Convair B-58 Hustler: Burnin’ some midday oil.

GIF taken from “Convair B-58 Hustler Champion of Champions”. This sublime Cold War propaganda film was narrated by the veteran actor and Brig Gen (USAF Reserve) James Stewart.
Our Hustler is practicing a “high speed on the deck” mission in an “Oil Burner” route. That name designated, at that time, the areas authorized in the US to fly low-level training missions. They acquired the “Oil Burner” name because jet engines were very smoky back then.


Dassault Mirage IIIE: Au bureau.

The magnificent photo at the back cover of a scarce book :”La 13ème Escadre de chasse: 40 ans d’histoire dans le ciel d’Alsace : du F-86K au Mirage F1CT” (1997).
This pilot’s Guereau 316 flight helmet bears splendidly the colours of the Escadron de chasse (EC) 1/13 “Artois”, then one of the units of the 13ème Escadre de chasse.

A very alive office. I love its Breguet type 11 clock. I once sat in a more inert one when I was a kid during an open day at the Manises AFB.

Horten Ho 229 V3: Just because.

In the hands of the Smithsonian NASM’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, The V3 is the only surviving Ho IX (229) airframe. This “versuch” aircraft was larger than the two previous prototypes, modified in various areas to be used as a template for the intended production versions.

Spellbinding cutaway of an astonishing aircraft. Just what the doctor ordered.

Artist: Arthur Bentley.

NAA AGM-28 Hound Dog: “They ain’t nothin’ but….”

The supersonic Hound Dog was conceived in the middle-late 1950s for the Strategic Air Command (SAC)as an interim standoff missile for the B-52 pending the arrival GAM-87 Skybolt air-launched ballistic missile. Its intended temporary employ dictated the reuse of available off-the-shell components in its design: from the NAA Navaho intercontinental cruise land missile basically.
First flown in 1958, the Hound Dog proved to be a rotund technical success fully developed in just 2 years and a half. Just as well, the Skybolt’s sudden cancellation turned the interim Hound Dogs into decisive weapons for SAC. They remained in service for a total of 15 years (1961-76).

Stunning posed photo of some of those canine missiles. These purposeful missiles are placed on their specific transporters and already attached to B-52’s detachable wing pylons.

CANT Z.1007bis Alcione(?): In bocca di… cane.

Stylist portrait of a Regia Aeronautica (RA) pilot taken during a supposed stratospheric flight over Greece. Based on the cockpit canopy structure and the shape of the control wheel, the aircraft looks to me like an Alcione. Not 100% sure though.
The pilot’s headgear consists of a Giusti flight helmet and the bulky and unmistakable FILOTECNICA oxygen mask; the RA standard issue. Its truncated cone shape earned that mask the nickname “dognose” or “pignose”. The flight suit appears to be a MARUS 1930.

Photo: Rivista Tempo n.82, 1940.

Martinsyde G.100 Elephant: Flying Elephantry.

Not a good sign when a fighter is nicknamed “Elephant” by it crews. This single-seat fighter was conceived for long-range and escort operations and because of that was fairly large and ungainly. In fact, it proved to be too big, slow and not very manoeuvrable. Not the recipe for a successful fighter. The Elephant had one quality though: it could lift a useful bomb load. Soon reclassified as a day bomber the type rendered good services for almost a year and a half (from the summer of 1916 to late 1917).

When in good hands the G.100 could earn its keep, barely. The highest scoring Scotsman (39 victories) in service with the RFC, Major John Gilmour was the also the highest Elephant’s Ace. Gilmour shot down 3 while he was assigned to the only squadron totally equipped with those Martinsyde’s pachyderms, the No. 27 Squadron. By the way, this unit has an elephant in its badge because of that.

Artist: Ivan Berryman.