Saab B 17B: Scandinavian no-nonsense.

With the building of the Northrop 8-A 1 under licence, the ASJA/Saab company found themselves with the knowledge to design and manufacture modern all-metal monoplanes. So in the Spring of 1940, Saab offered the Swedish authorities their all-new type 17 aircraft. This was, at first, intended to fulfil a recon aircraft role, but soon was redesigned as a dive bomber. First flown in 1940, the Northrop’s roots were quite evident in the successful prototype. Production soon started in three basic models powered by three different engines; Sweden was a neutral country and engines were hard to produce or find. A total of over 320 of these sturdy aircraft were build.

A pair of stupendous looking B 17B (980hp Bristol/Svensk Flygmotor Mercury XXIV) from Wing F 7 in this gorgeous photo. The backward folding undercarriage with its bulky covers looked dated. That odd design choice was employed to keep the wing free of any landing gear recesses, and stronger accordingly. Not a bad idea for a dive bomber.

Macchi M.16: The bare minimum maximized.

This ultra-light -avant la lettre- single-seat biplane appeared just after the end of WW1. An orthodox design with its pregnant-looking fuselage and toy-like wheels as charming peculiarities. The M.16 was powered by the ultra classic 30hp Anzani which delivered the goods, with an altitude record and various successful participations in sport events. Equipped with floats a trio were even evaluated by the US. Navy.

Naked. It was kinda irresistible, despite this guy’s facial expression.

Bellanger-Denhaut 22: Impressive so-so.

Produced by the Bellanger automobile company, the obscure BD-22 flying boat was designed by François Denhaut as a recon/bomber military flying boat. Four of the six produced were operated without much fuss by the Marine Nationale for just four years (1924-28). A single civilian transport version was also produced.

It was both clean and handsome, that’s for sure. Specially those closely-situated engine nacelles which housed a pair of 260hp Hispano-Suiza 8Fd.

Pfalz D.VIII: On a hyperbolic trance.

The D.VIII was produced by the Pfalz company near the very end of WW1 as one of their latest and greatest fighter aircraft. With their usual tradition of fine workmanship, it had a lovely streamlined light wooden fuselage tailored to house the 200hp Siemens-Halske Sh.III The latter was a splendid geared 11-cylinder rotary engine which gave the D.VII outstanding performances, specially a 120 mph top speed. Ordered into production by the Idflieg, only a token number (circa 40) entered service prior to the end of the war.

One of them wearing the colourful markings of the Jasta 14. By the way, a sublime replica made yesterday its maiden flight thanks to the great Mikael Carlson. That “Wotan” four-bladed bolted propeller….

Salmson D.6 Cri-Cri: Thoroughly French, béret included.

The Cri-Cri monoplane was originally conceived in the early 1930s as a light recreational aircraft. Its qualities soon attired the authorities and the basic design was ordered in quantity for l’Aviation Populaire movement starting in 1936. Three hundred of these cute parasols powered by the household 60hp Salmson 9 ADr were produced. Some of them even became later unlikely warriors with the French AF. Poor things.

A Salmson warming up its Salmson.