Hawker Typhoon Mk.1B: “I Got Stripes”.

A Typhoon Mk IB photographed by Flight magazine before its delivery to the RAF in April 1943. Exhibiting its gloriously aggressive lines to advantage; nice way to show us its 12in black and 24in white bands. As I’ve commented before, one of the Typhoon’s problems -especially in early service- was that it was easily mistaken with the Fw 190. This was the solution.

Photo. IWM.

CAC CA-15: Winner, but no cookie.

This stunning fighter was the pinnacle of Australian aviation efforts during WW2. Sadly, it proved to be in the end a not fully realised effort. As originally projected in 1943, the CA-15 was to be a P & W Double Wasp interceptor suitable also as long range escort fighter. The lack of availability of that highly employed radial engine obliged the designers to convert radically the CA-15 to employ a liquid-cooled 2,305hp RR Griffon instead. All that slowed drastically the project and meanwhile WW2 ended slowing even further its progress. In the end the unique prototype built took the skies in the spring of 1946. With a max speed of 448 mph (721 km/h) and superb handling the CA-15 was superior to the P-51 Mustang….., but arrived 3 years too late. Jet age was already here to stay.
“Kangaroo” was its nickname for obvious reasons. Such a purposeful looking beast. A long way from the Boomerang.

Artist: Ronnie Olsthoorn.

Fokker F.10: We are all the same, but not equal.

The American-built Fokker F.10 was an larger more powerful version of the classic Fokker F.VII airliner built in the late 1920’s. Like their forebear they were quite prolific (more than 60 built) and turned out to be real money-makers until that fateful day. On March 31, 1931, the wooden-wing of a Transcontinental and Western Fokker F.10 failed catastrophically and it crashed in the Kansas prairie, killing, among others, a popular football hero of the era: Knute Rockne. That accident, and the huge publicity it produced, meant the end of wooden airliners in the United States and also brought radical changes in the regulations and operations of the airlines. The American commercial aviation technology supremacy achieved from the middle 1930’s was the result.

Gorgeous machines they were. We can no deny the splendor of that era.

Lockheed SR-71A: Light My Fire (II).

The always, always, spectacular “Habu” putting a show….out of its natural envelope. They were usually the high point of Mildenhall Air Fetes. Pulling a few G more than “necessary” the J58 engines became deprived of the oxygen due to the dynamics of the inlets. Without oxygen but not without fuel; in fact quite a high quantity of fuel went inside the engine without ignition. That situation only needed the pilot to release the pressure on the joystick just a little. Almost instantly oxygen flowed again into the engine and they started to run again….but not smoothly at first. The quantity of fuel for the engine was at that moment way too much and these magnificent shooting flames resulted.