Junkers Ju 87B “Stuka”: Masters of the day.

With the unmistakable Parthenon as a background, this school of Luftwaffe’s sharks return from their mission at Crete (1941). Superb artwork by the prolific Hans Liska.

Dassault Mirage IIIC: Matador!!!

Still enjoyin’ Mirage III’s jubilee. The IIIC interceptor ‘s neat & tight office in all its glory; pretty advanced for the early 1960s. The suitably dressed pilot is ready for high altitude interception business. He’s wearing the EFA-ARZ Type 30 partial-pressure suit, with its stunning Type 21 helmet, under the elegant white leather “habit de lumière” (light suit / “traje de luces” in Spanish, aka the bullfighter’s outfit!!) overall.

Photo: GIFAS.

FMA IA 58 Pucará: Subconscious Flattery?

Always a fan of these Argentinian ground-attack/counter-insurgency (COIN) aircraft. One of those barely suitable aircraft flown by the Argentinians during the Falkland/Malvinas War. The Pucará suffered badly there and not even their brave crew could compensate the fact they’re fighting with an ill-suited tool for that kind of war. I “adore” (nice word choice here) two Pucarás’ characteristics seen in this gorgeous picture: the elegant Turbomeca Astazou XVIG engine nacelles and their fixed weaponry of four Browning MGs and two 20mm Hispano cannons. Curiously the same armament carried by the very-british Spitfire when equipped with a “B” wing…., ahhh, the irony.

Nice close-up of a Pucará in later years. Without its rear ejection seat and with that retractable “stirrup” out…, sorry looking.

Airspeed AS.31: The final fantasy, maybe.

Airspeed’s out-of-this-miserable-world answer to RAF F35/35 specification. The firm submitted this highly unconventional -so say the very least- design with the pilot in a egg-shaped cockpit nacelle positioned well behind. Among the supposed advantages were the improved pilot view (?!) and the reduction in propeller airstream disturbance and drag. Like the Hurricane and Spitfire of the era, the AS.31 was to be powered by a 880hp Rolls-Royce Merlin E engine and armed with eight Browning MGs. Curiously there was no rudder or fin surface to be seen.

Imagine the “fortunate” pilot’s sensations due to g-loads on any relatively tight manoeuvre…. Simply too incredible, this marvel remained a dream.