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Messerschmitt Bf108 Taifun


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Messerschmitt Bf108 Taifun


Jan Forsgren
MMP Books
Available from MMP Books for £13.99

 

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Today I will take a quick look at the latest from the MMP 'Yellow Series' of books, covering the Messerschmitt Bf108 Taifun. These books are similar in parts to the Valiant Wings series I have reviewed, as well as having elements of the well known Squadron 'Walk Around' books. This one is 160pages long, and looks at what for most people is either a forgotten or relatively anonymous design, and yet one which historically is rather important.

 

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The Bf108 Taifun (German for Typhoon) was developed by a Willy Messerschmitt-led design team in the early 1930s, and first flew in 1934. Envisaged as a civil touring and communications aircraft, it went on to serve extensively for the German Luftwaffe as a liaison, ferry and general 'hack' craft, and it was still flying for both the French and Swiss armed forces into the late 1950s. The design itself was notable for being aerodynamically clean, single (low) wing, of all metal construction, with a retractable undercarriage: all fairly standard you might think, but for the early 1930s all of these features combined was quite rare. Perhaps more importantly, the 108 was in many respects the pre-cursor for Messerchmitt's most famous and most successful design, the Bf109.

 

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The book is not divided into chapters as such, but a Contents page does provide a breakdown of the areas covered. This begins with the historical background, and the air races that were so prominent at the time, before moving on to some of the politics and in-fighting between the highest ranking aviation officials in Nazi Germany, and its impact on Messerschmitt. We then get a basic overview of the aircraft, its Luftwaffe service and slightly more detailed look at its constituent parts; all are supported by numerous photographs (mainly in black and white), as well as some plan views and colour profiles. There is also a set of pull-out plans with the book, but no scale is given.

 

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The abortive Me208 is mentioned briefly, as well as a look at the Nord 1000 Series - these were aircraft produced in French factories (initially) during the war, but post Liberation. The second half of the book is divided relatively evenly between foreign operators of the 108 (and Nord), and then walkarounds of a number of surviving Me108s.

 

Conclusion
A nice little handbook covering a rather overlooked type. It will be a useful introductory guide for those seeking to dip their toe into all things Me108. The format may require a little re-jigging for a more mainstream aircraft where a deeper level of developmental or technical detail is required, but for the 108 it is just about right I think.

 

Recommended

 

With thanks to MMP Books for the review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link.

 

Nicholas Mayhew

 

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