Zeppelin LZ 37 vs. Morane-Saulnier L: Two are better than just one.

Dramatically dynamic redemption of that classic event by British illustrator (artist) Raymond Sheppard. The Morane looks very “literal” but Sheppard took some licenses with the LZ37. That Zeppelin was the last of the L3 Class/Type m and m2 built (first flight 28.2.1915). Only the first (LZ24) had this older style tail unit with multiple control surfaces (Type m), the rest of the series (Type m2) had a much simplified cruciform tail feathers. It the first of the Zeppelins that mimic some of “Schütte-Lanz” rigids airships’ smart features…

Another lovely artwork and more data.

Abuja Airplane House: “With good intentions, bad poetry has been written”.

The Saids are a Lebanese immigrant couple who live in Nigeria. Their love to travel is so strong that the husband decided at the turn of the century to built as a gift to his wife an aircraft-shaped house… they like to travel fast, it seems.
Here it is the kinky result; a four-engined jetliner with Lebanese MEA (Middle Easter Airlines), of course, livery and a bizarrely built cockpit; very, very “H-P Victor” to me.

Lunar Excursion Module Simulator (LEMS): Night for Day.

This giant gantry was built in the Langley Research Center to operate as a manned simulator to explore the piloting skill necessary to handle the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM, later LM) during the final parts of the landing phase.
Nightime training. Many of the LEMS tests were conducted at night because it was easier to simulate the lighting conditions on the moon. This incredibly evocative multiple-exposure pic captures the enormity of the whole Apollo program.

A very “Bell Sioux” bubble canopy,… in the end, however, the actual LM didn’t handle at all like a chopper.

Messerschmitt Bf 109D: The Great Pretender (III).

1936 Olympyc pentathlon gold medallist Gotthard Handrick was also a member of the Legion Condor, and a 5 “kills” ace in the Spanish Guerra Civil. Handrick flew a Bf 109B-2 (6-56) there and that machine had a pair of emblems of the Olympic rings painted on oposite sides of its spinner. This one, obviously with the date 1936, to commemorate his 1936 Berlin Olympic medal and on the other side another with a “1940?”…. he hoped to repeat medal material in the planned 1940 Tokyo Olympic games. Sadly, the World was playing bloodier “games” by then. One of the fortunate anyway; Handrick survived WW2.

Curiously the “Messer” in this photo was not Handrick’s Bf 109B-2, but another machine -a Bf 109D- painted, it seems, with similar markings and photographed in Germany for propaganda purposes.

Photo: Karl Ries’ collection.

Kawanishi E15K Shiun: Fast Passage.

The peerless Shiun (Violet Cloud) was the last floatplane produced by the Kawanishi Kokuki, and certainly one of the most advanced. This slick floatplane was designed from the outset with maximum posible speed as a main requirement; certainly necessary in the recon missions envisaged for it in sectors mastered by the enemy. The list of clever features of the Shiun is astonishing: laminar flow airfoil; outboard stabilizing floats, both retractable and inflatable; jettisonable central float (to evade enemy fighters in emergency); contra-rotating props for its Mitsubishi Kasei engine….
The design process started the summer of 1939 and first prototype made its maiden flight in 5 December 1941. The E15K1 flight performance soon proved promising, but the floatplane was plaged with propeller and outboard float problems.Those floats problems were solved eliminating the inflatable feature first and later making them fixed.
A handful built were combat tested in Palau. They were soon obliterated. They showed problems with their jettisonable central floats, the usual feeble Japanese armour and the risible defense of just a single 7.7mm MG. No further production was undertaken.

Charming model kit box artwork. The E15K Shiun prototype in its original and purest shape. Such a gorgeous beast.