Sukhoi Jet Engine Powered Aircraft: We must begin somewhere.

This was Pavel Sukhoi’s OKB first attempt into the jet aircraft design. Conceived as a purely research aircraft in late 1942, this dandy artifact had an annular intake scoop placed the fuselage just behind its teardrop-shaped cockpit capsule. The nose section would have housed both the cockpit and a fuel tank, and was to be attached to the larger diameter central fuselage by four pylons. The central fuselage was to contain the “half-step” composite jet engine: a classic air-cooled engine -with an oil cooler- driving a pair of co-axial propellers was employed to supply compressed air to a sort of jet engine’s fuel injection/combustion chamber placed in the tapered tube. Complex enough?. The project never left the drawing board.

Very Soviet style artist’s impression of the subject. It could have been really something.

Tupolev Tu-4LL: Mutant !!!

Behold the Glory. This Tu-4 (aircraft 94/1) engine testbed had its no. 3 ASh-73Tk engine replaced by “half a Tu-91”; the entire forward/center fuselage of Tupolev’s “aircraft 91” naval strike aircraft. This Tu-4LL was flown in this configuration in 1954.

Almost cartoonist that “91” nose. Incredible aviation era, those were the times.

Main info source.

Ryan XV-5A: Men and their Toys (XVI).

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In late 1961 General Electric won an US Army contract to develop their fan-in-wing concept. Not being an aircraft manufacturer company GE subcontracted the actual production of the two VZ-11 (later renamed XV-5A) to Ryan Aeronautical. Obviously GE did supply both the engines and the actual lift fan system. The inboard section of each wing contained a 5-foot diameter fan than provided the vertical lift. A smaller fan on nose also in addition to provide additional lift also served as pitch control. When not in the vertical fight mode hinged doors covered the wing fans and louvers did the same with the nose one.
The test flight operations of these two prototypes started in 1964 and they proved to be tragic. Both XV-5A’s crashed killing their test pilots. The second prototype was later rebuilt and improved as the XV-5B and continued the program until retired in 1971.

Ryan Chief Test Pilot W. L. “Lou” Everett “taming” a XV-5A wind tunnel scale model. Sadly, he lost his life in the real one.

Erickson Aircraft Collection’s “Bf 109G-10”: Enough?

Few, if any, aircraft designs can treasure the assortment of engines the Bf 109 have carried through its various iterations:
– RR Kestrel in the first V1 prototype.
– Junkers Jumo 210 in the first series.
– DB 600 for the “pre-Emil”.
DB 601 and DB 605 for the main wartime variants.
– P&W Twin Wasp.
– BMW 801. Used, like the Twin Wasp, to test the possible radial conversion.
– RR Merlin in the Spanish Buchones.
– Junkers Jumo 211 in the awful Avia 199.
– Hispano-Suiza HS-89 for the early Spanish-built Messers.
– and last, but not the least, the Allison V-1710.

The Erickson Aircraft Collection’s airworthy “Bf 109G-10” seems at first sight to be the real deal or at least a DB-engined Buchón. Well, in fact it is indeed a Buchón, but in order to convert it to more closely resemble Bf 109G without the expense of a the original German engine they came to a brilliant idea. They decided to use an ubiquitous Allison V-1710 engine instead. To make this upright V12 engine looks like a inverted V12 both the engine mount and exhaust system have been specially designed so the cowlings almost mimic that of a late Bf 109G model. The result is quite convincing…and sure cheaper.

Never enough to me.

Lockheed SR-71A: Light My Fire (II).

The always, always, spectacular “Habu” putting a show….out of its natural envelope. They were usually the high point of Mildenhall Air Fetes. Pulling a few G more than “necessary” the J58 engines became deprived of the oxygen due to the dynamics of the inlets. Without oxygen but not without fuel; in fact quite a high quantity of fuel went inside the engine without ignition. That situation only needed the pilot to release the pressure on the joystick just a little. Almost instantly oxygen flowed again into the engine and they started to run again….but not smoothly at first. The quantity of fuel for the engine was at that moment way too much and these magnificent shooting flames resulted.

Snecma Atar 8-9: La Grandeur…. de les Boches.

This French engine family success story owed more than a little to the former enemies. As the Atelier technique aéronautique de Rickenbach (ATAR), BMW engineer Hermann Östrich and other members of the Bavarian engine company were the real progenitors of that family. All started the former Dornier factory at Lindau, within the French Occupation Zone of Germany, when this group of genii took their wartime BMW 018 design and almost literally enabled the postwar renaissance of French aviation with their various Atar iterations.  Remember: “no Atars, no Mirages“.

Superbe affiche publicitaire.