Lockheed L-1649A Starliner: Magic Carpet Drive.

The Starliner was the ultimate evolution of the beautiful Connie designed in response to the Douglas’ moneymaking DC-7C “Seven Seas”. In the end the Douglas outsold widely the Lockheed: the latter had longer legs but was also more expensive. Anyway, both were the las hurrah of piston-engined airliners before the arrival of the jet era.

It was this good while it lasted.

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Valmet Vihuri: Severe Wind.

The Vihuri (Gale) became the main advanced single-engined trainer aircraft of the Finish AF during the 1950’s. Designed to replace the VL Pyry, the Vihuri prototype made its first flight in 1951 and the model was soon ordered into production. Around 50 were produced. All weren’t roses though. Several accidents -one of them even took the life of the prime minister’s son- and the safety concerns associated grounded for good the Vihuri in 1959. As an aside, a number of Vihuri’s cockpit canopies were salvaged to be employed as….roof windows in the recycling plant. They are still there.

Not a success story, but they were neat looking aircraft anyway. A balanced and clean design with a lovely Bristol Mercury engine as a plus. The shiny first prototype (VH-1) in the usual snowy Suomi airfield.