The original B-36’s 110-inch landing gear wheels are the largest aircraft tyres ever produced. Those gargantual tyres were only employed on the XB-36, YB-36 and XC-99. Technical and, mainly, operational issues condemmed their operation: their balancing was difficult; the replacement was labor intensive; a single failure scenario was critical……and an airfield survey discovered early on (spring 1944) that only three -yeah, 3!- US airfields could endure the massive stress exerted on their runways by these wheels.
Improvements in brake technology and a multi-wheel undercarriage design solved the problem.
Grace Purcelly playfully poses with the gigant wrench used on the Goodyear’ tyre single lug.
The Roc mas the less fortunate product of the failed British bomber-destroyer “turret figther” concept of the 1930s. The Roc was in essence just the very, very modest Blackburn Skua equiped with a Boulton-Paul turret. It didn’t have a chance; Roc’s performances were a joke and by the time they were available in number it was obvious that those turreted fighters didn’t have a chance against conventional fighters. Only a few of them were put reluctantly in their intended role by the Fleet Air Arm (around late 1939). Soon enough other less hazardous duties were found for them.
Marginal and not pretty things, but those Blackburns sure had something….,at least for me.
1963/64. Belgian “Super Hog” solo display pilot Cpt José Marette at easy, down and fast -his usual style.
More ugly dancers.
The long service and ultrasecret RC-135 family and their bizarre excrescences. More than 40 years after RC-135U conversion and now boosted by these fairly disproporcionate F108 (aka CFM56) engines and, well, the latest “gizmos and gadgets”.
Some aircrafts have faces, definitely.
After years of ocupation and technical stagnation, France faced a difficult situation at the end of WW2 in aviation matters; specially in the civilian sector. It was only with the superlative Caravelle that the French industry produced someting sellable. Meanwhile it had to do with hastly converted and inadecuate wartime designs and, even worst, prewar developments. The Languedoc was one of the later. An Bloch MB.160’s offspring, this design was absolutely obsolete by then and was ordened mainly for prestige. They were employed mainly by Air France and the French military, the later in some bold test flights. With its very dated tailwheel landing gear and powered, at first, by meagre and questionable Gnome-Rhône 14N’s they proved to be uneconomical, noisy, and dangerous. Languedocs “barged”anyway until they’re deservely replaced by more profitable designs.
Some ex-Air France were later operated by the Spanish Aviaco company. The typical Spanish “gracejo” (wit) worked overtime with them: EC-AMH became “M-e H-undo” (I’m sinkin’); EC-ANP “N-o P-uedo” (I can’t); EC-ANS “N-o S-ubo” (I don’t climb); EC-ANR “N-o R-ulo” (I don’t work)….
The Languedocs were nevertheless majestic artifacts. A SE.161 of the SAMAR at BA 142 base (Boufarik) during 1958/59.
© Photo Jean Berniau.
Magnificently 100% Junkers’ style poster. Ironically, the subject chosen was one of their less inspiring products doin’ something it wasn’t designed for: dive attack.
The crafty Iranians. To have these complex aircrafts still goin’ decently strong while under such a strict embargo.
Always a fan of these “Asian Minor II camo” Tomcats.