HMH Publications | Classic Aircraft in Detail #001: Spitfire, Supermarine Mk IX & XVI

Reviewed by Kevin Williams

Publisher: HMH Publications
Author(s): R. Pied, Nic Deboeck
Publishing date: 2022
ISBN: 978-2-931083-14-7 (Softcover)
Pages: 114

The first book of what I hope will continue to be a trend with HMH, the "Classic Aircraft in Detail" series, is kicked off with this remarkable visit to some wonderfully restored/preserved examples of the Spit. I can only hope some more of my British (and other) favorite types are also looked at "sometime down the road"; the Hawker Typhoon (naturally), De Havilland Mosquito, Hawker Hurricane, etc., as that would indeed be splendid.

This particular volume covers two later marks of the iconic Supermarine Spitfire, specifically the IX & XVI. Everything the Spitfire enthusiast could want (specifically for these later Marks), and gobs of it, is featured in this book. If it isn't presented in this volume, it probably doesn't exist!

HMH originally set the bar pretty darned high, and seem to delight in raising it ever further. Such is the case with this volume, and I wholeheartedly approve.

As with the majority of titles from this publisher, this is very much a collaborative effort, using photos from many varied sources, each with appropriate photo credits given, and there are quite a substantial number of them in this magnificent volume. Printed on good quality semi-glossy stock, the photos are nothing sort of magnificent, highlighting many areas of the air-frame, giving both modelers and aviation enthusiasts alike, a wealth of eye candy on this fascinating plane. If there's a detail of the Spitfire that you'd like to see, it's more than likely in this book.

While I certainly should be used to it by now, flipping through the pages of an HMH title, still fills me with awe. The quality and variety of images, is truly mesmerizing.

This particular book (No. 001 in this new series), depicts the rather interesting and iconic Supermarine Spitfires, and it’s geared toward both modelers and aviation enthusiasts alike, being very much a detailed, walk around overview of the type, and that pleases me immeasurably, as it's the major reference type that I seek these days.

Photo Samples

Photos are broken down by section; types, propeller, forward fuselage, fuselage, wings, cockpit, cockpit equipment, fuselage (again), main landing gear, tail wheel, vertical tail, aft fuselage, horizontal tail, maintenance, guns, and finally, Action!! Certainly enough material is presented here, to satisfy even the most ardent Spitfire enthusiast, with gobs of beautiful, crystal clear, sharp colorful imagery.

The myriad photos obviously form the backbone of this book, and for me, this is a true blessing, as I can never seem to get enough details, and this book certainly has them in great abundance. Generally, text is very informative as well. Photos are razor sharp, revealing incredibly nice color details.

For those with a passion for these later Mark Spitfires, I can highly recommend this volume. Buy a copy, you will not be disappointed.


On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d rate this book as a solid 10, no question about it. Topping out at a hefty 114 pages of Spitfire excellence, it's just packed wall-to-wall with details, details, and more details, and is therefore highly recommended.

Note: Book cover image directly from HMH Publications (used with permission).

My review copy compliments of Casemate Publishers. Thanks a ton to Casemate, it's truly an outstanding reference book for the Hornets, really top-notch stuff.

© Kevin Williams 2023

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This review was published on Tuesday, March 14 2023; Last modified on Thursday, May 25 2023