“A book about the German developments and projects before and during WWII is not an exception. Midland Publishing supplies a complete series (Luftwaffe Secret Projects), while other publishers have also done their bit.

But now German publisher Eqip, known for their authoritative books on gliding and sailplane history (Sailplanes-series), has produced a book that gives the subject a new twist. Unlike other books, which tend to list all ‘old’ German projects, with all kinds of derivatives, the authors of ‘Luftwaffe confidential’ start out with a limited amount of designs and then explain how these designs have inspired and influenced modern aircraft design.

The book goes deep into the different subjects, but never becomes tedious; the use of the English language is smooth and correct, but not complicated.

A pleasant surprise about this book is that even people knowledgeable about its subject find new information. The history of the Horten ‘flying wings’ is extensively discussed – also what happened after WWII. It is often assumed Horten quite after 1945 with the development and construction of the flying wings, but in Argentina a quite remarkable ‘restart’ was made.

Horten began with the construction of gliders in Argentina, after 1945, but their ‘magnum opus’ was a four-engined cargo plane, specifically built to transport oranges from the Argentinian farmlands to its capital, the IAe 38 “Naranjero”. The single prototype made a total of four flights, but the project was shelved because only Argentinian power plants could be used, which were not powerful enough by a long shot.

The authors, two Brazilians, clearly show how modern aircraft are in many ways inspired by the German designs of the WWII-era. It must be said that some arguments are taken a bit to far of base: calling a Fokker G1 a “twin-fuselage” aircraft is stretching – single fuselage, twin tail boom, would be more accurate… Proof reading could also stand some improvement: at the Daimler-Benz Project A+F the text states it is a twin-engined aircraft, the illustration (same page) shows four engines.

All-in-all both the text and the illustrations of the book are of high quality; the price can only be called ‘very friendly’. For the connoisseurs the book is a nice addition to their collection, for those with a more general interest in aviation (history) this is the book to have on this subject.

So, despite a few quibbles, highly recommended!”