Every Warbird enthusiast will surely have a sturdy collection of Warbird books, both as a handy reference and for the pleasure of reading. I recently acquired The CAC Boomerang: A Detailed Guide to the RAAF’s Famous WWII Fighter (Airframe Album) and consider it to be a worthy candidate for a book review. It is not often that you are able to obtain such a title about the CAC Boomerang, an under-rated historic aircraft that made a significant contribution to the war effort by Australia.
The CAC Boomerang
A detailed Guide to The RAAF’s Famous WWII Fighter
Airframe Album 3
By: Richard A Franks
Series: Airframe Album 3
Publisher: Valiant Wings Publishing; First Edition edition (July 1, 2013)
Glossy Paperback: 84 pages, 100 pages with photographs and profile drawings.
Dimensions: 11.5 x 8.2 x 0.3 inches
This title is logically the third in a series of detailed profile style books of famous aircraft. The first two titles being on the Hawker Sea Fury and the Heinkle He219.
The book presents itself as a guide for the CAC Boomerang, starting with a brief profile of the history of the aircraft, commencing with conception and production of the design and then briefly touching on its service. The book then quickly proceeds to describe the technical aspects of the aircraft through text, photos and drawings, both from period technical manuals and current restoration material. There is considerable detail of each aspect of the aircrafts construction and differences between the CA-12, – 13 and -19 variants of the aircraft.
The quality of the photographs and drawings is excellent and they are presented in both color and black and white, as appropriate. The captioning and descriptions are also very detailed and clear in nature.
Section 2: Prototype, Production and Projected Variants
This section contains 3D-isometrics illustrating differences between variants. The section deals with the production and evaluation of the aircraft and again is illustrated with many drawings and photographs from the prototype. The CA-14 and -14A prototype, The CA12, CA-13 and the definitive CA-19 and again it is generally well done.
Section 3: Camouflage and Markings
As applied to the Boomerang, this section of the book is well done, again with a great selection of photographs. This section contains some beautiful profiles and artwork and the accompanying descriptions are both comprehensive and detailed.
Section 4: Survivors
Covers survivors of the type is accompanied by period and contemporary photographs and a brief description of each aircraft surviving and its condition.
Section 5: A Big Boomerang
This section takes a look at 1/32nd kit by Alley Cat and finally there is an appendix covering model kits available of Boomerangs, Model accessories, decals, serials of each aircraft and finally a bibliography.
As a confirmed CAC Boomerang enthusiast I enjoyed this book a great deal. I found it detailed, enjoyable to read and visually pleasing. It is not an extensive detailed history of the type or its production. Those aspects are covered in other publications. Regardless, the book is one that CAC Boomerang enthusiasts would be glad to have on their bookshelf and would also greatly assist model aircraft enthusiasts.
The book is not however without its flaws. I was able to consult with a number of Boomerang experts on the publication and there are some areas that could have more detail or deserved more attention. There is no reference in the survivors, for instance, to one of the most eagerly awaited flyers, that of Greg Batts machine A46-54. Also some of the photo captions appear to be incorrect. Most of these issues could have been corrected in the final proof reading by some of the highly knowledgeable contributors or Boomerang aficionados. Perhaps there will be a reprint later which may permit and update of the current restorations and a correction of some of the details.
Despite these comments, it is a highly desirable book and one which should be in the collection of any self-respecting Warbird enthusiast.
It is available from the publishers, on EBay or Amazon books.
© John Parker 2013