Nieuport 11: Bleu Horizon.

That very French blue, Adrian helmet and the idiosyncratic Level rifle. You can’t almost hear the staccato of the 11‘s Le Rhône rotary. From the “Le pilote à l’edelweiss” comic series. The superbly detailed style of the great Romain Hugault, without his overused pin-up girls here….., thanks god.

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EE Canberra PR.Mk.9: Nosey Old Boy.

The British seem to have always had an eye for bizarre crew members “accommodation”. The PR.9 was the ultimate Canberra photo-reconnaissance version. Taking the B(I).8 interdictor as a basis, the guys of English Electric stretched the fuselage, increased the wingspan and added the more powerful Avon R.A.27  Avon engines. All that in order to improve the already notorious high-altitude performance of the basic Canberra. Just 23 of them were produced and they were not retired from the RAF until 2006. Not bad from a design whose roots were in the middle 1940’s.

The PR.9 retained the cool offset canopy of the B(I).8 and to be a bit more peculiar they conceived this hinged nose to the navigator station and his ejection seat. Gorgeous, but the hilarity is more than deserved.

Reprise.

Yokosuka E14Y: The consolation goal.

The E14Y was conceived in the late 1930’s to replace the E9W biplane as a reconnaissance seaplane for the Imperial Japanese Navy incredible submarine aircraft carriers. Destined to be built in larger number than any other submarine-borne aircraft (126 in total) , this tiny mixed-construction monoplane undertook recon missions over Aleutians, Madagascar and the Australian and New Zealand coastlines. The North American coastline was not only observed. On 9 September 1942, an E14Y became the only Japanese manned aircraft type to ever drop bombs on the United States mainland during WW2 in the so-called “The Lookout Air Raid”. Launched from the B1-type class submarine I-25 off the coast off Oregon, the one only  E14Y was send to initiate some fires with its small incendiary bombs. It was a puny effort that caused no casualties and almost no damage. The attack was repeated a month later with similar results.

This magnificent artwork depict that event. The cylindrical sealed container before the sub tower is clearly depicted near the recovery crane. The whole operation presented a number of difficulties and serious perils, specially  during recovery, demanding a highly proficient personnel.

EE Lightning F.3: Ready for anything.

A well-posed photo of a 111 Sqn pilot and his F3 (XP741) at RAF Wattisham in 1965. The trusty “square” is handling our knight hero the superb Taylor Type “E” high-altitude helmet. The red opening in that helmet is the mouth port…..used for drinking or vomiting, depending upon the wearer physical condition.

The imposing coolness of the Lightning, never get tired of it.

Photo: Ian Proctor.

Baker MB-1 “Delta Kitten”: Puuuuuuuuur…..

This lovely little thing was built by Marion Baker of Akron, Ohio, in the late 1950’s. The basic design owns a lot to Lippish DM.1 and, maybe, the Payenne Katy. To build his dream Baker took some parts of a wrecked Cessna 140 (the an 85 hp Continental engine, prop and wheels). The result was this rare, then, all-metal homebuilt first flown in 1960. A decent, no-nonsense flyer it achieved a very descent maximum speed of 135 mph. Baker made the plans available for homebuilt construction. There were not takers, if my sources are right.

It’s delta day, it seems.