The Aviation Historian is a relatively new quarterly publication - the first issue being released in October last year.
The journal is the creation of Nick Stroud and Mick Oakey - the former Editor and Deputy Editor of the much respected Aeroplane magazine. Between them, they have come up with a National Geograpic sized, perfect-bounded gem, with digital editions also available. The 130-page size makes it only slightly bigger than a “standard” magazine, but there are only two pages of adverts inside each issue.
Their guiding principles seem to be this: a “standard” message from the editor, letters section, reviews section, a couple of short regular features - but then complete freedom to publish over a dozen articles across a wide variety of subjects, using their combined skills, experiences, and general passion for aviation.
It is the variety of the articles that make TAH a stand-out for me. Where other publications would be concerned about devoting pages to current news, concentrating on a particular era for it’s articles (including adverts aimed at that era), and keeping a certain status-quo in order to not offend an established readership, TAH - as the new and versatile kid on the block - just “goes for it”.
With a staff of only four - Mick, Nick, and their spouses - and the only contact number being a mobile phone, it feels part guerrilla publication, part fanzine, and part labor of love - but don’t be misled, as the print quality, design, and art (including illustrations by Ian Bott and Juanita Franzi) is of an extremely high standard. TAH’s editorial board includes the likes of Philip Jarrett - who will be familiar to British readers - and Dr Richard Hallion.
TAH can be considered a very British publication, but should appeal to an international audience - some of the featured articles so far including the death of Carole Lombard, NASA’s Mercury programme spacesuits, the B-35 flying wing, the history of the CIA’s "Air America", the Canadian CF-105 Arrow, and post WW2 Soviet jet technology.
In summary: RECOMMENDED