Mauser C96: Bewitching Broomhandles.

Spellbinding ten Mauser C96 semiauto-pistol gunner “battery” tested -it seems- by the Austro-Hungarians during WW1. Sometime before the end of 1918: that tubular ring turret was fitted to all two-seaters until then. It was replaced later by wooden gun rings. The aircraft is hard to identify; to me it looks like a Brandenburg C.I, but don’t take my word for it. The C.I (type LDD) was a very effective single-engine recon aircraft designed by a young Ernst Heinkel and produced in considerable numbers in Austro-Hungary.

Imagine to reload that clip-fed nightmare. This contraction remains me, as a Spaniard, the Meroka close-in weapon system (CIWS).

“Supermarine Spitfire Mk.I”: I’m on him.

Artistic interpretation of Tom Hardy “in action” inside the modified Yak-52TW used for Spitfire cockpit inflight shots in Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” 2017 movie. According to some friends a sheer good way to spend an evening. Not so sure in my case. Still pending, I’m not a Nolan’s admirer. Some day…, maybe, perhaps.

Hardy wears the unmistakable B helmet, a crude D oxygen mask and the magnificent Mk IVb googles with the anti-glare polarised screen up. The latter’s an anachronism if I’m not very mistaken.

Artist: Mauro Belfiore.

Convair YF2Y-1 Sea Dart: A punch in the air.

Superlative recruiting poster by the Convair company. Sadly, their Sea Darts never proved themselves able to deliver any punch. In the background, Sea Dart (BuNo 135762) looking for trouble. Regrettably, that very aircraft disintegrated in mid-air over San Diego Bay, California (USA) during a demonstration flight (4 Nov. 1954) killing Convair test pilot Charles E. Richbourg; he inadvertently exceeded the design limitations.

Anyway, the people of Convair knew how to design stunning cockpit canopies.

Convair TF-102A Delta Dagger: Inverse fairy tale.

A pair of Convair employees giving a polish to the TF-102A cockpit mock-up, around 65 years ago. Convair decided to employ a side-by-side cockpit instead of a tandem design and they paid dearly. The rather bulbous cockpit created severe buffet and drag at high speed. After some redesign, a set of vortex generators on the cockpit canopy framing remedied the problem. It was a dirty cure.

Sadly, those incredible looking split air intakes were deleted on the production models. Such a beautiful duckling.

Macchi MC.200 Saetta: Wind without wires.

The Saetta suffered the infatuation of the Italian fighter pilots with tradition. Initially equipped with an enclosed cockpit, this was changed early during production to this peculiar semi-open type in order to improve pilot’s visibility.

This well-dressed pilot was quite enclosed and even tight, but that opening was drafty and cold. Not to mention the fair amount of drag it produced.