Bugatti 100P: Hot Rod Style.

The incredibly beautiful Bugatti 100P air racer of the inmortal car engineer Ettore Bugatti designed by the no less great Louis de Monge to compete in the 1939 Deutsch de la Meurthe Cup Race. Sadly, challenging technical problems and world events (read that September of 1939) interfered and the Bugatti never had time to prove its potential.
So great is still the Bugatti 100 allure that a group of aviation enthusiasts from Tulsa, Oklahoma have decided to build a full-size flying replica. Named “Rêve Bleu” (Blue Dream), in the 100P replica their builder have taken some liberties (sadly?) with fiberglass, advanced machined alloy fittings, and other modern materials. The engines aren’t either Bugatti type 50’s but Suzuki Hayabusa’s….and what’s a Bugatti without a Bugatti engine on it?. A very commendable effort anyway.

Superb POV -hehe, sorry- of the replica’s cockpit. It clearly shows its American flavor.

Hughes 300: Félix !!!

The 300 is one of the more versatile, yet in some ways unsung, light helicopter ever built. Jacques Cousteau knew that; his RV Calypso operated a string of 300’s -five if I’m not mistaken. Cousteau’s crew jokingly nicknamed all of them “Félix”.
Revisitin’ some of his alluring TV series. The mistery of the sea, the gadgets, the adventure,…life sure looked so promising then. Childhood dreams.

The man himself here in one of those “Félix” with its pilot, Bob Braunbeck.

NAA F-86L & F-100C: Men and their toys (V).

Buckley Air Force Base, methinks. Superb pic taken when the Colorado ANG was replacing their mounts and name in around 1961. From the F-86L “Sabre Dog” all-weather fighter (120th Fighter Interceptor Squadron) to the F-100C “Hun” day-fighter (120th Tactical Fighter squadron)….losing gizmos, but at least becoming really supersonic on the way.
The 120th has a certain honor. In 1968, still with their “Huns”, they became the first Air National Guard unit deployed for one year to the Vietnam conflict.

A definitely more lighthearted moment here. Some 120th personnel admiring a BoCar Stiletto. The little known Stiletto sport car was there for something: after all the company that built them was from Lakewood, Colorado.

Nakajima B5N1 & “Lil’ USS Yorktown”: Size Matters.

The astonishing “little” USS Yorktown (my guess) built for the Seiji Maruyama’s 1968 “Yamamoto Isoroku” movie. The photowas taken in the Toho Studios’ HUGE -capital letters are imperative here- pool. Two icons here: Toshiro Mifune as Almiral Yamamoto and the Japanese special effect magician, Eiji Tsuburaya.
As we can see, a real vessel here. Like B5N1 definitely not computer-generated.

Polikarpov I-153: Reality Strafes.

Operation Barbarossa, summer 1941. Looks like these poor “Chaikas” were caught with their proverbial pants -almost literally- down. For them the war was off from the very beginning, but fellow “Chaikas” and their ultra-brave pilots had a long and unequal struggle ahead. They prevailed.

A magnificent pic in any case.


Clément Ader’s Eole: Le Batman Français.

Lavish technical drawing taken from the patent document sent in 1890 by Clément Ader to the Institut National de la Propiété Industrialle (National Industrial Property Institute).
Ader and his bats “only” achieved what could be described as some long runs yet with no control whatsoever. In spite of that, he remains firmly engraved in the French national pride, and deservely so.

Leonardo on his mind, no doubt.