The Cornu was the first aircraft capable of free vertical flight. Designed and built by bicycle-maker (another one!!) Paul Cornu, this tandem contra-rotating rotors “Flying Bicycle” achieved -barely- that historical feat in 1907.
The glory was brief. After some more hops and trials Cornu came to the conclusion that his designs suffered serious control problems and that linked with his lack of funds ended his contribution to aviation.
In this photo Paul Cornu and his Helicopter’s Antoinette engine up close and personal.
As the Americans, the Russians were taken by the nuclear fever of the 1950s. All could be nuclear powered back then, submarines,ships,cars….and yeah, aircraft too.
The first Russian step was a Tupolev Tu-95 (the LAL) equipped with a nuclear reactor (functional, but that did not a power plant of the plane) used to test reactor operation and crew radiation hazards. The positive results of that test program encouraged the Tupolev Bureau to propose the “logical” next step: The Tu-119, a test aircraft powered by two Kuznetsov “direct( read dirty)-cycle” nuclear turboprops.
In the end the project came to nothing -gladly, I guess-, because the lost of interest in the matter by the eternal enemy, radiation risks, and the wondrous costs.
In this drawing we can observe the basic construction details of the Tu-119. A reactor in the fuselage (as in the Tu-95LAL) connected to the two inner “direct-cycle” NK-14As engines.
Il Gobbo Maledetto (the “damned hunchback” -an apocryphal nickname it seems) performing its most glorious role in WW2: aerosilurante (Torpedo bomber) and/or maritime attack in the Mediterranean.
Don’t always believe the clichés. The Italians were brave enough soldiers cursed by bad equipment and worse leadership.
A B-25 scale model and bomb are being prepared for wind tunnel bomb separation tests in the plant of the North American Aviation, Inglewood (California), 1942.
Awe-inspiring the workmanship of those models.
Photo: Alfred Palmer OWI/LOC.
A Convair’s proposal to the USAF for a high performance parasite (or ground launched) bomber-recon aircraft. This Super Hustler study (here were others) was composed of two parts: a manned one at the front with a ramjet engine and a rear winged booster (bomb-equipped in the bomber version) powered by two ramjets. Ironically the Super Hustler’s proposed mothership was the Convair Hustler, an evolution of a very similar parasite bomber concept.
This project derived into the even more complex and secret FISH.
The agressive line of the Griffon-Spitfire in all its splendor.
Artist: Steve Heyen.
The Haifisch was built using a formula similar to the used with the successful Roland C.II. The typical German construction ways and very “sharky” lines (Haifisch=Shark) are evident in this fast and sturdy fighter. In service the Roland D.II and IIa weren’t nevertheless too loved by their crews due to the heaviness of their controls…., something that you don’t definitely want on a fighter.
Notice that only one man is holding up its tail.