AVIATION HISTORIAN; AUTHOR; EDITOR; RESEARCHER; CONSULTANT; PHOTOGRAPHER
Bert Kinzey graduated from Virginia Tech in 1968 with a degree in Business Administration. Upon graduation, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U. S. Army and was sent to the Army’s Air Defense School at Fort Bliss, Texas.
During his eight years as an officer, Bert commanded a Hawk guided missile battery just south of the DMZ in Korea. Later he originated, wrote, and taught classes on the air threat, military air power, and air defense suppression at Fort Bliss.
It was during this time that he did his first writing. Bert was dissatisfied with the existing manuals and other materials available for his classes because they were inaccurate and incomplete. As a result, he wrote his own reference books and other publications. Although he intended for these to be used only in his classes, they were soon placed on the Army’s official publication list and distributed throughout the military.
In 1976, Bert resigned from active duty, but his reputation for being knowledgeable about all aspects of military air power soon led to his taking a civilian position as a subject matter expert on the air threat and world air power with the Department of Defense. His primary responsibility was to develop a new program to teach the proper identification of both friendly and enemy aircraft so as to insure the destruction of hostile aircraft and the safety of friendly aircraft. This was the first such program in the world to feature dynamic simulation. Bert has also flown with active, reserve, and National Guard squadrons on training missions to observe the conduct and procedures of air-to-air and air-to-ground combat. As both an officer and a civilian, Bert often briefed military and political leaders of the United States and other nations on subjects related to air power, the air threat, and air defense.
While he was working for the Department of Defense, Bert started Detail & Scale, a part time business to produce a new series of books on military aircraft. The Detail & Scale Series of publications was the first to focus on the many details of military aircraft to include cockpits, weapon systems, radars and avionics systems, differences between variants, airframe design, and much more. These books became so successful that Bert soon resigned from his position with the Department of Defense and began writing and producing books full time. Soon, other well-known aviation writers began writing books for the Detail & Scale Series, so Bert became both an author and an editor. He has always edited his own writing and remains one of the very few aviation writers allowed to do so by publishers. Later Bert added aircraft carriers to the Detail & Scale Series, and he also began a second series called Colors & Markings. Each book in this series focused on a specific aircraft type and illustrated the paint schemes and markings of every unit that had flown that aircraft. Bert also produced a book for McGraw-Hill on the Gulf War entitled The Fury of Desert Storm: The Air Campaign. In January 2002, Bert produced his one-hundredth aviation publication. That number has since risen to 114 published titles. Of these, he wrote ninety-five, while the remaining nineteen were written by other aviation writers while being edited and produced by Bert.
Bert has always taken many of the photographs that appear in his publications, and he believes that whenever possible, it is best that the author take photos in order to precisely illustrate what is being discussed in the text and captions. His has also done photography for other books, magazine articles, web sites, and for research and publicity that has been provided to clients. He owns one of the most extensive collections of aviation photographs in the world. Over the years, Bert has given numerous presentations and speeches about military air power, the air threat, military aviation history, and aircraft types, working these into his busy schedule of writing, editing, doing research, taking photographs, and consulting.
In June 2004, health issues caused Bert to have to retire from his work. His series of aviation books came to an end for nine years. In 2013, Bert teamed up with Rock Roszak to begin producing the books again, but the new ones are now greatly expanded digital publications that are available in both the Apple iBooks and Amazon Kindle formats. Rock had previously illustrated some of Bert’s books, but in the new arrangement, Rock has become the art director for Detail & Scale and is responsible for the layouts. The first digital title in the Detail & Scale Series was released in December 2013 and more titles are being added at the rate of two or three per year
One of the reasons this website, detailandscale.com, has been created is because Bert wanted to place much of his large collection of aircraft photographs, especially the rare photographs of cockpits, radars, armament, and other details, on the Internet so that it can be available to aviation enthusiasts and researchers everywhere. It is Bert’s desire to encourage a new generation of aviation writers to follow in his footsteps and produce references on military aircraft using all forms of media.
Bert also runs the Detail & Scale Facebook page to share photos and information about military aircraft with enthusiasts around the world. Several other military aviation photographers and historians assist Bert with the page.