Le Rhône 9C: Collateral Damage.

Artistic close-up view of a well-worn Le Rhône 9C, also known as the Le Rhône 80hp, showing its characteristic copper induction pipes and single push-pull rods.
Not all was poetry though. Those rotary engine used castor oil as a lubricant which produced a nauseating smell when burned. Even worse, castor oil is a potent laxative; let’s say constipation was not an issue for this kind of engine operators, pilots included.


Fairey Gannet T.2: Character in spades.

The spectacularly intricate nose affair of the Gannet. In this case a T.2 (the dual-control trainer of anti-submarine AS.1) preserved at the Midland Air Museum, Coventry.

Intakes and more intakes for the Double Mamba turbojet engine, and its neatly presented contra-rotating propellers. Utterly British.

Photo: © June 2014 Siteseen Ltd.

Beriev Be-6: Resting Places (XV).

Abandoned at a former naval base near Mirny, Crimea.  This very Russian -or Ukrainian, you choose- picture gives us a clean view of this floatplane’s superb Shvetsov ASh-73W engines and their cool exhaust pipes.

For some “particular” reason a Be-6’s previous post is the most viewed of this humble blog of mine. More of the same, but this time all by itself. I know you won’t mind…

Messerschmitt Bf 109G-2/Trop: Because the Night.

Like Patti Smith’s song my relation with the Black 6 has always been a torrid one, I must confess. So imagine my shock when I’ve discovered tonight a bunch of stupendous photos taken during an engine night run. These photos have just been published in the highly recommendable Me 109/ Black 6 Facebook place. They’ve been so kind to allow me to share one of them in here. Muchas gracias, my friends.

With her heart burning bright. This is by far my favourite.

Butler & Edwards Steam Plane: V-ictorian ∆.

James W. Butler and Edmund Edwards registered in 1867 a patent for this sharp, delta-wing aeroplane. Based obviously in the classic “paper aircraft”, its creators even considered the addition of a sort of steam engine to produce a surprisingly modern-looking “jet” design. The patent also included a launching carriage and the description of the control system: shifting the center of gravity through the displacement of the control nacelle.

Valencian sequel(?).

Boeing C-97G Stratofreighter: It’s Alive !!

The recently restored “Angel of Deliverance” (52-2718) has become the last airworthy C-97 in the World. After 20 years of headaches and work it took the skies again in Nov 7. of last year (2017). This former air tanker -born KC-97G and later upgraded to KC-97L- is property of the Berlin Airlift Historial Foundation (BAHF). He wears the livery of the only C-97 that took part in that historic airlift: the YC-97A (45-59595).

Engine start at Floyd Bennett Field, near Brooklyn, the day of its first “re-flight”. Those R4360 Wasp Major burn more than a fair amount of oil.

Photo: Greg Morehead.

Sud-Ouest SO.30P Bretagne: La Bretagne Méditerranée.

The Bretagne started its life in Cannes (the unoccupied zone) following the defeat of France. This beautiful design was conceived as a twin-engined medium size pressurised airliner. The first prototype, designated the SO.30N, and named the Bellatrix, made its first flight in Feb 1945…, after being hidden since early 1944.
The SO.30P is the main production version of the design. The main improvements with this model were the change to a tricycle undercarriage and the adoption of the definitely more potent and fiable P&W R2800 engines. A modest number of Bretagnes (45) were operated as an airliner by some French airlines and by a few France-influenced countries. The French Navy employed theirs as a cargo and personel carriers. The Bretagnes were also leased by the French military to serve as transports in both the Indochina and North Africa conflicts. In service they proved to be decent enough, but not profitable. Its dated design was overweight and it showed.

Gorgeous Air Argélie poster by the hand of Guy Nouen, an illustrator specialized in Argelia.

An just another neat piece of advertisement art from Air Algérie.
One of the clever features of the production model, as I’ve said, was its engine choice and not only because for its proven qualities. In designing the early SO.30P’s R2800 nacelles the people of Sud-Ouest just took the basic design of the ones in the Martin B-26 Marauder, an aircraft well-known and loved by the French l’Armée de l’air. Later a cleaner -but not cooler- design was adopted.