Vought RF-8A (F8U-1P) Crusader: Look at the Birdy.

Undernose view of one of VFP-62 “Photo-Crusader” taken during the Cuban Missile Crisis. This U.S. Navy unit was one of the main actors in that agonising days carrying extra-low and fast photo-recon sorties in search of missiles and other nuclear things.
There was some time of levity though. One ground crew of the unit took his time to stencil this message to Castro and his Russian friends. “Smile, you’re on Candid Camera” was a popular TV program where people were caught off guard doing frolics.

Photo: Capt William B. Ecker collection.

Just finished Ecker & Jack’s excellent “Blue Moon Over Cuba” book. A very well-written account by one the “first line” main characters in the Cold, Cold War’s hotter events.

Myasishchyev 3MD: Soviet Furs.

The 3MD was the most advanced member of the M4/3M family. Improved both in aerodynamics and equipment its was designed to be employed mainly as stand-off missile launcher. Only 2 prototypes and a mere 9 production examples were built.

Suitably attired 3MD crewman taking into account these Myasishchev’s bombers received the NATO codename “Bison” .

Zerbe Air Sedan: Some people never learn.

After experimenting with meagre results with its multiplane “things” just before WW1, Professor Jerome S. Zerbe didn’t lost the faith. He continued to experiment with his peculiar wings configuration and after the end of the Great War he took the bold decision to built something bigger and more appealing. Based in Fayetteville (Arkansas),  Zerbe built this pretty neat passenger cabin aircraft powered by one of those readily available surplus rotary engines. The Zerbe Air Sedan one and only problem was Zerbe’s stubborn employ of his ludicrous wing warped (!) and stepped multiplane configuration. A “flight” of around 1,000 ft was achieved during its only known try and that was all. The Great War quantum leaps in aviation design seem to have not teach a thing to the dear Professor.

An amazing artifact anyway.

Adaro 1.E-7 Chirta: 1st in Beauty.

The Chirta was one of the three contenders -with the Gil Pazo GP-1 and the Hispano HS-34- that took part in the Spanish Aeronáutica Militar’s 1934 Concurso de Aviones de Escuela /Training Aircraft Contest. Designed by former Dewoitine engineer and pilot Julio Adaro, the Chirta was a little sesquiplane built with classic construction methods and materials powered by a Czechoslovakian Walter Junior. During its test flights the Chirta showed good manners specially in acrobatics. It wasn’t enough, the 1.E-7 came third in the contest -the GP-1 won. The military coup d’état of 1936 and the subsequent Civil War put an end to further development or production plans. The start of the war caught the Chirta in the Republican Cuatro Vientos airport so it was employed by the Loyalist AF during the war. At war end the Chirta was captured by the Nationalists, the trail went cold after that.

Photo: Juan Arráez Cerdá’s archives.

D-B Super Étendard: 40 Years Young.

Oct 28,1974. On the shadow of Dassault’s glamorous Mirages, the Super Étendard has nevertheless been giving faithful and effective services for quite a long time. The SUE (now SEM) was designed in the early 70s by Dassault to replace their household Étendard IV as the Aéronavale maiden carrier based attack fighter. With the usual improvements in power, aerodynamics and electronics yet sharing a high degree of structure with it forebear this non-assuming and non-afterburning jets have proven to be for a long time “Swiss Knifes” in French Navy service -thanks to a cleverly undertaken modernisation program.

Magnificent pic of an Argentine Navy’s. One of the only two SUE foreign users, and the only buyer; Irak loaned five. By the way, when I was a little kid my mother embroidered me a wonderful -she has such marvellous hands- badge of this unit: La Segunda Escuadrilla Aeronaval de Caza y Ataque. The “Argies” -no offence intended- got their money’s worth.

Super indeed. A most elegant nose affair, in my humble opinion.

Macchi M.B.323 “Bipo”: Try harder next time (II).

The purposeful elegant M.B.323 was conceived at the end of the 40s/early 50s to succeed the universal Texan/Harvard in the Italian AF. Of classic configuation -too classic perhaps- the “Bipo” made its first flight in 1952. A nice performer and not devoid of certain novelties, the M-B.323 didn’t offered nevertheless substantial improvements over the ageless T-6. The Italian AF in the end chose to order a modest amount of one of its competitor, the Fiat G.49, and no production orders of the “Bipo” were undertaken.

One of the novelties of this cute aircraft;the easy access to its P&W Wasp engine thanks to the clever “cappottatura di motore” design.

The uglier “winner”:https://elpoderdelasgalaxias.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/fiat-g-49-1-try-harder-next-time-2/