NAA F-86A Sabre: Men and their toys (XXV).

This utterly 1950s “Manta Ray” custom car was built using as a basis a very British 1934 BSA car chassis by members of the F-86A Sabre-equipped 197th “Copperheads” FIS of the Arizona Air National Guard.

Popular Mechanics, please.

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.

Grumman E-1B Tracer: Resting Places (XXIX).

The “Stoof with a Roof” was an astonishing-looking airborne early warning carrier-based aircraft derived from the ASW Tracker via COD Trader. Originally just a stopgap, these lovely humpbacks served for around 20 years (1958-77).

The unmistakable Davis-Monthan Air Force Base’s AMARG Boneyard in Tuscon, Arizona. This still image belongs to that utterly late-80s/early-90s movie: “Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man” (1991). Man, those out of this world radomes.

General Motors A-1 Bug: Men and their toys (XXIII).

The founder of Delco, Charles Kettering, undertook serious research and development in guided missiles for the US military since 1919. With the start of WW2, while working at General Motors, he proposed yet another iteration of his “Bugs” as a guided power-driven bomb. Tests started in 1941 and showed that control and general reliability were rather poor. The project saw some improvement in time, but it was ultimately cancelled in 1943.

Muroc, Aug. 1942. The Bug, by then, could employ its own tricycle-like landing gear to take-off, or be launched from this custom-built hot-rod Caddy. This stunning automobile had a pair of 165 hp Cadillac engines attached to a single drive shaft.

Aero Spacelines B-377-SG Super Guppy: Have some gravy, folks.

Having some hilarity with the Super Guppy prototype. Like the Guppy designed to handle oversized cargo, this much enlarged version employed as a basis a C-97J airframe powered by four temperamental P&W T34-P-7WA turboprops. Production models employed the more available and reliable Allison 501-D22C turboprops.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends.