F-16 Fighting Falcon Book Review
|Date of Review||September 2017||Title||F-16 Fighting Falcon|
|Author||Nicolas Deboeck, Robert Pied||Publisher||HMH Publications|
|Format||108 pages, softbound||MSRP (Euro)||22.00€|
HMH Publications from Belgium has released two aircraft references oriented towards the scale modeler, this one covering the F-16 Fighting Falcon. While there are a variety of F-16 references available in print, few have been updated to reflect the current F-16 fleet and fewer still are oriented to the scale modeler. This title takes the reader around and through the aircraft as it appeared over the last decade. The authors have compiled this reference over 108 color images that depict the aircraft in action plus detailed looks in the cockpit, around the airframe and engine, weapons, and of course Vipers undergoing maintenance.
The photos look at F-16s in service with a variety of air arms including Belgium, Greece, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, South Korea, UAE, and USAF. The color photos provide a good look at some of the distinctive camouflage schemes used in various air arms, and of course there is a selection of aggressor schemes presented as well.
The title combines a variety of images collected from some of the aforementioned air arms including a number of USAF images from the af.mil domain. These are augmented with photos taken specifically for this title to fill in the details and altogether, this reference provides a nice detailed look around the modern Viper airframe to include updates that have been applied since the Mid-Life Update (MLU). One photo that caught my eye on page 26 is a close-up of a Polish AF F-16D Block 52+ wearing Have Glass paint.
- While the title talks about the updates applied by the MLU modifications, there is only one brief mention of the Common Configuration Implementation Program (CCIP) updates applied to USAF and many export aircraft which not only added the distinctive four-blade IFF antennas on most updated Vipers, but also added other distinctive capabilities like the AIM-9X Sidewinder and the associated Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS) helmet for the pilot.
- The distinctive Heads-Up Display (HUD) was common to the Block 40 and 42 aircraft, not just the Block 40 as indicated on Pages 44 and 50
- The bulged fairing at the base of the vertical stabilizer is unique to the F-16A ADF, not to the Block 15 as indicated on page 64.
- At first glance, you might think this title was written/edited by Duke Hawkins, and there is even a paragraph on the inside rear cover allegedly written by Duke as well as his name appearing on every other page of this title. According to one of the authors, the 'Duke Hawkins' banner is their name for books in their aircraft monograph series.
If you're looking for a good photo reference for the modern F-16, this title has some great material for the European F-16A/B MLU that is compiled and organized for your next scale NATO Viper project. While this title does have good photos of the USAF Vipers, the spotty coverage and vague information of those subjects here would make the Reid Air Publications Viper titles a better resource.
My sincere thanks to HMH Publications for this review sample!