Dassault Mirage IIIE: Down….Down Under.

Dassault Mirage IIIE: Down....Down Under.

A3-2 was a French-built E model initially used to test the specific IIIO modifications at France. Taken to Australian in 1965 this non-standard aircraft was used by the Australians also for trials and later for calibration tests.

An awesome aircraft wearing the famous RAAF Aircraft Research & Development Unit (ARDU) “Fanta Can” livery. No explanation needed.

Some test here…

Cierva C.30A: The Grasshopper’s Vivisection.

Cierva C.30A: The Grasshopper's Vivisection.

The C.30 was the first direct control Autogiro designed by the genial Juan de la Cierva. Direct control enabled better control at low speed, the Achilles’ heel of the Autogiros so far. It was a relatively successful commercial design built in UK and under licence in France and Germany.

Precious contemporary cutaway. Real artists back then.

Farman F.3X / F-121 Jabiru: Ces drôles d’oiseaux.

Farman F.3X / F-121 Jabiru: Ces drôles d'oiseaux.

Farman’s products were a clear example of interwar peculiar French aviation trend towards UGLINESS with capital letters.
After a certain success with the civil conversion of their Goliath bomber, Farman became enthralled with angularity and low aspect ratio wings of which the Jabiru family was just a typical exponent. The F3X (F-121) was a stunningly ugly four-engined (in tandem pairs) airliner  operated in meagre numbers.

In this photo a Hispano-Suiza 8Ac engined example used by the Farman airline at Schiphol. They built some even uglier….

Mitsubishi J8M Shūsui vs Corsair: Illusory Sword.

Mitsubishi J8M Shūsui vs Corsair: Illusory Sword.

Dreaming. This Japanese variant of the well-known Messerschmitt Me 163B didn’t have time to shot down a thing. Neither the J8M of the Japanese Navy AF nor the Japanese Army AF quite similar Ki-200 or its derivative, the Syusui-Kay reached service.
As usual in the Japan military of the time the Army and the Navy procured different aircraft or developed unnecessary variants of the same model (this case) to accomplish the same roles. They fought each other almost as fiercely as they did with their foes…..a blessing to their real enemies.

R.A.F F.E.2b: The Humble Warrior.

RAF F.E.2b: The Humble Warrior.

Designed in 1911 and still in use at the summer of 1918 as a night bomber, the F.E.2 was a clear example of the material malady that affected British RFC during almost all the Great War. Granted, the F.E.2 was a robust and efficient aircraft in its own right, but it was more than obsolete against Albatri and Halberstadts. Only their crews’ guts and sacrifice allowed at the time the aggressive RFC’s offensive stand.
By the way, a F.E.2 crew seriously wounded the renowned Manfred von Richthofen. “Not easy meat this time, Herr Baron”

Wonderfully ghost-like photo of a b model in a safer night bombing role.

Fairey Fantôme / Féroce: What a waste!!

Fairey Fantôme / Féroce: What a waste !!

Designed in 1934 by Marcel Lobelle and built by Fairey to meet a Belgian AF fighter demand, the Fantôme (Féroce was its intended name in the Belgian AF) was -as we can clearly see in this picture- a thing of beauty; another candidate to the coveted “the most handsome” biplane fighter tittle.
It wasn’t only looks though: The Fantôme was a magnificent aircraft with performance to spare which its intended Hispano-Suiza 12 Ycrs “moteur canon” and machine guns certainly gave it serious “bite”.
In the end only four of them were produced. The requirements of the Belgian AF changed and the Fantòne/Féroce didn’t have the chance to enter service. The prototype crashed during a demonstration, one was ordered by the British Air Ministry to test the “moteur-canon” and the other two were acquired by the USSR for the same reason.
Love at first sight, my friends.