Nicolas-Claude NC-2 Aquilon: Refreshing north wind.

Greatly influenced by Henri Mignet’s “Pou-du-Ciel” (Flying Flea), this single-seat touring aircraft was conceived by Leon Claude in the late 1930s. Built at Jean Nicolas’ workshop, the 50 hp Train-engined NC-2 was a low-wing monoplane equipped with canard foreplanes. First flown on the spring of 1937, this cute aircraft remained an unique prototype.

Aero Spacelines B-377-SG Super Guppy: Have some gravy, folks.

Having some hilarity with the Super Guppy prototype. Like the Guppy designed to handle oversized cargo, this much enlarged version employed as a basis a C-97J airframe powered by four temperamental P&W T34-P-7WA turboprops. Production models employed the more available and reliable Allison 501-D22C turboprops.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends.

CASA C-101EB Aviojet: “Culopollo” para los amigos.

First flown more than forty years ago, the C-101’s still going quite strong in the Spanish Ejército del Aire (EdA). Nothing rare nowadays anyway, just a sign of our era. Conceived to replace the indigenous Saeta, in the design of Aviojet participated both Northrop and the MBB companies. The objetive was to produce an unassuming no-nonsense design cheap to operate. A very civilian Honeywell TFE731 turbofan was chosen as a powerplant with economy in mind. Curiously, it has one very unorthodox feature for a trainer: an internal weapons bay. They had some more warrior-like development in mind, but only the few exported had some teeth.

One of the C-101s of the Patrulla Águila (Eagle Patrol) EdA aerobatic team. Its official name is “Mirlo” (Blackbird), but for obvious reasons it is nicknamed “Culopollo” (Chicken Butt).

Dornier Do 215 V1: Das Kampflugzeug.

The Do 215 was Dornier answer to the foreign interest in the Do 17Z generated at the 1937 Zürich International Flying Meeting. At first just a name change, the Do 215 soon became a “powered up” version of the original design. Equipped originally with Gnome Rhône 14N engines (Do 215 V2) and when these proved to be not enough with DB 601As. The marked increase in performance achieved opened the door to its mass production. But the start of WW2 meant the end for substantial foreign sales. The ones produced were employed by the Luftwaffe mainly as fast photo-recon aircraft and even as night fighters until 1942.

Very descriptive -lovely cockpit cutaway included- Dornier ad in the Adler magazine (Italian edition). The very first V1 “prototype” (D-AIIB); in fact just a rebranded Do 17Z-0.

Caproni Ca.90: A picture is worth a thousand words

This humongous Caproni was by the time of its first flight (1929) the largest landplane in the world. This heavy bomber prototype had the inverted sesquiplane biplane configuration of which Italian were quite fond. Powered by six huge 1000 hp Isotta-Fraschini Asso 1000 placed in three push-pull tandem nacelles, the design achieved some notoriety by its payload potential. The aircraft was obviously already dated for its time though. It was only employed for strategic bombing operational studies.

This charming photo give us both scale and a tip about its obsolescence. That Sandow cord-equipped landing gear and Spiga Cordé di Torino tyres.