Mikoyan MiG-21F-13: From Iraq with Love.

In August 16, 1966 an Iraqi MiG-21F-13, the then ultimate fighter in the various Arab air forces, landed at Hatzor (Israel). Flown by a defector, Munir Redfa, this fighter was acquired by the Israeli through the elaborate “Operation Diamond” carried out by the famous Mossad, the national intelligence agency. The MiG was thoroughly evaluated by its happy new owners and the lessons learned were rapidly distributed. The Israel AF crews made good use of that data during next year (1967) Six-Days War. Later, in 1968, this very aircraft was lent to the USAF and was evaluated in the remote Nevada.

Seen here next to the MiG-21F-13 “007”, a truly appropriate number, is the renowned pilot Danny Shapira. Shapira was the test pilot who undertook the bulk of the tests.


Fairchild C-82A Packet: Open the Door !!!

This is one of the unlucky Packets used by the NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) for a plane crash fire research program they undertook during 1949-50. From this dramatic tests NACA developed some quite efficient fire inerting systems. To no avail, at that time the airlines were not interested….too heavy and costly. Gladly, these spectacular tests sure opened the door; the succeeding aircraft designs began to be conceived with the lessons learned in them.

Zimmerman’s Flying Apparatus: “Here I come to save the day….”

Behind this somehow comic-looking patent was the mind of Charles Horton Zimmerman. The young Zimmerman was at that time interested in what he called “kinesthetic control”: to achieve control through the use of the pilot body in small flying vehicles….a sort of flying gyro scooter, sans gyro.  This patent was materialized later in a more pedestrian prototype that was tested at the Hiller company factory. It flew, but not very high; it showed serious stability and control problems.

Ah, and those “mice ears”?  They had no control functions. They were there to support the pilot head and lesser the his/her neck fatigue during the horizontal flight.

“Boeing B-29”: The Japanese and their nice toys.

At first sight nothing out of the ordinary in this quite well-made “B-29” wooden mock-up. Looks just like another airfield decoy, don’t you think?…,wrong. Taken at the Irumagawa AB (Japan), this was one of the three full-size B-29 mock-ups constructed in Japan during the war. Another, the one at the Imperial Japanese Army Academy at Saitama, was employed as a demolition trainer to develop the tactics to be employed for the “Operation Gi-gou” on Okinawa.