Let’s take a walkaround of SUKHOI SU-22 FITTER, FLYING WITH AIR FORCES IN EASTERN EUROPE from HMH Publications.


The book can be seen on its publisher website at: Sukhoi Su-22 Fitter.

Sukhoi Su-22 Fitter is the 23rd title in the series Duke Hawkins Aircraft in Detail.  Authored by Jens Schymura, this softcover book features 350 photos in 140 pages.  It is catalogued with ISBN 978-2-931083-13-0 and as DH-023.

The Sukhoi Su-22 is the export variant of the Soviet Air Force Frontal Aviation Su-17, a variable geometry wing (“swing-wing”) development of the Su-7, first seen by the West in 1956. (Not to be confused with the Second World War Su-7 design, a radial-engine high-altitude interceptor.)  NATO codenamed the big Sukhoi “Fitter.”  The delta-wing Su-9 “Fishpot” interceptor was developed concurrently with the Fitter and the fuselages are hard to tell apart; they shared the same powerplant, intake and rear fuselage and the Su-9 was originally tagged by NATO as “Fitter-B.”   The Su-7 was originally intended as a low-altitude fighter but quickly proved unsuitable and was re-tasked as a ground-attack fighter-bomber.  In this role it was known to be a tough airframe that could not carry much, capable of high speed but short-ranged, with heavy controls but good handling characteristics.   To address the foibles the aircraft was redesigned with swing-wings and other systems – the Su-17.  The Soviet Air Force (VVS) kept the Su-17 for themselves and created export versions, the popular Su-20 and Su-22 Fitter.  Su-22s are still in service with several air forces.

​Now for the walkaround.


Lavishly illustrated with original color photographs, this book is a bonanza for those seeking detail of the Su-22.  Fitters of many colors and livery are presented including an all-black Fitter, jets camouflaged in grays, greens and browns and blacks, and those sporting flashy squadron schemes.  One in particular is adorned with sportscar-esque flames painted along the nose, wing fences, weapons pylons, etc.  This book focuses on specific sections:




Aft fuselage

Brake chute

Forward fuselage

Su-22 Fitter Types

Vertical fin

Horizontal tails

Main landing gear

Landing gear

Front landing gear

Ejection seat

Speed brakes




HPH Publications writes of this book;

The maintenance chapter in our 23rd book is possibly the biggest one we’ve ever done. We go into detail of the entire aircraft during maintenance. We show the engine, engine bay, wing pivot mechanism, spine, avionics systems and a lot more!  No detail of the aircraft is omitted; the entire fuselage from every possible side, the revolutionary swing-wings, the landing gear, vertical tail, well: just about everything. This was possible after many visits to Swidwin AFB of the Polish Air Force, that helped us for this book and even provided us with many unique photos!

No false advertising there.  Many components feature multiple angles and worthy of the description of visual super-detail.   While most of the views are Fitters on the ground, there are dozens of views of the respective element as seen from the ground.  Another section is titled ‘action.’  Dozens of air-to-air scenes.  Single Fitters, Fitter formations, Fitters with F-16s and Tornados and other jets, formation Fitters, frolicking Fitters.  Fitters in warpaint, Fitters in ‘airshow colors.’  Grimy Fitters with fresh bright interior primers, shiny Fitters with grungy interiors.  You will see the landing gear wells from ‘wrench-level’ and gear-down overhead, and more.  Much more.   You get the idea. 

Some components have sub-topics, i.e., section Fuselage includes a specialty page “Getting ready for flight.”   Ground power and communication hook-ups receive attention, too.

While this is predominately a visual tour of the Fitter, the author provides us with engaging and entertaining text full of information and technical knowledge.  “Beware of an overdose of details on this page!” narrates interior views of the fuselage with the engine removed.  Notable color variations and patterns are noted such as those inside the afterburner nozzle.


This photo gallery is a visual feast for the eyes.  Illuminated, sharply focused, composed for maximum effect for viewing the subject.   Some images present so much detail that I looked at them for several minutes and do not think I took everything in.   Fortunately,captions present good information and descriptions.  Where weapons are included in the photos, captions describe them.  Modelers have an enormous resource for detailing their Fitter. Ground scenes offer superb inspiration for dioramas.  Some aircraft grace multiple photos and the author points out weathering characteristics.


Sukhoi Su-22 Fitter from HMH Publications is an extraordinary source of detail for modelers who want to build or super-detail a Su-22.  As such it is an amazing book.  The images are studio quality.  Obviously, the photographer understands what modelers and technical enthusiasts of aircraft want.  I enjoyed reading the concise captions and narratives as the author’s passion for this subject is obvious.  If you want to build a Fitter, this book will be a valuable source material worthy of room on your bench.  I am happy to specifically recommend this product to modelers of the Fitter family of ground-attack jets, and Soviet Cold War jets in general.

My thanks to Casemate Publishing for providing this sample.  Please remember to mention to Casemate, HMH Publications and retailers that you saw this product here - on Aeroscale.



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