Fokker F.VIII: Die Vliegende Hollander.

A superlative employ, again, of the classic legend by the KLM company. One of many.

Gorgeous were those twin-engined Fokkers.

“Supermarine Spitfire Mk. I”: I’m on him.

Artistic interpretation of Tom Hardy “in action” inside the modified Yak-52TW used for Spitfire cockpit inflight shots in Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” 2017 movie. According to some friends a sheer good way to spend an evening. Not so sure in my case. Still pending, I’m not a Nolan’s admirer. Some day…, maybe, perhaps.

Hardy wears the unmistakable B helmet, a crude D oxygen mask and the magnificent Mk IVb googles with the anti-glare polarised screen up. The latter’s an anachronism if I’m not very mistaken.

Artist: Mauro Belfiore.

Fokker D.III: When skill & manners mattered.

The D.III was one of those barely decent biplane fighters produced by the Fokker company right after their monoplanes became hopelessly obsolete. Powered by the stunning, but dubious Oberursel U.III two-row rotary engine, the two-bay winged D.III like it’s older biplane brothers proved to be just too slow. It also still employed the already archaic wing-warping control system. And add to all that Anthony Fokker’s usual decease: poor quality control. They appeared at the frontline in the summer of 1916, but soon were relegated to the less demanding areas. More than two hundred were produced.

In this delightful artwork, the always chivalrous Oswald Boelcke meets his 20th victim, Captain R E Wilson (32 Sqn RFC), on 2 Sept. 1916. He achieved seven victories with the D.III (352/16), but was adamant in his dislike.

Horten H Xa (Piernífero): Little Wing.

Reimar Horten started to develop a small minimalist foot-launched sailplane in the very late 1940s from an idea he was already toying before WW2 started. Built by its eventual test pilot, the Argentine Rogelio Bartolini, this “Alita” was only a bit bigger than the later classic  Rogallo-wing hand glider. Completed in 1953, the first Piernífero due to its high wing loading proved to be useless when foot-launching was tried. Towed by a car it showed good average performance, but also some lack of stability. Furthermore, the pilot’s legs safety appeared to be quite questionable during landings. Two improved longer-winged Pierníferos followed: one remained uncompleted (Xb) and the other unbuilt (Xc).

Even the way it was road carried was stunning. National Air and Space Museum.(NASM) photo.

Definitely not as practical as Rogallo’s, but boy, was it cool.

Drawing: Peter F. Selinger.

Lockheed “F-22”: Veiled Vision of the Future.

This magnificent artwork of a fictitious Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) was commissioned by the Lockheed company. The program was then classified top secret and the people of Lockheed wanted to capture the public without revealing too much about the real deal. They chose the right artist.

By artist extraordinaire Syd Mead. The subject is obviously too modern to be here, but Mead more than deserves this humble homage. Rest in Peace.

Douglas C-117D: Love it or leave it.

The C-117D was a military (US. Navy & Marines) derivative of the postwar developed “Super DC-3“. The latter’s improvements consisted in a longer fuselage; more powerful engines; new tail and modified wings assemblies and a fully enclosed landing gear. Too expensive and already dated to be a commercial success in the civilian market, the design in the end saw some use wearing uniform.

“Untitled’ by Nunca. This graffiti-ed “Super Gooneybird” was part of “art from the boneyard”, a project  hosted by the Pima Air and Space Museum.

Photo: Eric Firestone.