Argentine civil aircraft register unveiled!
|Monday 2 July 2012||Text by Carlos Ay under Media & publications|
After decades improvising spread sheets, querying scarce bibliography or navigating through endless Internet searches, aviation analysts and enthusiasts are finally getting a window fully opened to the modern civil aircraft register of Argentina. In a new departure from its traditional Malvinas-focused line of products, Ediciones Argentinidad released in March 2012 the first of two volumes synthesizing data on close to 9,000 aircraft registrations in Argentina’s National Civil Aviation Agency archives, seasoning it with additional research by authors Michael Magnusson (Sweden) and Gabriel Pavlovcic (Argentina). A promising start, this book and its saga should fill a preeminent position in the book shelves of every serious Argentine civil aviation connoisseur/enthusiast.
Volume 1 comprises registrations in the LV-AAA to LV-MZZ range (not including eight numbered manufacturer registrations in the LV-F block), leaving the remainder of the research for an as yet unscheduled volume 2. Also a matter of speculation is the treatment that book number two will give to ultra-lights and experimental aircraft in the in the LV-U, LV-UX and LV-X ranges. After a five page introduction telling the story of the present Argentine civil aircraft register (for a shorter, yet comparable, synthesis, see Pista 18 for Registro Argentino de Aeronaves Civiles), the book gets down to business by presenting individual registration data in spread sheet format with registration, manufacturer, model, construction number, last owner, base, registration date, last change date and remarks columns. The last 40+ pages are filled with a registrations blocks index (at first registration letter-level), a type cross reference listing all registrations for each major maker and model (covering the entire register, not just the registrations in volume 1!), a military serials cross reference, a previous identities table and a summary of ferry (repetitive) registrations in the LV-P range (also for the complete register).
In average, one in every two to three pages is illustrated with a variety of photographs. Most of them naturally show the fascinating variety of aircraft types flying with Argentine civil markings in the last eight decades, but many others go into details revealing brands (manufacturers, types, models or variants) and badges or logos (flying clubs and aviation sports federations) as photographed in actual Argentine aircraft. Additional illustrations are incorporated in the form of sample advertisements selling many of the aircraft types in other times, an Argentine airports and airfields map and photographs showing several of those facilities throughout the time.
While the book definitively deserves our “five out of five” score (and probably the “Argentine aviation title of the year” prize!), a few critical remarks are in order. Hopefully, the authors and their publisher will take them into consideration before going to press for volume 2… The largest dart goes to the poor printing quality, small size or inadequate cropping which rendered several aircraft illustrations useless. Also questionable was the decision not to incorporate captions for all aircraft photos, because valuable information was lost in the process, while a few credits are not entirely correct. A few minor glitches were noted elsewhere in our review, but they don’t alter the general quality of the information made available through this massive research title.
While the book attempts to cater for both the English and Spanish reader, data and remarks in the aircraft tables end up mixing up both languages incompletely. Coupled to sometimes cryptic and excessively abbreviated comments, this will demand the reader to have a thorough command of spotter jargon and a profound background on Argentine civil aviation to find and exploit many of the treasures in this mammoth reference. Lastly, its publisher should review its sales procedures to avoid selling personalised copies to the wrong customer, as it was the case with the copy purchased for this review, which was autographed for a different customer in Reconquista (Province of Santa Fe)…
About the authors
Michael Magnusson is President and Chief Executive Officer at Saab Aircraft Leasing, but he’s best known to the aviation enthusiasts community as a respected photo collector and author of at least two titles: “Latin Glory: Airlines of Latin America” (Zenith Press, 1995) and “Saab 340” (Airlife Publishing’s Airline Markings, 1991). He has a keen interest in Argentine aviation dating back to the 1970s, when he first visited the country as a teenage foreign resident.
Gabriel Pavlovcic is a retired Argentine Air Force colonel whose unabated energies have been redirected from flying military aircraft to writing about Argentine aircraft, both civil and military, with a strong emphasis on preserving the national aviation heritage. His “opera prima” was published in 2008 and dealt with the first Argentine civil aircraft register (see Pasando Revista in our Pista 18 archive), a natural complement to this title as it documents registrations entered with the system used between 1928 and 1938. He has also authored or co-authored other historical titles dealing with such varying themes as the National Aeronautics Museum or the contribution of women to Argentine aviation.