Ginter Books | Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk

Reviewed by Kevin Williams

I've long been a big fan of early exotic and bizarre concept aircraft, so this volume from Ginter was something that I just had to have. The Ginter books, to me, are unique inasmuch as that they frequently dwell on and highlight some of the more esoteric and unusual service types, as well as prototypes and experimental aircraft. This particular volume, covers the Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk, an airship parasite fighter. This book on the rather spiffy F9C Sparrowhawk, was a very welcome addition indeed to my aircraft references, covering, as it does, what to me is a very unusual fighter plane concept.

This Ginter publication follows a common enough theme (for this publisher), being comprised of many nice illustrations and mostly B&W photos. While this may be off putting for some, all of the photos are of good quality, and printed on nice gloss stock, so overall quality remains at a fairly high standard. It's difficult to pigeon hole the Ginter publications; primarily devoted to historical Navy subjects, there is also a dedicated series on Air Force Legends, as well as the odd piece on experimental aircraft, so basically a little something for everybody. This particular volume is number 59 in the Naval Fighters series.

Published in 2008, this book is authored by a Richard Hoffman, a retired USN captain, and is number seventy-nine in the naval fighters series from Ginter.

This publication, like some others in the series, is not necessarily detail driven, mostly offering up several "in action" shots, creating what I consider to be a nice all-in-one, if somewhat generic reference on this machine. The book is also interspersed with various component illustrations, and in this particular case, some excellent cockpit photos, coverage (very brief) of the USS Macon crash site and Sparrowhawks at the bottom of the ocean, as well as delving into brief coverage of three other parasitic types, the Goblin, F-84E and F-84F.

Typical Photo Excerpts

Certainly one of the strengths of this series, are the excellent overview and detail photographs of various airframe elements, where present.

Typical Drawings

This particular volume does contain numerous air frame illustrations, including station diagrams and sectional configurations. No classic color profile illustrations are given, though that would have been seen as desirable by me.

Rear Cover


All things considered, I view all of the books from Ginter as not only being good value, but see them as making an excellent primary or supplemental reference. While there are, in certain instances, books that cover these subjects better and in more depth, the overall impact and quality of these volumes, makes them quite desirable references unto their own, and are therefore highly recommended.

Review copy compliments of my own beleaguered wallet.

© Kevin Williams 2016

This product is available from the following LSP sponsors

Sprue Brothers

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This review was published on Wednesday, October 05 2016; Last modified on Wednesday, October 05 2016