ANF Les Mureaux 170: Winner of my heart (VI).

This sublime parasol fighter was a contender in the 1930 French Air Ministry C.1 specification for a fast (350km/h min.) supercharger-engined single-seat fighter. First flown in late 1932, the design proved to be both maneuverable and very fast. In fact, it was the fastest French military aircraft at the time. In the minus side, its pilot’s poor visibility due to its parasol gull-wing configuration. The two prototypes built were the only Les Mureaux 170 ever produced; the Armée de l’air chose the Dewoitine 500 monoplane and the SPAD S.510 biplane instead.

Slightly photoshopped (that tail didn’t float by itself) yet gorgeously neat photo of this beauty.


Sud-Est SE.161.P7 Languedoc: Just Because (XXXII).

Supreme photograph of one of the Air France re-engined Languedocs. Its American Pratt & Whitney R-1830 SIC-3-G engines not only gave these SE-161s more power and safety, they also improved their beauty with these gorgeous engine nacelles.

Kellner-Béchereau 28VD: Pas de grandes phrases… Quel Dommage!!

The 28VD was a racing aircraft designed by the great Louis Béchereau to take part in the classic 1933 Coupe Deutsch de la Meurthe. The result, as we can observe, was a truly thing of beauty gorgeously streamlined with a short low aspect ratio wing and retractable undercarriage. Pretty inside too: the contest specified the use of engines of less than 8 litres so Béchereau chose a little 7.95 V-12 jewel from the Delage company. That engine and its troublesome propeller were the cause of the 28VD demise while the aircraft was preparing it qualifications for the race. The 28VD was severely damaged in a crash, gladly with no lost of life, and that meant the end of its story.

Wing skin radiators included. What’s not to like?

Dassault Mirage IIIC: ¡¡BRAVÍSIMO!!

Nope, not an illegal imitation. The Spanish Bruguera publishing company bought in 1968 the rights of “Les Aventures de Tanguy et Laverdure” among other Franco-Belgian cartoons and they used their “Revista Juvenil Bravo” magazine to distribute them in Spain. As an aside, the Spanish Ejército del Aire (AF) bought later the real deal.

The artist of this very decent cover was Edmond (Edmond Fernández Ripoll). A few of these old “tebeos” were, gladly, still at hand when I was a kid. Happy times.

Descamps 27: Pregnant, not embarrassing.

This clean, but somehow chubby biplane took part in the French single-seat fighter competition which took place just after the end of WW1 (1919). Powered by a superlatively cowled 300hp Hispano-Suiza 8Fb, the Descamps lacked the finesse of the wartime SPADs though. The main peculiarity of this aircraft was its biplane configuration of a straight rectangular upper wing plus a negative-swept lower one. The reason for the latter seems to be to improve the pilot’s downwards visibility.
In the contest, against other fighter prototypes, the Descamps 27 prove to have good qualities, but in the end the cake was taken by the Nieuport 29. Only the prototype was produced.