Tupolev Tu-144 Prototype: Hет !!!

Aviaexport V/O, then and now, engages in the export of civilian aircraft related products from the USSR, now the Russian Federation.

As we can see in this advertisement, they tried to sell their problematic Tu-144 from the very beginning. There were no takers.


Potez 452: Punched above its weight.

The Potez 452 was a shipboard reconnaissance flying boat conceived to operate from the French capital ships. The first prototype, the type 45, first flew in 1935. After its flight trials proved to be successful an order of 16 was soon passed.  First delivered at the end of 1935, the 452’s served in battleships, cruisers and lesser ships (avisos). At the beginning of WW2 they saw action in the Mediterranean mainly and served well into 1944; of note the part some took in the conflict with Siam of 1940. Precisely a 452 based at Bien Hoa (French Indochina) was the last one in operational service.

The Nº 2 built in its handling trolley. Not one of the prettiest thing around, but with its a quite neat hull and that wing-mounted 350hp Hispano-Suiza 9Qd engine, the 452 had a certain charm.

Boeing B-29 & Bell X-1: Off he went.

Almost at the moment of release, the bright orange X-1 “Glamorous Glennis” (46-062) is seen here descending from his B-29 mothership (45-21800) bomb bay.

Gorgeous artwork taken from the TAMIYA “USAF Bell X-1 Mach Buster” model box cover. Some artistic licences have been taken: the X-1 is a bit too forward at this stage, its engine ignition is still a few seconds away. This GIF shows us the way it was.

Chuck Yeager & Mach 1: “When I was picked to fly the X-1, it was my duty to fly it, and I did”.

Oct. 14, 1947.

70 years ago today this man accomplished his duty. At the controls of the gaudily painted Bell X-1 “Glamorous Glennis” (Glennis was his wife) the then Capt. Chuck Yeager achieved a speed of Mach 1.06 over the Mojave desert. The so-called “Sound Barrier” was “pierced” for the first time….officially, at least. There has always been rumours of previous passages through that barrier by the irrepressible NAA test pilot George “Wheaties” Welch at the helm of the XP-86 1st prototype.

Superb 1949 TIME magazine portrait artwork of the hero. Yeager wears here the classic Dr. Lombard designed golden flying helmet. In his Mach 1 milestone flight Yeager used a very customized contraction built by himself by cutting the top of a WW2 tank helmet and fastening it to a leather flying helmet.

Scott Furlong Predator: Looking the part.

This superbly convincing fictional aircraft was built to take part, as a supposed VTOL prototype fighter, in the almost forgotten “The Plane Makers” BBC series (1965-69). The series was about the running and personal dramas of an aircraft factory, the Scott Furlong Ltd. A sort of British “Dallas” or “Falcon Crest” with aircraft,…. something almost unimaginable in nowadays TV.

Obviously inspired in the Fairey Delta and its bastard descendant’s VTOL variant, the Balzac V. With the  just measure of Hawker P.1127 undercarriage.  Give way, please.