TNCA Teziutlán: Steamrolled by the Gringos.

Pretty Mexican primary trainer designed by my namesake Antonio Sea. Powered by a 125hp Lycoming engine, this conventional all-wood monoplane was built almost entirely with indigenous materials. Of note also was the Teziutlán’s generous wing surface; it was conceived to operate easily from the country high-altitude airfields. First flown in 1942, just 5 were produced by the Talleres Nacionales de Construcciones Aeronáuticas (TCNA) due to political changes and the start of the huge US aviation aid.

A very decent looking thing, methinks.

Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vb : Der Spitfeuer.

This Spitfire Mk.Vb (EN850) was captured on November 18, 1942 after its pilot, P/O Bernard Scheidhauer, made a crash landing in the Jersey Channel island. Shipped to the Daimler-Benz factory at Echterdingen it was flown there by some the factory pilots before this bizarre conversion was undertaken. A household DB 605A-1 engine replaced the Spit’s usual Merlin; obviously custom made nose cowlings were added with some standard Bf 109G features: the spinner and propeller obviously. Suitably attired with a very conspicuous yellow nose, EN830 served for quite a long time until it was destroyed on August 14, 1944 under the bombs of the Americans.
The reason of this bizarre exercice? Curiosity killed the cat, no doubt.

Miles M.52: The Best for the Best.


I’ve just heard the sad news of British test pilot Eric “Winkle” Brown demise. To pay my humble homage to this unique person I have decided to write about an aircraft that wasn’t among the incredible 487 types that “Winkle” flew.
The Miles M.52 was an experimental aircraft designed in the late part of WW2 to achieve the magic speed of 1000mph. Bold and very advanced it employed a Power Jets W.2/700 engine with afterburner, razor-sharp wings and an innovative “all-moving” stabilator -the latter soon proved necessary during transonic/supersonic flight. With some real controversy -even today- this stunning project was cancelled in 1946 when the first prototype was over 80% complete. The data was then sent to the US…., where they’re still laughing, I guess. This plane could have been the first to broke the “sound barrier”, even before the Bell X-1, and with jet power. The hugely experienced Eric “Winkle” Brown was the intended pilot.

Really magnificent urban art by James Bridle.