Product Reviews

Published on June 27th, 2020 | by Guy Warner


Book Review – Civil/Military Aircraft Markings 2020

Civil Aircraft Markings 2020 by Allan S Wright, 464 pages SB, 32 colour, 2 B&W photographs, Crécy Publishing, £11.95, ISBN 978-1-91010-973-2 (CAM)

Military Aircraft Markings 2020 by Howard JCurtis, 304 pages SB, 40 colour, 15 B&W photographs, Crécy Publishing, £11.95, ISBN 978-1-91080-938-9 (MAM)

Some reference books can rightly be described as comprehensive, some as indispensable, others as iconic. All three of these adjectives apply to both of these weighty but handy, glovebox size softbacks.

I first bought a copy of MAM in 1982, when it was part of Ian Allan’s abc series. Crécy is to be congratulated in having taken up the baton several years ago and maintained the high standards of accuracy and utility set previously. MAM is now in its 41st year, while CAM first saw the light of day in 1950. I also have a facsimile copy of abc of Airports and Airliners 1948 edition – I wonder if Crécy would consider a re-issue of this charming reminder of long bygone days?

Many readers will be thoroughly familiar with these two titles but in case you are not, I will describe the contents briefly:


  1. The location of Operational Military Airbases in the UK by grid reference, with directions from the nearest town.
  2. Alpha-numeric listings by serial number, type, owner/operator/location or fate of all existing British military airframes (active or not) from 168, the Sopwith Tabloid replica held in the RAF Museum Reserve Collection at Stafford to ZZ666, a Boeing RC-135W of No 51 Squadron at Waddington. A blank column is provided for notes.
  3. Aircraft in UK military service with civil registrations eg the UAS Grob Tutors, the Quinetic/ETPS fleet and Cobham’s Falcons.
  4. RAF (including UAS and AEF), FAA Squadron markings, RN landing platform code-letters.
  5. Historic aircraft in overseas markings, listed by country, that can be seen in the UK in museums or collections or may be seen at air shows.
  6. Irish Military aircraft markings.
  7. Active overseas military aircraft likely to visit the UK from time to time listed by country.
  8. UK and Europe based US military aircraft.
  9. USAF, USN, USMC and USCG aircraft which may visit the UK from the USA now and again.
  10. Military aviation websites.

CAM – similar in layout to MAM

  1. International civil aircraft country codes from A2- Botswana to 9Y- Trinidad and Tobago
  2. UK civil aircraft registrations in alphabetical order from DH60 G Moth, G-AAAH to Eurocopter EC-120B, G-ZZZS.
  3. The civil registers for the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, Jersey and the Irish Republic.
  4. Military aircraft carrying a military serial but with a UK civil registration.
  5. Overseas airliners most likely to be seen at UK airports in alphabetical order by country code and registration.
  6. UK airport and larger airfield radio frequencies.
  7. Airline flight codes and country code for UK airlines and those likely to be visiting the UK.
  8. The British Aircraft Preservation Council register, with type, registration and location.

In both volumes, the well-chosen photos are a nice bonus.

I heartily recommend both and wonder if Crécy could be persuaded to issue some more abc titles eg. British Airports, UK Military Airfields, European Airports, World Airports, Military Airfields of Western Europe, Civil Airliner Recognition, Biz Jets, Light Aircraft Recognition?

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