Republic F-105D “Thud”: Just Because.

An astonishing row of “Thuds”. Smokeless so far, but where there’s smoke…

Photo: LIFE Magazine.


Bristol Brabazon: The Greatest Flop.

The magnificent aircraft in this neat Qantas poster looks like the predecessor of the Bristol Brabazon. Bristol proposed in 1942 a “100-Ton” bomber which was turned down by the RAF who preferred then their war-proved Lancasters and Halifaxes. The work already done was not lost because Bristol based its proposal to the Brabazon Committee’s Type I airliner in it.

The aircraft concept depicted here shows the pusher engines and gorgeous V-tail (direct for the “100-Ton” bomber) early considered yet also displays the wing platform adopted in the end by the actual Brabazon airliner built.

Fieseler Fi 167: Flights of Fancy (IV).

Germany’s first aircraft carrier, the Graf Zeppelin, had it keel laid down at the end of 1936, but the premature start of WW2 delayed first and ended later (1943) its possible entry into service. To equip it the Reich Ministry of Aviation (Reichsluftfahrtministerium; the RLM to us) issued the usual aircraft specifications. The Fi 167 was the winner of torpedo and reconnaissance bomber one. This magnificently elegant biplane took the skies in 1938 and from the very beginning proved to be a superb performer, surpassing many of the requested specifications.
Sadly, as I’ve said, German carrier aviation came to nothing and its demise means the end of Germany’s carrier aircraft needs too. Anyway, this biplane was obsolete long before that. By 1942 its place had been taken by a carrier version of the Ju 87. The dozen or so Fi 167’s built saw some service with the Luftwaffe in the Netherlands and later with the Croatians.

A pretty cool digital artwork by

Vought XTBU-1 Sea Wolf: US Industrial might at work.

The XTBU-1 was the XTBF-1 (Avenger‘s prototype) “losing” rival for the US Navy 1940 torpedo bomber contract. Even though the Sea Wolf came second in the contest, Vought design showed such performances and potential the Navy ordered its further development. The company by then with their hands full with their troublesome Corsair fighters decided to sell their TBU design to Consolidated. In the end only 189 would be produced due to technical and production problems which caused huge delays. Designated TBY-2, only two mere squadrons were in the process of preparation to deploy overseas when “V-J Day” came.

Gorgeous profile photo of the Sea Wolf’s first prototype. To say it was purposeful-looking aircraft is a serious understatement. I do love its long, long greenhouse cockpit canopy.