Home  |  What's New  |  Features  |  Gallery  |  Reviews  |  Reference  |  Forum  |  Search

Chinese Aircraft

Hikoki Publications

 S u m m a r y

Title and Author:

Chinese Aircraft by Yefim Gordon and Dmitriy Komissarov
Hikoki Publications


Hard Cover, 312 pages




GBP 34.95 availabe from Midland Counties or US$59.95 from Specialty Press

Review Type:

First Read


Systematic analysis of the development of the Chinese Aircraft Industry


A lot of photos familiar from internet sites and blogs


A good attempt to comprehensively document the state of the Chinese aviation industry

Reviewed by Ken Bowes

HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron.com




Authors Yefim Gordon and Dmitriy Komissarov are better known for their long running series on Soviet and Russian aviation that has appeared under the Red Star and Aerofax banners for many years.

In this volume they turn away from Russia and address the state of play in China over nearly 60 years. From a slow start making copies of the Yak-18 and Yak-18U copies as the Nanchang CJ-5 and CJ-6 and the impact of the cultural revolution which stalled aviation development, China has burgeoned into an aviation manufacturing powerhouse making not only licensed copies of Russian designs but also an array of their own, the most recent being the impressive J-10 Vigorous Dragon which despite flying for many years and entering regimental service at least 4 years ago, was only officially unveiled at the Zuhai Airshow in 2008.


  • Chinese Aircraft Book Review by Ken Bowes: Image
  • Chinese Aircraft Book Review by Ken Bowes: Image
  • Chinese Aircraft Book Review by Ken Bowes: Image
Thumbnail panels:
Now Loading


Given the scope of the subject, this book is broken down in an encyclopaedic style with sections devoted to fighters, strike aircraft, bombers, trainers, utility types, helicopters and UAVs with the Chinese numerical designation system making it easy to find each type (Fighters J, Bombers H and so on). Unfortunately this breadth also makes the book somewhat shallow with only small textual entries and limited photos for most types. That said there are nice collections of colour profiles and line drawings to illustrate the changes in features and schemes applied as types such as the J-7 Fishbed (copy of the MiG-21) evolved. What this book does show is the Chinese energy and innovation, taking basic designs such as the AN-12 Cub and turning out countless variations in EW, AEW, MPA, transport, and test bed versions.

So whilst this is not a one stop reference for a modeller who wants to modify the Roden An-12 or Trumpeter Tu-16 into one of this bewildering Chinese versions, let alone detail the forthcoming (hopefully) Trumpeter 1/48 J-10, it will certainly give some solid foundations for future projects. If there is one shortcoming it is that the notoriously secretive Chinese aviation industry and military means that many of the images of types such as the J-10, J-11 Flanker and KJ-2000 IL-76 based AEW aircraft are recycled from the various spotter and Chinese defence analysis sites, thereby limiting the impact of what is otherwise a well put together and comprehensive book.

Review Copyright 2009 by Ken Bowes
This Page Created on 19 March, 2009
Last updated 23 March, 2009

Back to HyperScale Main Page