Convair YF2Y-1 Sea Dart: ¡¡Vamos a la Playa!!

The first Sea Dart Prototype (BuNo 1137634) riding its own wave inside San Diego Bay. The noticeable yellow markings were applied to enable Convair engineers to assess spray patterns during the type’s intensive tests. The second Sea Dart (BuNo 135762) was even more garishly yellow.

It’s summer after all.

Farman F.430: “Par avion bimoteur Gipsy.”

The F.430 was the prototype of a very short production run (just about five) of French light airliners built by Farman during the 1930s. It was also the only of them powered by British Gipsy Major engines; the others employed French Renaults.

The F.430, and two “all-French” F.431s, was used by “Air Service” company between Paris and Biarritz, the Rich & Famous’ place to be then. Don’t know if there was also a poster with the “Par avion bimoteur Renault” quote.

Consolidated Commodore: To Rio by Rio.

This truly pioneer of the long-haul passenger aircraft industry had its origins on a US. Navy patrol flying boat, the innovative YPY-1 Admiral. The brainchild of Isaac M. Laddon’s team, the design due to the unjust policies of the time, was produced by another company (Glen L. Martin) so recapitalize somehow Consolidated decided to create a passenger-carrying derivative. It sure did; first flown in 1929, the Commodores put the legendary Pan Am company on the map. Trusty, efficient and well-loved, just fourteen were built, but they sure punched about their weight.

The PBY‘s future genes shows in this gorgeous drawing.

Rohrbach Ro VIII Roland: It’s raining Swastikas….

The nowadays almost forgotten Rohrbach company was, with Junkers, one of the two pioneers of aircraft metal-construction. Their angular and inelegant Roland was designed by Alfred Rohrbach taken as a basis his revolutionary and cursed Zeppelin-Staaken E-4/20. It proved to be a modest success. The less than about twenty were produced during the mid/late-1920s saw service mainly with the Deutsche Luft Hansa (DLH). Second-hand examples also served with its associated Duruluft airline and with the Spanish Iberia company.
On a darker note, during German 1932 elections Adolf Hitler hired a DLH Roland (Immelmann I) for his two first series of campaign flights (March and July). Later, on November, Hitler switched to the more modern Ju 52.

The superbly disturbing cover of the commemorative book of Hitler’s airborne campaign by Heinrich Hoffmann and Josef Bertchold. Evil manna from heaven.

Douglas B-23 Dragon: “I’d rather be eaten by a……”

From the very beginning the people of Douglas knew their B-18 bomber only won the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) contract because of its lower cost, so in order to improve the Bolo’s modest performances soon a number of fairly major modifications was studied. First flown the summer of 1939, the end result incorporated powerful Wright R2600 engines, a wing almost taken from the company DC-3 and various armament and aerodynamic refinements. Seen potential in Douglas proposal, the USAAC ordered the last batch of thirty-eight B-18s to converted into B-23s.
Fast and imposing, the Dragon arrived nevertheless just too late: its design couldn’t compete against the more modern B-25/B-26s then available. During WW2 the around thirty built saw service as patrol aircraft at first. Later some found use as trainers and thanks to their speed as fast transport.

After the war, their speed came to their rescue, and many, after the almost compulsory modifications, soon found employ as executive transports. The magnificent N777LW (C/N 2749) survivor was one of them.