Daimler Benz “Jäger”: All in the Family.

When Daimler Benz started the development of its outstanding DB 609 in Sep. 1942 they found themselves with the need to place it in an aircraft. The DB 609 was a quite massive 16 cylinder liquid-cooled engine with a projected initial output of 2700 hp. Why not to create that aircraft in-house? Their proposal was a quite conventional fighter design with one mayor exception: the contra-rotating props and their location. Sadly, only a partial mock-up of the Jäger (not its official name) was completed before its complicated engine -and hence this fighter- was cancelled in 1943.

Startling with that nose radiator, tricycle undercarriage and “birdcaged” teardrop cockpit canopy.

Lockheed F-104A/C “Zip”: “Beam Him Up, Scotty.”

Not a devoted Trekkie by any means, but the original series had something. I like particularly those episodes when the action took part at the Earth. Among them Season 1 “Tomorrow Is Yesterday”, with a Starfighter in it, is at the very top.

Our hero wears the usual headgear of the era, nicely customised though. Ah, and a very clean Orange International jumpsuit.

VL Viima II: “You lift me up.”

The Viima (Draught) was a primary trainer designed by the Finish State Aircraft Factory. Wooden wings and steel tube fuselage, all fabric covered: classic in design and style. In addition to the two prototypes (Viima sans suffix), a total of 22 “II” more were built in the 1937-39 period. Long serving assets, they were operated by the military well into the Sixties when many became “civilian.”

The first of the “II” production models, VI-3 (OH-VIG), still very alive and kicking.

Boeing 720-023B: The poor thing.

The modestly successful (circa 150 built) 720 was a short/medium-range variant of Boeing’s iconic 707. The main changes compared to the latter was 720’s shorter fuselage and an improved, less draggy, wing design. First flown sixty years ago, the 720 didn’t bring lots of money to the company, but Boeing didn’t mind much; the basic design cost was already paid off.

The last Boeing 720 in service was this bizarre ex-American Airlines example of the Pratt & Whitney Canada Co. The aircraft was employed mainly as an engine testbed -the company’s moneymaker PT6A in this case. The teardrop-shaped fairing at the forward fuselage also served to attach test engines. Since 2010 it resides at the National Air Force Museum of Canada.

Didn’t deserve the 7×7 designation?

Blard Canard: Barely flying, at speed.

This pretty neat all-metal canard monoplane was the brainchild of Lt. Blard. Designed in secret for military use, he chose the canard configuration trying to get the of both worlds: monoplane’s speed and biplane’s visibility. A very close coupled design built around a sturdy tripod structure and powered by a 50 hp Gnôme, the canard was tested unsuccessfully during 1912.

Really awesome photo quality. That Roold crash helmet is always a treat to my eyes.