Boeing B-47E Stratojet: Ride ‘Em Santa.

The gate guard of former Plattsburgh AFB, New York in festive mood. Not the average Stratojet here. “Pride of the Adirondacks” and its crew won top honors among all SAC B-47 in Sept 1965 SAC’s 14th Bombing and Navigation competition (Fairchild AFB, Washington). The so-called “World’s Best B-47” didn’t have too much time to enjoy its status; B-47’s phased out process was in full swing. “Pride of the Adirondacks” took its guard duties in February 1966 …..almost 50 years ago.

Feliz Navidad / Merry Xmas, my friends.

Gribovskii G-17: At a loss for words.

V. K. Gribovskii was a little-known, but prolific, russian (soviet) aircraft designer. Gribovskii’s forte were gliders and light aircrafts. His spellbinding radial-engined G-17 canard project is a mystery (late 1930s, I think). This drawing appears in Bill Gunston’s classic “The Osprey Encyclopedia of Russian Aircrafts”;  with only the “G-17 canard project” quote as info.

Dewoitine D.510: Le Plus Art Déco (III).

Unmistakable the lines of these French interwar fighters.These all-metal, cantilever fixed undercarriage monoplanes were conceived to answer a 1930 operational requirement. Sadly, they came almost too late. The D.500 series were obsolescent by the time they reached operational service in the middle of the 1930s; a sort of utterly elegant transitional fighters.
The more powerful D 510 was the first French fighter to surpass the 400 km/h barrier. This is the  first prototype. The 510’s entered service in Nov, 1936 when the first Spitfires, Hurricanes and Bf 109’s were already in the air…..


FVM Ö 1 “Tummelisa”: Little Lisa.

The Ö 1 was conceived mainly by Gösta von Porat while he was undertaking an aeronautics studies course in France in 1919, Henry Kjellson completed refined later the design the FVM. This cute advanced trainer first flew in 1920. The “Tummelisa” was powered by a 90hp Thulin (Le-Rhône) rotary engine. A quite straightforward biplane with nice handling qualities, the around 30 built were operated by the Swedish AF until 1935.
The Ö 1 in this magnificent artwork was one the of mounts of the “Four Aces” display team -one of the World’s first.  A very original replica still embellishes the air with these colours.

Artist: Roger H. Middlebrook.

Douglas DST, DC-3,C-47, Dakota… et al: Simply The Best.

80 years old today (Dec 17, 1935) and as incombustible as always. One of the very few that can be boast there was a before and an after them. A truly revolutionary aircraft -with Boeing 247 permission-, the DC-3 made commercial aviation profitable. Period.

Hard to choose a photo for this important day (Wrights’ day also). In the end as “the only replacement for a DC-3 is another DC-3” I just share with you this C-47 Skytrain’s classic 3-view.  Iconic from any angle.