Douglas M-4: Vol de Nuit.

Douglas M-4: Vol de Nuit.

The Douglas Mailplanes were derivatives of the successful O-2 military plane; of them the 1926 M-4 was the strengthened last model. Initially intended to be operated by the Post Office Dept itself to replace the venerable DH-4s, the department policy suffered a change and they’re put up for auction and operated by commercial carriers instead.

Still image that captured the magic of the highly recommendable “Night Flight”, a 1933 movie based on the homonymous book of Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

Westland Widgeon III: Close Encounter.

Westland Widgeon III: Close Encounter.

After Westland realized that the Air Ministry 1924 ideas of light powered aircraft were a failure, the company decided to equip its promising Widgeon with more substantial muscle. The result was a very decent, but expensive aircraft, incapable to compete with the Moths, Avians, etc. Just twenty-six of them were ever built.
Charming photo of pilot Les Trist and friends with VH-UGI, a Cirrus-engined III model in 1930. This Widgeon was used in the gold rush that took place in Papua New-Guinea before WW2. Gladly VH-UGI is still with us, but Trist had less luck; he died a  year after this photo was taken.

Antoinette VII Monoplane: The heavenly loser (II).

Antoinette VII Monoplane: The heavenly loser (II).

Photo taken 27 July 1909 -two days after Louis Blériot’s historic crossing, Latham is seen here over the English Channel on his 2nd attempt. He was flying the relatively untested VII after his IV was seriously damaged in the 1st attempt. He ended in the drink again…., only a mile from the English coast this time.

Awesome contrast between the Antoinette and the escort ship “Harpoon”.

Dassault Mirage IIIRS: Negative & Positive.

Dassault Mirage IIIRS: Negative & Positive.

The Swiss started their association with the French Deltas with their controversial and very expensive custom-made IIIS -a very capable aircraft in its own right though. Anyway, they are not used to spend their money “happily” so extracted of their Mirages a long serving and profitable operational tool.

These pair of recon Mirages display their cute “canards”, the more evident improvement applied to prolong the Swiss AF Mirage fleet’s service life.