The Austro-Hungarian Phönix C.1 two-seat biplane was one of the lesser-known aircraft of World War I, primarily because it was so late in getting into unit service. Designed and produced by the Phönix organization, the prototype first flew in June, 1917, but production models didn’t enter service until March, 1918. The C.1 was a compact two-seater powered by a six cylinder Kiero 230 hp. water cooled engine, and was armed with two machine guns, one firing forward and one in a flexible mount in the rear cockpit. The airplane was fast, although a few of them were shot down by their main adversaries, the Italians. Fewer than 100 were delivered up to the Armistice in 1918. Postwar, the aircraft was ordered by the Swedes and, although 41 were ordered, only 26 were actually built and delivered. The plane served mainly as an advanced trainer throughout the twenties, some lasting until 1935. Later Swedish C.1s were powered by Hispano engines. In addition, small numbers were used by the Hungarians, the Hungarian Soviet Republic of Bela Kun, the Czechs, and the Serbs’ SHS air service.
This book follows the standard pattern of Windsock Datafile books, with a solid introduction of the development of the type, the introduction to service, the service record, and the foreign export models. In addition, many excellently reproduced photos show the type in various stages of its career, and several pages of three view drawings in 1/72 and 1/48 scale provide excellent material for a model builder.
A quick search on Google shows no reference to a kit of this aircraft, but Burns’ PLASTIC AIRCRAFT KITS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY shows Castore (1/72), HR Model (1/72), Sierra (1/48 & 1/72), and Skybirds 86 (1/72). I have not seen or heard of any of these kits before, but the book would be extremely helpful in constructing any of these models. I’m going to look for one, as this would be a good airplane to have in my model collection.
If you have any interest in World War I aircraft, especially those of the Central Powers, this book is a must for your library. Get one while you can.
Thanks to Albatros Publications and IPMS/USA for the review copy.