Convair B-58 Hustler: Bitch, Please !!

In fact, the B-58’s form of pre-recorded female voice warning system provided by Nortronics Division of Northrop Corporation was recorded by actress and singer Joan Elms, not by Gina Drazin. The crew referred to that voice as “Sexy Sally” or as “The (Old) Bitch”…. since she always brought bad tidings.

Photo taken from the July 1962 issue “Popular Science”.

Dassault Mirage IIIDBR: As intense as ever.

The fastest tasting another kind of speed. Formula 1 legend Ayrton Senna in the rear seat of a two-seat F-103D (Brazilian denomination) in April 29, 1989. Utterly proud of his country, Senna said after this flight: “Se todos tivessem a oportunidade de sentir a mesma emoção, teriam mais amor a pátria” / “If all Brazilians would have the opportunity to feel this same emotion, they would love more our country”. No nonsense man.

Senna is wearing the standard Brazilian AF headgear of the era: a single visor HGU-26/P helmet with a MBU-5/P oxygen mask……, but in magnificent “samba” colors.

Such a gorgeous inflight portrait. Two of my addictions nicely joined here.

EE Canberra PR.Mk.9: Nosey Old Boy.

The British seem to have always had an eye for bizarre crew members “accommodation”. The PR.9 was the ultimate Canberra photo-reconnaissance version. Taking the B(I).8 interdictor as a basis, the guys of English Electric stretched the fuselage, increased the wingspan and added the more powerful Avon R.A.27  Avon engines. All that in order to improve the already notorious high-altitude performance of the basic Canberra. Just 23 of them were produced and they were not retired from the RAF until 2006. Not bad from a design whose roots were in the middle 1940’s.

The PR.9 retained the cool offset canopy of the B(I).8 and to be a bit more peculiar they conceived this hinged nose to the navigator station and his ejection seat. Gorgeous, but the hilarity is more than deserved.

Reprise.

Soyuz 1: “This Devil Ship!”

50 years ago, on 24 April, 1967, we lost the first human in an actual spaceflight. Cosmonaut Vladimir Mikhaylovich Komarov died when his Soyuz 1 capsule crashed into the ground after its parachute recovery system failed, the horrible culmination to a cursed mission full of technical problems. RIP

Komarov here during training in bare bones Soyuz flight simulator. Photo: RKK Energia