NASA SCAT-16: Men and their toys (XXVIII).

Beginning in the early-1960s, NASA commenced the SCAT (Supersonic Commercial Air Transport) program. Twenty five different configurations were studied, eventually narrowed down to just a few which showed potential. The three-engined swing-wing SCAT-16 was one of them. The data was released by NASA to the US domestic aerospace companies and it became the basis of the failed American SST.

NASA photo of the SCAT.16 model tested in Langley 7 X 10 Foot High Speed Tunnel, 1962. Men’s jewelry, crew cut, slim tie, horn-rimmed glasses…..

Photo: NASA.

de Rougé Pollopas: Tails Up!!

In 1928 Viscount Charles de Rougé conceived the notion of the “stabilisation aérienne surélevée” as a way to create an autostable aircraft. His idea was to place the aircraft’s tail surfaces above a short fuselage. Under the denomination “Elytroplan”, he started to experiment in 1932 with his crude “Sigma” glider. By 1935, de Rougé had built the Pollopas; named in honor of a British company which acted as a sponsor. Still a quite bare bones design as we can see. It flew with a certain regularity before WW2 so Le Viscomte continued to elaborate his idea.

That weird “crocodile” tail surfaces seems to be hinged to give longitudinal control.

Breda 75: Un’aria di famiglia.

This shoulder-wing monoplane bears a definitive family resemblance with the previous smaller Breda 65. The 75 was a large two-seat ground attack and recon prototype built in the late 1930s powered by a 900 hp Isotta-Fraschini K.14. With the recon mission in mind, the 75’s fuselage was provided with a considerable number of observation windows on its belly. Tested unsuccessfully in 1939, it was soon forgotten.

Very Lockheed Vega or even Consolidated 17 Fleetster. That fixed undercarriage looked both anachronistic and ultra cool.

Campbell F: “Flying Easter Egg”.

This cabin monoplane was designed by the american Hayden S. Campbell in the mid-1930s. Pretty modern twin-boom mid-wing in configuration, it was powered by a 82 hp Ford V-8 automobile-derived pusher engine. The Campbell F’s more interesting feature was its all-magnesium construction, specially its clean monocoque fuselage pod. Only one example seems to have been produced; it met its end during a demonstration flight.

Pretty obvious nickname’s origin.

Nakajima Ki-84-Ia Hayate: “Fly it like you stole it” (VI).

The Hayate (Gale) was arguably the best Japanese mass produced fighter (with Ki-100 permission) of late-WW2. It was conceived as a replacement for the Nakajima’s own previous Ki-43. Compared to its predecessor the Ki-84 was well protected and armed and much faster, although less maneuverable. The Japanese had learned the hard lessons of modern fighter design and tactics. First flown in the Spring of 1943, they entered service, after a protracted development, at the end of 1944. Still not totally refined, the Hayate nevertheless proved to be a deathly asset in the few proper hands available. Circa thirty five hundreds where produced.

A rare inflight photo of the captured Hayate restored and evaluated by the Technical Air Intelligence Unit, late 1944.  Looking every bit a sort of beefed-up Ki-43 or slimmed-down Ki-44. Notice its tailplane set well ahead of the vertical surfaces; as its project engineer, T. Koyama, liked it.