Bell X-5: Customized Spoils.

Even confronted with the sad remains of the P1101, engineer Robert Wood of Bell Aircraft was able to see the possibilities of its swing-wing configuration. With that conviction he went to persuade its company jointly with NACA to fund a research project around that idea. Getting their hand on the German prototype, it was precisely an evolution of the Messerschmitt basic design which became the X-5. Two prototypes were eventually built, the maiden flight of the first took place in June 1951. Contrary to the P1101, the X-5s wing could be changed in flight (from 20º to 60º). Despite the sad loss of one of the X-5s, the whole program proved to be very productive, generating considerable data about the matter.

Superbly descriptive time-lapse photo.

Avioplanul Goliescu 2: Convoluted, maybe wicked.

This funny-looking monoplane was the brainchild of the genial, but also questionable character, Rodrig Goliescu. This Rumanian artillery officer and engineer conceived in France his Avioplanul Goliescu 2 after previous experiments in his home country. Built in 1909 by a local company, this tubular fuselage monoplane equipped with a 25 hp Buchet engine had its propeller placed in a short of “tube fan” configuration. Both features pioneered by Goliescu. The aircraft seems to have flown fairly satisfactorily in late 1909. After that the life of its inventor went downright with game addiction, dubious business enterprises and even jail accused of spy.

As this neat drawing shows, his contraction displayed some grace among all its complication.

ILC AX1H-021: Out of this miserable world.

The AX1H-021 design of mid-1963 was created by ILC to cover a Hamilton-NASA development contract taking as a basis the already existing SPD-143 suit. They employed a new helmet design, new join concepts and other mobility parts, among other things, to evaluate the possible options.

It was an utterly stupendous design, but there was still a long way ahead. By the way, it’s one of my favorite moon program suits.

Koolhoven F.K.58: Progress or Regression?

In the late 1930s France found itself short of aircraft production capability to face the fact of a future war with Germany. The obvious solution was the purchase of foreign designs, one of them was this dutch fighter. Interestingly, the F.K.58 was conceived specially to cover french needs. Its designer, Erich Schatzki, didn’t start for zero though: the F.K.58 was a further development of his previous Fokker D.XXI. Employing the same basic structure, the new Koolhoven fighter gained a retractable undercarriage.
First flown in 1938, the design proved to be reasonably modern and cheap to produced and the order was carried out. Events soon overcame the scheme, and only around a dozen saw service at the hands of Polish pilots during the Battle of France, with no appreciable success. After the defeat the survivor were soon destroyed.

Very handy and aerodynamically clean that wide-track undercarriage, but the D.XXI was sure prettier.