume on the rest of China's military aviation-transports, helos, and the like! Given the rapid advancements in Chinese military aviation in recent years, it would be almost criminal if a revised edition wasn't commissioned at some point down the line. Until then, this is clearly the definitive reference work on Chinese combat aircraft design, guaranteed to be surpassed only by Andreas's revised work in the future. Put another way, this is easily the most impressive book I've read through in a good while. Maybe that's partly due to the fact that 1) I have no real use for magazines these days and therefore have missed a lot of Andreas's other published work, and 2) it's a subject area that simply put doesn't have a big selection already out there. But a lot of it comes down to the fact that this is simply a very well researched, well written, and well executed reference work, one that anyone with interest in the subject area should be required to own.
 

Deino

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
2,658
Reaction score
354
To admit ... I'm simply speechless ! :eek:

Thank You so much
Deino
 

ov-101

CLEARANCE: Confidential
Joined
Feb 18, 2013
Messages
85
Reaction score
9
I had read some of your articles form Combat Aircraft and IAPR... and I found you use many Chinese web photos. I don't think you
can use them in you articles or books without copyright holders' permission.
 

Deino

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
2,658
Reaction score
354
Dear "ov-101"

To admit You mention a truly big problem and my biggest concern especially in regard to the books, since for the Combat Aircraft Reports a slightly different solution is chosen.

Here I suggest the images to the publisher (usually I mention my source, which is quite often only not known by name or an internet link as You mention) but the common use for all these magazines (CAM, AFM, AI, ...) is to simply quote not even this specific source but only "Chinese Internet".

In regard to my books I agree with You and I had several length discussions with Tony Buttler, the publisher, several friends and also the few Chinese photographers I know in China, how to handle this situation: If simply to proceed like Yefim Gordon for example or to try my best or even to cancel the book.

Our solution was to use as many images from photographers I know, and who have given me their permission to use their images; these include Bai Wei, Gao Han as well as a few from Weimeng, but - again You are correct - for most simply a "nick name" is known at best, when these spotters post their images anonymous at the several forums or blogs. In most cases - especially the historical images - however not even the real photographer is known, since these images were re-posted again and again in another forum ...

Therefore we added this text in the preface of the book:

Great efforts have also been made to ensure that the sources for all of the illustrations used in the book are correctly credited but, due to their nature and China’s remoteness, a number of suppliers still remain unknown in the West. The author apologises profusely if any photographs have been incorrectly attributed and for any difficulties that this may cause to anyone in China who created or collected these images and hopes that they will understand this difficult situation. Apologies also for any errors that will
almost certainly have got through.
I know this is probably not a fully acceptable solution to You but again following my advisers I think and hope it's the best compromise.

Deino
 

ov-101

CLEARANCE: Confidential
Joined
Feb 18, 2013
Messages
85
Reaction score
9
Thanks for you answer and I understand your irritation... You can ask famous Japanese aviation magazine Koku-Fan for help, perhaps they‘ll give you some Chinese aircraft photos.
 

Deino

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
2,658
Reaction score
354
Thanks a lot for Your suggestion; You mean the famous Katsuhiko Tokunaga ??
If Yes, ... he was already involved in the Modern Chinese Aircraft.

Cheers, Deino
 
Top