Junkers G.24: Proud Offspring.

Junkers G.24: Proud Offspring.

The G.24 was the logic multi-engined development of the single engine F.13. Not so easy, due to the draconian restrictions of the Versailles Treaty in aviation matters (specially in engine power), Junkers only could at first built the less than satisfactory powered G.23. Not only that, Junkers had to used a complicated overseas production facilities (Russia and Sweden) to achieve even that. With the G.24, the airframe got decent engines and it really started to show its real qualities of robustness and confort…plus a nice bunch of World records.

Depicted here a Spanish Unión Aérea Española (U.A.E) G.24, the “Sevilla” landing at the aeródromo de Getafe, Nov 1927.

AW Argosy I: Hideous Vessel.

Armstrong Whitworth Argosy I: Hideous Vessel.The Armstrong Whitworth Argosy was procured by Imperial Airways after it was decided to discontinue the use of single-engined aircraft in their services. This totally inelegant trimotor biplane was employed by Imperial Airways for around 10 years (1927-36) at first in their European routes -the prestigious London-Paris flight included-, and later in the South Africa route. Only 3 Argosy I’s were built later joined by 4 of the more powerful mark II model.

Lovely, and flattering, poster. They weren’t the most dashing looking among the Empire Flag carriers.

F-104 VTOL project: The icing on the cake.

F-104 VTOL project: The icing on the cake.

After testing himself the X-13 Vertijet Ryan, test pilot Peter Girard came to his own idea of a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) jet fighter. The Girard’s concept was based on a sort of  triangular shaped rotor/wing with movable tips.  The wing rotated to take off like an helicopter and when the appropriate speed was achieve it became fixed to allow high-speed flight. To counteract the rotor torque he planned to employ compressed air outlets in the tail section.
In 1962 Lockheed and Ryan found some merit in the idea and in what’s better than Lockheed’s already stunning “Zip”? Sadly, it didn’t go any further.

In this photo a lovely done interpretation. It could have been this cool.

C-5 Blimp: Deflated Hope.

C-5 Blimp: Deflated Hope.

Designed as a follow-up to the “very British” B-Class airship -essentially a modified SS airship-, the US Navy C-class airship was an all-American design. Conceived by the Navy, this blimp were bigger, more capable and had longer legs. On the basis of that endurance one of them, the C-5 (Envelope by Goodyear/ control car by Burguess), was to be used in a transatlantic flight in 1919. You’ve not hear anything of that raid because it was blow away and lost by a 60 knots gust just before the attempt start.

Gallaudet “Chummy Flyabout”: Buddy-Buddy.

Another weird aircraft thanks to the American pioneer Edson Gallaudet. The 1917 -the more usual date given- Chummy was a very light aircraft monoplane powered by two motorcycle Indian engines. The engines were in ( or on) the nose and drove pusher propellers behind each one of its wings through complicated shaft and bevel transmissions.

Edson Gallaudet and David Dunlap in the cockpit. You had to be definitely in “Chummy” terms with your passenger to share such a tight place.

USAF P-4A helmet & MBU-3/P oxy mask: Hit by Lights.

USAF P-4A helmet & MBU-3/P oxy mask: Hit by Lights.

This USAF pilot outfit was more or less standard in the late 1950s-early 1960s. The clear visor is a bit odd, a tinted one was more usual, but maybe it was necessary in the sort of test related with the these lights projected into the visor of the model. No much info about the “why” of it, the photo’s source said vaguely: “sun-ray shield.” My guess: something more warlike, that’s for sure.

M.C.200 Saetta vs Spitfire: Settin’ some Fire.

M.C.200 Saetta vs Spitfire:  Settin' some Fire.

Pretty neat propaganda artwork my the renowned “Edizioni d’Arte Boeri” (Roma). Not so far off the mark, the Saetta despite its weak armament and asthmatic engine was more than capable in the right hands. By the way, the Saetta model is one of the very early example with the fully enclosed cockpit canopy….and both aircraft used, strangely, two-blades props.