Douglas DC-6A Liftmaster: Trust in the right place.

The relation between the Dutch airline company KLM and the Douglas Aircraft company has been one of almost total fidelity. Through the years KLM operated all the stallions in the Douglas stable.

Gorgeously composed ad. Those superb money-making machines that were the DC-6s served them right; first as airliners and later as productive freighters.

Fokker V.17: Winner of my heart (IV).

The V.17 was the first Fokker fighter monoplane built after their famous early war Eindeckers. Embodying all Reinhold Platz‘s ideas about aircraft cleanliness, this cute little fighter appeared in December 1917. Very related structurally to the Dr I, its shoulder cantilever wing had plywood covering instead of fabric though.
The V.17 was one of the plethora of fighter presented by Anthony Fokker at the 1st of 1918 German fighter contests. In there it proved to be too underpowered with its meagre 110hp Oberursel UR II so its ascensional speed was poor. Its mid-wing location was also questioned because it caused poor downward-forward visibility. Those defects condemned the V.17 to remain an unique prototype. Platz persisted anyway.

Closely Watched Trains: Ad infinitum.


Last night I felt again the urge to watch Jiří Menzel’s sublime “Ostře Sledované Vlaky” (Closely Watched Trains) 1966 movie. Never a wasted time.

The sheer brilliance of this Czechoslovak production includes this charming scene. It has always remained me a very similar one that came to my town at the local holidays funfair when I was a kid. The effects it produced were the same.

Fokker D.VII (A.O.W): Early Morning Dress.

The Albatros Werke company produced the D.VII under licence both in Johannisthal and in Schneidemuhl, the latter the Ostdeutschen Albatros Werken (O.A.W). The Albatros’ D.VII were renowned by their high standard of manufacture quality; much better than Fokker’s.

Superb digital artwork of a dawn patrol O.A.W-produced D.VII. Characteristic of those licence-built Fokkers was the Lozenge fabric (a five-color here) used on all surfaces except the nose. In the green painted engine cowling mauve stains were applied in a “Giraffe” style.

Artist: David Bracher.

Baade 152: A rare flirt with independence.

This astonishing jet airliner was created in reclusive East Germany by the a team of Junkers’ former employees headed by Brunolf Baade in the late 1950s. The basic design was derived from the Samoljot 150 (Alekseyev 150) jet bomber designed by those German engineers while they worked in the Soviet Union. Those bomber roots proved to be its main weakness, specially the very impractical tandem landing gear unusual for a passenger plane with its main undercarriage placed in the fuselage centerline and outrigger wheels in the wing-tips. The first prototype’s maiden flight took place in 1958, but the happiness was brief; it crashed in its second flight killing the entire crew. Two more prototypes were produced with extensive modification, but only one of them flew briefly before the whole project was cancelled.

Magnificent photo of the impressive second prototype (152/II V4). Its main improvement was the change from the tandem undercarriage of the first prototype to this equally unusual configuration where the main landing gear were placed in the engine pylons. Those engines were the intended indigenous Pima 014s instead of the Tumansky RD-9s.

NAA F-86 Sabre: All-American.

The superb “Hot Shot Eastbound, Iaeger, West Virginia , August 2, 1956” of O. Winston Link.
The reason why I share here this piece of art is quite tenuous, I’m afraid; last night I watched Battle Taxi (1955), the film projected in this drive-in theater.

This painstakingly composed and illuminated photograph hides a trick. To catch that puffing train and, at the same time, the foreground coupe on film, Link set up a lot of flashbulbs throughout the scene. That drastic illumination washed out inevitably the movie screen so Link printed directly the F-86 scene from a “Battle Taxi” negative.