Tupolev Tu-104B: Soviets’ Own Ways (III).

An Aeroflot Tu-104B looking every bit as aggressive as the bomber it was derived.


USAAF A-2 Jacket: Oversexed, overpaid and over here.

The sheer elegance of the iconic A-2 jacket as usually “tarnished” by its owners. In this case, “Der Grossarschvogel” (The Big Butt Bird) was listed as the name of a B-17G of the 8th AF 401st BG.

To many of the stoic Europeans the average American soldier appeared to act like a not yet totally grown-up teen. Don’t know why.

Boeing 2707-100: Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

The 2707 was the winner of the American late 1960s SST competition. With its swing-wing, it was a bold and innovative design which won over the more orthodox fixed-wing Lockheed L-2000.
The -100 the coolest stage of the Boeing design with its four engines placed below the horizontal stabilizer. From there the project went downwards. Weight became soon a problem and range suffered accordingly so in the end, the capital sin: they scrapped the whole wing design to one similar to the Lockheed L-2000(!!) but equipped with a tail. Riddled with technical and political problems cancellation was the obvious conclusion.

The superlative mock-up and its gorgeous canary livery.

Atlas & Deke: So near, yet so far.

The neatly dressed Project Mercury astronaut Deke Slayton observes the night launch of an Atlas missile from Cape Canaveral. Sadly, Slayton didn’t have the chance to ride one of those fiery Atlases because he was grounded in 1962 due to an irregular heart rhythm. Thirteen patient years later Deke reached orbit at last with the Apollo-Soyuz mission.

Photo by Ralph Morse (LIFE magazine).

Metropolitan & Carvair: Diametrically opposed at first sight.

The two disparate worker bees of this Spanish charter airline during the 1960s. One of the three Metropolitans acquired second-hand which became the first pressurised airlines of the company and one of the two DC-4s converted by Aviation Traders into pedestrian Carvairs by Aviaco’s order.

Neat and clever publicity art in the “AVIÓN” magazine. I find quite irresistible the stylist design chosen for the CV-440 compared with the realistic drawing of the Carvair.