Fiat G.91Y: Sorry, no dice.


The G.91Y was Gina‘s ultimate souped up variant. An almost brand new aircraft design, in fact.
This FIAT poster exposed the various qualities of the product and hopes of a promising future. To no effect. In the end, only the Italian Air Force bit the bate and just barely…, just 67 G.91Y’s were produced.


Beriev Be-12P: A fair reflection.

The Be-12 turboprop amphibian was designed by the Beriev bureau as a successor to the their household Be-6 flying boat. For its predecessor the Be-12 inherited just the gull-wind configuration and tail feathers, being in fact a totally different aircraft. First flown in 1960, the duties envisaged for the Be-12 were mainly anti-submarine (ASW) and maritime patrol aircraft. Built in moderate numbers, in service these amphibians have proved to be both rugged and adaptable. A handful of them are still, barely, in service in Russia and Ukraine.

Magnificent photo taken at the Irkutsk Aviation Repair Plant 403 factory airfield in 2001. The well-worn RA-00041 is one of the just four Be-12’s converted into fire fighting “water-bombers”.

Photo: Richard Vandervord.

Sud-Est LeO H-470: Plowshares into swords.

One of the fastest, and prettiest, flying boats of the 1930’s. The H-470 resulted from a 1934 Ministère de l’Air specification for a commercial mail carrier/airliner suitable for use over the South Atlantic, the Dakar-Natal route. Exceptional care was taken in its development in order to obtain the highest possible aerodynamic efficiency and it showed. The prototype maiden flight took place in the summer of 1936 and proved particularly successful. This prototype was lost soon after, but not before it proved the soundness of the design. Five production H-470’s were ordered by Air France. The World situation then interfered and the five were impressed by the French Navy. Armed by the Navy, they turned into long-range maritime recon aircraft. They served in that role until 1943 when problems with spare supplies condemned the survivors to the scrape yard.

They sure were mighty sleek things, even with the addition of military draggy equipment. Of note its characteristic 4 tandem mounted Hispano-Suiza 12Y engines and the cooling radiators placed in nacelles under them.

NAA F-107A: Resting Places (XIV).

Taken at the Tallmantz Museum (Santa Ana, California) in 1970 this photo shows us the sad state of the first prototype of three F-107A‘s completed at that time. Gladly, this historical aircraft is currently on display at the Pima Air and Space Museum (Tucson, Arizona) properly restored and cared.

The “Ultra Sabre” had some cool companions:  a rare JF-101A Voodoo, a Sabre and a Snark cruise missile, if I’m not very mistaken.

Photo: © R.A.Scholefield.

SIPA S.121: From nose to tail.

The S.10/S.11/S.12 family was the French versions of the Arado Ar 396 advanced trainer. The Société Industrielle Pour l’Aéronautique (SIPA) had been producing under licence the previous Ar 96 for the Luftwaffe during WW2, being it successor, the Ar 396 was the logical next step. At the end of the war it became the French company’s first post-war product.
The S.12 was an all-metal production variant produced after the “composite-built” S.10/S.11’s. The S.121 that followed being a light-weight development of the S.12 in which the steel centre fuselage was supplanted by one of light alloy.

The SIPA’s cried out loud their German (and Arado) heritage. In this photo the garishly painted S.121 (F-BLKH / F-WLKH) operated by the Salis Collection. Regrettably, it crashed in 1978 and only some sad remains still stand in the Deutche Technikmuseum.