Armstrong Whitworth AW.15 Atalanta: Use the Fastest.

The Atalanta was built in answer to an Imperial Airways 1930 requirement for a up-to-date airliner for its African lines, to cover mainly the Kenya to South Africa route. First flown in 1933, this elegant high-wing four-engined thing of beauty proved to be fairly modern and profitable. With only 8 produced far from a outstanding success, but it served Imperial Airways nicely first in Africa an later in India. There some of them ended their lives in military service with the Indian AF during the early days of WW2.

The daring style of Frank Newbould.

“Curtiss P-40”: Stunnedmen.

Among the “Tora! Tora! Tora!” 1970 movie action scenes there was one really startling involving a P-40 model crashing into the middle of a line of P-40s. In fact, it was not how it was planned. In the script, that P-40 was supposed to crash at the end of the line, but they lost control of the model. Those stuntmen were really running for their own dear lives.

Märkische D.I: Daddy Cool (XVI).

The oscure Märkische Flugzeug-Werke (MFW) company’s main contribution to the German war effort during WW1 was to built Rumpler C.Is under licence. By 1917, the company took a further step when they produced its own design. Their D.I was a conventional biplane single-seat fighter. Designed by Hillmann, it was powered by a neatly cowled 195 h.p Benz Bz IIIb engine. Only this prototype was produced; it seems it was not good enough.

It was certainly a pretty convincing looking aircraft. That nice nose configuration predated quite a bunch of aircraft of the 1920s.

Antonov An-24T: These red boots are made for flying.

The no-nonsense An-24 was conceived as a replacement for the Ilyushin Il-14. This very rugged, in a Soviet way, short/medium haul airliner was more than able to be operated from primitive and remote locations. It entered service in the very early 1960s and some are still earning their keep. Around 1500 have been built both in the USSR and China, the red one.

Incredibly cool 1967 time capsule. Pure charm both the outfit of the model and the bizarre Aeroflot livery. If I’m not mistaken this An-24T (CCCP-46280) was the one which took part at the 1967 and 1969 Paris air shows.

Bloch MB.151: Like hot insipid cakes.

The MB.151/152s joined the MS.406s just before the start of WW2 as France’s main French-built fighters. The project went quite back though, being a derivative of a MS.406’s contemporary: the MB.150. The latter was an unmitigated failure, but Marcel Bloch persevered to turned the design into a barely decent enough asset. Not startling by any mean, these fighter where sturdy and well-armed, but also unreliable, has a short range and really modest performances. And that wasn’t all. In the chaotic french situation, they suffered production and delivery problems; specially with the unavailability of propellers and other ancillary components. In combat they proved to be the least loved of l’Armée de l’Air fighters and the ones with the heaviest loses. More than 650 were produced anyway.

The assembly line at Bordeaux-Bacalan factory. It looks like an efficient production line, but there were times fighters had to be temporary equipped with wooden fixed-pitch props until the intended props became available. Barely discernible in these MB.151s (my guess) is their peculiar powerplant installation: the engine was slightly canted to overcome engine torque on this family of fighters.