Darren Baker takes a look a great new release RN Publishing courtesy of Casemate titled ‘Israeli Vipers F-16 A/B Netz’.

Introduction

The F-16 Falcon has been around for nearly 50 years; something that seems incredible, but it has gone through many changes and kept up with the game it is designed to play. The F-16 is also in service with a huge number of countries with Belgium and Turkey providing some really colourful aircraft on the Air Show circuit. When it comes to colourful in service aircraft I believe Israel takes the cup and it is their F-16 A/B’s this book covers.

Review

This offering is a hard backed book published by RN Publishing and available from Casemate Publishing. The author is Amos Dor who saw military service as a mechanic on the A4 Skyhawk before moving onto the F-16 in a reservist role. Amos is also a founder of IPMS Israel and edits their magazine. The book provides over 500 images across 239 pages of a glossy paper that shows the pictures at their best. The paper is also stitched into the book which I feel is a sign of quality.

The contents of this title are provided as follows:

Dedication

Acknowledgements

Opening Remarks Major General Amir Eshel (res)

Introduction

The First Jet 117 Squadron

The Knights of the North 110 Squadron

Operation Opera

The Negev 253 Squadron

The Golden Eagle 140 Squadron

The Phoenix 144 Squadron

The Defenders of the South 116 Squadron

The Flying Dragon 115 Squadron

Flight Test Centre Squadron

F-16 A/B Technical Specifications

ACE Project

Colour Profiles Drawings

117 Squadron Air Victories Table

110 Squadron Air Victories Table

253 Squadron Air Victories Table

Closing of the Netz Array

The first thing I would like to say is how good this book looks from the outset due to a very appealing dust jacket that makes you want to look inside. The text in the book is well written and follows a logical progression from the act of obtaining the F-16 from America, then through their introduction, use of the aircraft and finally the end of the road of this aircraft type. The author being a modeller seems to result in him instinctively knowing what we as modellers want to know and like to read about; with that said this is also a beautiful book for anyone with an interest in the F-16 A/B aircraft or the Israeli Air Force.

The text is not the major component of this book but there is plenty there to read and absorb. I believe that the sections that will interest the modeller most is the information covering the units using the aircraft and the operations that were carried out by the F-16’s in Israeli service. The pilots reports make for an interesting read as it shows how their fast reactions needed can be relayed to someone calmly and clearly afterwards. The level of detail provided here is surprising in its completeness and makes for some very informative reading.

As a modeller it is of course the photographs that appeal the most and with over 500 included in this release, and I am lead to believe that most if not all of these have never previously been published you will not be disappointed. The photographs are a mix of colour and black & white, all of these are well presented and show some standard visuals as well as some truly stunning images. A great example of stunning imagery is at the end of the title where there is a series of images of a Blue Flag exercise in November 2013, This shows AmericanF-15E’s, Greek F-16’s, Italian Tornado’s and AMX strike fighters flying in formation with Israeli F-16’s and F-15’s. These aircraft photographs displaying the aircraft flying over the hilly terrain would make stunning posters.

Conclusion

This is a truly stunning offering when it comes to covering the Israeli F-16 story in words and pictures. I looked forward to turning every page due to in a large part the stunning imagery of the aircraft. I will say that due to the author being a modeller I was surprised not to find any scale drawings or walk a rounds of the aircraft, but even with that said I love what this title offers the reader. I believe you will find it very hard if not impossible to find another title that covers the Israeli F-16 A/B Netz better.

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