GD F-111C “Pig”: Fart-astic!!!

The Aussies didn’t lose their time starting their classic Dump & Burn Act. How best to end this hot month of July? August promises even more.

Blériot-Spad S.510: Le dernier Hurrah.

The S.510 like all the “last fighter biplanes” which entered service in the mid/late 1930s was born almost obsolescent. As in other nations there were strong groups who still believed that biplanes would prove better fighters than monoplanes because of their agility, the S.510 was acquired as a sort of safeguard.
First flown in early 1933, the prototype proved to be a really delicious acrobatic machine. An order of sixty was placed in 1935. They entered service in 1936 when the Dewoitine D.500 was already demonstrating its qualities. In service, the S.510s were viewed as a sort of half step transition fighter: neither a total waste nor a real war asset. Really enjoyable though. They saw the start WW2 in reserve squadrons but not the action.

Obsolete or not, with their pugnacious Hispano-Suiza 12Xbrs engine and elegant fuselage, they were very handsome machines as we can observe in this photo of the first prototype.

CASA C-201 Alcotán: Going backwards, badly.

And with the Alcotán (Kestrel) we arrived at the end -from the beginning- of Spanish’s Franco transport aircraft autarchy dreams. This design was conceived in the mid/late-1940s as a sort of light multirole twin-engined military aircraft. First flown in early 1949, the Alcotán was basically a mid-1930s aircraft which arrived fifteen years too late. During the test flights the design also proved to be less than startling. Anyway, those were the lesser of its problems. It was the poor state of development of the Spanish aviation ancillary industry, mainly props and engines, the cause of Alcotán’s demise. Notwithstanding that a production of almost a hundred airframes(!) was completed in 1955. Of them only a pre-serie of twelve were fully completed and flew with various engines, both local and foreign. The debacle ended mercifully in the early 1960s when the government monetary compensated CASA and then scrapped the poor Alcotanes.

One of the flying dozen was evaluated by the Escuela de Paracaidistas (Paratroopers School)…. they didn’t like it even before this happened. Poor little thing.

NAA F-86D Sabre Dog: “That high goes your fun factor.”

A gorgeously smart Sabre Dog of the 526th Fighter Interceptor Group, 86th Fighter Interceptor Wing based at Landstuhl (then West Germany) photographed in 1959 next to a sumptuous Mercedes-Benz 300 SL. A lot of those European sporty wheels ended in the hands of Dollar-packed US military personnel during the Cold War.

Hard to make a choice.

Dassault Mirage F1EE: Rainbow Warriors.

Two of the twenty-two F1EEs acquired in the early 1980s by the Ejército del Aire (Spanish AF). These quite advanced fighters with their characteristic “Azul Marino” air superiority livery were used to equip the 462 esquadrón based at Gando, in the paradisiacal “Islas Afortunadas”, the Canary Islands. Summer time mood, my friends.

Gorgeous pilot’s Gueneau Type 316G helmet, with its neat Ulmer Type 82M oxygen mask.