Mitsubishi Ki-51: “The perfect is the enemy of the good.”

The Ki-51 was one of the more trusty Imperial Japanese Army AF light/attack bomber during WW2. Of very classic -maybe too classic- “Japanese” configuration these planes were quite vulnerable, slow yet very maneuverable. Curiously the Ki-51 is one of the very few Japanese aircraft that suffered few modifications during its service life span. Anyway, these cute aircraft undertook their missions with the typical Japanese stoicism. Operated all around, but specially in the China-Burma-India theatre they proved efficient and quite adapted to rough operational conditions.

Good enough.


Kawasaki KV-107-II: James Bond’s Stuff.

Kawasaki KV-107-II: James Bond's Stuff.

In this superb photo – note the awesome rotor symmetry- a Japanese license-built Boeing Vertol 107-II airliner shows how handy these choppers still are….your barge needs a tow?.

Etrich-Rumpler Taube: Dove of War

Etrich-Rumpler Taube: Dove of War

Designed by the Austrian Igor Etrich and first flown in 1910 the Taube (Dove) was manufactured by around 14 different companies. At the beginning of the Great War it became the epitome of Central Power aviation. The war showed early on its limitations and the Taubes were soon removed from front line service and relegated to training new pilots.
Curiously its wing shape wasn’t designed with the dove wing in mind,it was really an interpretation of the Alsomitra (Zanonia) macrocarpa seed shape.

Focke-Wulf Ta 152H-1 vs B-17G: High above the Vaterland.

Focke-Wulf Ta 152H-1 vs B-17G: High above the Vaterland.

Kurt Tank’s Ta 152 was the last and the best expresion of the Fw 190 family.Designed as a high altitude interceptor,this stylish aircraft proved to be a redoubtable fighter in the hands of a good “jagflieger”…..regrettably for Germany both pilots and Ta 152’s were scarce at the end of WW2.

9 Grün was flown by a really good Jagflieger, Willy Reschke an ace and Ritterkreuzträger (Knight Cross) of the JG 301. In this awesome drawing Reschke is depicted bringing down a “Viermot” (Four engined aircraft),his speciality: 20 of his 27 victories were heavy bombers.

Douglas DC-6: Lira Maker.

Douglas DC-6: Lira Maker

Born just after the end of WW2,the long defunct LAI airline was the first Italian to connect, with these DC-6’s, across the Atlantic Italy with USA…. and they couldn’t have chosen a better aircraft to do it.

Wonderfully dynamic poster, there was a time when aircraft sold tickets.

Gil-Pazó GP-1: Brother against Brother.

Gil-Pazó GP-1: Brother against Brother.

The GP-1 was the winner of a basic training aircraft competition issued by the Spanish Ejército del Aire (Air Force) in the middle 30’s. The honest and agil Gil-Pazós were orthodox no-nonsence monoplanes of mainly wooden construction.The basic model were developed into a pair of cabin model designs. The start of the Spanish Guerra Civil had a serious impact in its production and service life; 100 were ordened but only around 40 were built by the Republicans in Alicante during the conflict.After the war the surviving examples were employed by the winning Nationalist side.
The story of this neat aircraft is the history of the bloody Spanish Civil War. Its designers, Arturo González Gil y Santibáñez and José Pazó ended: the first dead when he was leading milicians for the Republic and the second one in the rebel Nationalists side….

Stupendous pic of a civilian example over Catalonia.

Photo: I. Escorsell.