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Book Review
Lancaster, Spitire CD-ROMs
The Avro Lancaster Explored, The Spitfire Mk.V Explored
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by: Andrew Moore [ LORDDERFEL ]

Flyingzone Publications

Endorsed by the RAF and the Imperial War Museum, Flyingzone Publications’ CD ROMs of RAF WWII aircraft were created with assistance of The Ministry of Defense, aircraft owners, and the Imperial War Museum.

titles available

There are several titles available to date in the series including the Lancaster Bomber , Spitfire Mk.V , Hurricane and Halifax B Mk.III . Soon to be added in 2010 is the Mosquito .

I have only seen the Spitfire and Lancaster versions but both are identical in format and packed with content aimed at the enthusiast and the model maker.


What do you get? The Lancaster CD ROM features 1600 colour photographs and 320 unique colour diagrams alone!

Each CD ROM is divided into sections including:
• Historical facts,
• Participating aircraft,
• Technical specifications,
• Photographs of interiors and exteriors,
• Engineers notes including MOD manuals and diagrams, and
• Pilots’ notes which includes some elements of how to fly the aircraft.

Probably of most immediate use to the model maker are the photo sections and the engineering diagrams. As I write I am building an Airfix 1:24 Spitfire Mk.V and the colours in the instructions leave something to be desired; a quick look at the photos shows me several variations I could follow. Take the engine for example, the CD ROM contains photographs of port and starboard views inside, details with parts removed and even the engine completely out of the aircraft. Simply move the mouse over a part and it is explained, and where relevant a diagram from the original manuals accompanies the information. The same is found all through the publication; take the Browning guns as another example, we have photographs of every view, disassembled versions and details of the mounting areas in the wings all in close up. The same for the Hispano cannon, etc. The cockpit interior is given in extreme detail (including different versions) with just about every view you could want, and every control explained. I will be printing off a scaled photograph of the main control display and setting this in a custom made part rather than use the somewhat crude supplied version.

The Lancaster version shows not only the exterior and cockpit in the same detail as the Spitfire one, but every crew place from the bomber, navigator, and radio operator to the rear gunner. Every version of radio is detailed and explained as are the different bomb sights and navigational aids. Different versions of the Lanc are shown in full detail including the Dambusters, and lots of different colour schemes are given in nicely rendered illustrations.

In both titles the positions of every part are shown by simply clicking on it and an overall picture appears with the position highlighted. Multiple views are provided so most parts can be seen from a multitude of angles. Where different versions appeared in different models or for different squadrons, these are covered.

I am running both titles on Windows-based PC's, one running Windows XP, the other Windows 7. No problems installing or running on either computer.

All titles are available direct from the publisher and delivery is very fast: it took only a day for mine to arrive but I guess it will be longer for other parts of the world. They are also available from on-lone retailers.

Minimum system requirements [1]

* Pentium II Processor 400MHz or higher
* 64MB RAM
* Windows 98/ME/2000/XP
* Direct X version 4 or better
* 4x CD-ROM
* 32MB 32bit graphics card
* 685MB free hard drive space

Recommended system requirements:

* Pentium 4 Processor
* 256MB RAM
* Windows 98/ME/2000/XP
* Direct X latest version
* 4x CD-ROM
* 64MB 32bit graphics card
* 685MB free hard drive space

Full screen resolution is optimized for 1024x768.


The MoD, aircraft owners, and the Imperial War Museum have assisted in the production of these titles and they have been endorsed by the RAF and the Imperial War Museum.

All in all I cannot recommend these more highly. They go place where books cannot due to the nature of the media. All photographs are in a high resolution and the written content is equally easy to understand.

[1] Flyingzone Publications Website

Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: Superb detailed photographs of every part of the aircraft, many interactive. Well cross-referenced and highly informative. Fast Delivery.
Lows: The odd photograph is out of focus but this is very rare.
Verdict: An excellent reference for the model maker.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Suggested Retail: £19.99
  Related Link: The Spitfire Mk.V Explored
  PUBLISHED: Jun 12, 2010
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

About Andrew Moore (lordderfel)

Copyright ©2020 text by Andrew Moore [ LORDDERFEL ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


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