Curtiss Kittyhawk Mk I: In the heat of the moment.

All the month of July “enjoying” an average of 40ºC and what comes to my mind?.
Flight Lt. Costello of the iconic 112 Sqn RAF and his simply irresistible Kittyhawk (Sidi Heneish, Egypt, April 1942). Suitably attired for the heat of the desert…. not so in case of fire. Those RAF 1936 Pattern flying boots are always a winner.

How the mind works.

Breguet 521 Bizerte: Just too good.

Magnificent French long-range reconnaissance flying boat of the late 1930s. These sturdy machines were derived from a 1920s British design, the Short Calcutta. 37 Bizertes were built the last one produced in 1940. So useful were these already obsolescent flying boats that the German used the ones the captured, and even purchased more from the Vichy France. In fact, the Bizerte had the “distinction” of being the only French type to be used operationally in first line duties by the Luftwaffe. Three Seenotstaffel (Air-Sea Rescue Squadrons) operated around 30 of them until 1944.

Simply outstanding inflight photo of some French operated examples. These glorious machines had one the most lovely pugnacious nose affair I’ve ever seen.

McDonnell F-4 Phantom: Goin’ out with a Bang.

How time flies… Once the mainstay of the service, now the USAF days of the “Double Ugly” are numbered. With Tyndall-based 82nd Aerial Target Squadron converting to the QF-16 (based on early model F-16s), the last QF-4s will soon be expended from Holloman AFB. A sad, but useful “Pharewell”.

No need to quote this dramatic action-packing LIFE pic, I guess.

Loening PA-1: With a lot to learn.

The PA-1 was an American pursuit (fighter) of the early 1920s. Another of the zillion of fighter aircraft unsuccessful types built in that era. Too slow and just unremarkable, only a prototype was produced. Its only claim of fame was being the first powered by an air-cooled radial (Wright R-1454)….and also to have one of the ugliest nose affair I’ve ever seen.

Heinkel He 70 & He 111C: Close relatives.

The sheer streamlined beauty of these two family jewels created by the twin brothers Siegfried and Walter Günter. They sure needed to be that slick powered as they were by those asthmatic BMW VI’s.

Both were “civilian” (oh, well…) types operated by Lufthansa. Atmospheric and truly enchanting photo. Such a pity it’s damaged.