Bell X-2: “Enough power to drive a Navy cruiser.”

“Fastest Man Alive” by Mike Machat. Frank “Pete” Everest on his way to Mach 2.8706 gloriously powered by the mighty and cantankerous Curtiss-Wright XLR25 twin chamber rocket engine. This is another aftereffect of my “Towards the Unknown” revisit. Yesterday I felt the urge to take a look at Henry Matthews’ “The Saga of the Bell X-2” book; this artwork is its exciting cover. The book is decent enough although quite bone dry and incomplete. Mind you, it’s a commendable effort, but the “definitive” X-2 book is still waiting.

By the way, Everest went to the movie’s premiere.

Dassault Mystère IVB: Going with a Triple Bang.

The breaking of the “sound barrier,” apart of the mystic involved, was also a must to any aviation-minded nation during the 1950s. In France, the first Frenchman (from Warsaw, the Russian Empire then) to achieve it was the great Kostia Rozanoff. Chief-pilot at Dassault Aviation, he went supersonic in level flight on 24 February 1954 at the helm of a RR Avon-powered Mystère IVB. 1954 was a busy year for Rozanoff; he published his autobiography and, sadly, he also died in a flying accident displaying the Mystère.

The superbly dramatic cover of his book. A classic, highly recommended.

Lockheed L-1049 Super Connie: Captivated.

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Relishing with gusto Le Corbusier’s 1935 book “Aircraft”. In that classic work, the peerless architect placed aviation as the pinnacle of modern technical achievement. It was then indeed.

He also declared the ecstatic feeling aviation produced in him. He surely disguised well his emotions: the Super Connie was his preferred aircraft.