Boeing B-17E/F Flying Fortress: Boys & their Toys (II)

Awe-inspiring photograph taken a the Plant 2 wind tunnel Boeing factory, Seattle. Verl Nelson and Bob Withington looking like the Boeing engineers they were.  
Gladly a very similar wood & metal B-17E/F wind tunnel model -maybe the same one,who knows- was found in a Boeing warehouse sinfully painted in olive drab colours. After some “vicissitudes” its wind tunnel use was confirmed and this high quality model has been recovered and superbly restored to be displayed in the Museum of Flight Boeing’s Red Barn.

A magnificent jewel, don’t you think?

Douglas DC-4: Just like Heaven.

Dissimilar horses. The very down-to-earth (for an aeroplane) four-engined Douglas workhorse and the iconic Mercedes-Benz thoroughbred’s herd. In the background at the right the 1934 W25 and at the left the gorgeous 1937 W125; in the foreground from left to right: smooth 1939 W154-163, a pair fo 1954-55 W196’s -in both the superb “Streamlined” and normal body- and the bold 1939 W165.
Yep, maybe you’ve guessed it; classic motorsport is just another of my “useless” addictions.

Blohm & Voss BV 141: All-Out Tour de Force.

Designed to cover a prewar Army reconnaissance requirement, the usually irrepressibe Richard Vogt gloriously went too far with his classic asymmetric BV 141. Such a weird configuration for such pedrestrian duties. A good performer in spite of -or thanks- to its layout, the Luftwaffe chose instead the definitely more conventional Fw 187. One of main reasons for its defeat was that the BV 141 was powered in its more evolved shape (the -B) by the highly demanded BMW 801….. the essential Fw 190 needed them all.
Lovely incorrect wartime artwork. Very artistic cloudy background.

Potez 56E: É-tonnant.

The Potez 56 was a very pretty French executive aircraft of the 30s. In the same class -and style- of the Airspeed Envoy this almost all-wooden mopalane was with its obviously elegant lines a rarity in the interwar French aviation “laid” era. First flown in the 1934 the Potez 56 only saw a very limited civil success (only around 20 were built), being mainly employed by the military (around 50). The unique 56E prototype was the most bizarre of them all. This unlikely warrior was equiped with an arresting gear to be employed for reconnaissance duties by the Aéronavale from their Béarn carrier.

Boeing 314 Clipper: The only way was down.

The 314 supposed the zenith of the civilian flying boat epoch. Other bigger and more powerful came later, but by then the era of these magnificent airliners have ended; WW2 and the rapid landplane technical development took care of that.

Gorgeous photo of its stylish and very seaworthy bow. Its time was already running out…, a shame.

Photo: George Strock (LIFE).

Lockheed C-130B Hercules: Manna from Heaven.

An USAF Lockheed C-130B Hercules dropping supplies during Operation Junction City, early 1967. Junction City was an airborne operation conceived to locate and crush the supposed VietCong’s headquarters in South Vietnam. It was also the largest U.S. airborne operation undertaken since the 1944 infamous Operation Market. As in Market Garden the results were not the expected -though not as bad; it proved to be a tactical success yet the strategic objectives were not achieved….utterly Vietnam War.


It was not Fat Albert’s fault, such a brilliant performer. Great pic.