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The Irish Air Corps
An Illustrated Guide


Joe Maxwell and Patrick J. Cummins


 S u m m a r y

Title and Author:

The Irish Air Corps An Illustrated Guide. Published by Max Decals Publications


Soft Cover, 280 pages




Euro 35.00 from Max Decals

Review Type:

First Read


A detailed history of the Irish Air Corps from its foundation at independence in 1922 to the present day. Many photos previously unpublished. Strikes a good balance between modellers reference and history so appeals to those in either camp.


None noted


Extremely useful as a modelling reference, and interesting to read as a history with nuggets of information scattered throughout.

Reviewed by Ken Bowes

HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron.com



Recently there have been published a number of books that can best be described as “bibles” on particularly aviation subjects, the fruit of diligent research, new information coming to light and a genuine passion for the subject. Two that immediately spring to mind are Darren Mottram and the late Paul Mason’s book on the Mirage IIIO in RAAF service and David Muir’s weighty tome on the P-51 Mustang in service in Australia and New Zealand. This trend continues with the new volume from the producer of the Max Decals line of decals covering Irish aviation subjects. Irish Air Corps An Illustrated Guide is indeed a bible covering every aircraft type flown by the Air Corps since its formation as the Irish Army Air Service in 1922. As well as the aircraft, the authors (Joe Maxwell and Patrick Cummins) also cover the history of the Air Corps, it’s structure, bases, roles and units as well as operations spanning the post independence civil war to the 21st Century.

The book is broken down into six logical sections, each of which starts with a section on the history and activities of the Air Corps in that period followed by entries for each aircraft type acquired during that period. Sections include “The Early Years 1922-1936”, “The Emergency Period 1937-46”, “New Equipment and New Roles 1946-1963”, “Refocus and Renewal 1963-1979”, “Expansion 1980-2000” and finally “Irish Air Corps in the 21st Century”. Also included are three very useful appendices covering an airframe by airframe list of aircraft that have seen service, fatalities amongst Irish Air Corps members and flying units from 1922 to date. I took this book with me on several tedious drives from Bandung to Jakarta and return in the last fortnight and found it an excellent way to pass the time and not watch the crazy traffic on the toll road. The text is quite readable, logically covers the subject and easy to read in large chunks or small bites thanks to the structure.

Whilst an excellent historical source, the real meat of this book is the coverage of the aircraft. Each type gets its own chapter, with history, reason for acquisition, usage and colours and marking notes cross referenced to RAL, BS and FS standards as appropriate. Also included are many full colour four view profiles to illustrate this information clearly and concisely. Other useful tidbits include cockpit shots and many photos of the types from private collections that are printed here for the first time. The authors of this book are justifiably proud of this volume, produced with the full support of the Irish Air Corps. As they state that they set out to produce a volume that would satisfy both the modeller and aviation historian/enthusiast and in this regard I believe they have been very successful. If you plan to produce a model of an Irish Air Corps aircraft perhaps using the Max Decals range of decals, then this is the reference you need to get it absolutely right.

Review Copyright 2009 by Ken Bowes
This Page Created on 10 September, 2009
Last updated 10 September, 2009

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