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Sun, Dec 25, 2005

German World War II Aircraft Manuals On CD

Luftfahrt-Archiv Hafner Offers New CDs For Christmas

Udo Hafner of Luftfahrt-Archiv Hafner notified us by email of his firm's latest offerings. "Luftfahrt-Archiv" means "Flight-Archive" and that's exactly what the Hafner family maintains, an archive of old, mostly World War II, German aircraft manuals, reprinted in high quality on decent, durable paper, unlike the grey, flimsy wartime stuff that collectors take extreme precautions in handling.

These are not the cheesy, crummy reprints that you might have seen. Luftfahrt-Archiv Hafner offers a premium product, as the photos of my hardbound Me163 maintenance manual show. And they offer the obscure, technically detailed references that the warbird restorer or rebuilder needs -- not to mention, they're a wonderful gift for a modeler or enthusiast.

Their latest offering, "Operation Christmas 05" is a series of comprehensive "Compendiums" of information on specific types -- this is a limited-time offering that must be ordered by December 28. The types represented are good ones: Bf 109E, Fieseler Fi 156 Storch, FW 190A, Me 262A (with Jumo 004), and one for the gearheads among you, the Daimler-Benz DB 601/605 engines. (These were the fascinating 30-degree inverted V-12s that powered the Bf 109s and many other German warplanes).

Because Udo's message was in German, and even though I read it well, I'm not a native speaker, I wrote to make absolutely sure that this was a limited-time offer, which he confirmed. "The CD�s of Operation Christmas 05 will no longer be offered after the 28.. It's only a Christmas offer." After that the individual documents  in the Compendiums will only be available on individual CDs again, as on the usual price list.

The Compendiums come on CD and range from 950 pages of material (the DB 601/5 Compendium) to a staggering 4,300 pages (the FW 190A Compendium). The documents are .pdf files, so the CDs work equally well on PC, Mac and Unix/Linux -- and supposedly, on systems I haven't even tried, like Palm. (Hmmm... imagine having the maintenance manuals for a FW190 on a Palm handheld... I gotta try this).

In addition to the limited-time information Compendiums, Hafner also announced the addition of a number of armament handbooks to the product line. The Armament Handbooks cover on-board weapons from the 7.92mm MG 15 through all significant German aircraft guns to the various 30mm weapons like the MK 108. There's also one specifically on gun mounts.

Naturally, all these documents are reproduced from originals, so some pages may be beaten up or poorly reproduced, and photographs may have lost some definition. I have not found that on the Hafner document that I acquired, but bear in mind it might happen. 

We have always corresponded with Udo in German, but his latest message came with a partial English translation, which I interpret as an invitation for orders from the USA and the rest of the Anglosphere. He advises me he may use translation software (which choked on "Hognose" -- sorry about that) so give him a hand: keep your English clear and simple and avoid idioms and flowery language.

All items are priced in Euros and are net of shipping, so in dollars your actual cost will probably be about double the price stated on the website.



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