SIPA S.121: From nose to tail.

The S.10/S.11/S.12 family was the French versions of the Arado Ar 396 advanced trainer. The Société Industrielle Pour l’Aéronautique (SIPA) had been producing under licence the previous Ar 96 for the Luftwaffe during WW2, being it successor, the Ar 396 was the logical next step. At the end of the war it became the French company’s first post-war product.
The S.12 was an all-metal production variant produced after the “composite-built” S.10/S.11’s. The S.121 that followed being a light-weight development of the S.12 in which the steel centre fuselage was supplanted by one of light alloy.

The SIPA’s cried out loud their German (and Arado) heritage. In this photo the garishly painted S.121 (F-BLKH / F-WLKH) operated by the Salis Collection. Regrettably, it crashed in 1978 and only some sad remains still stand in the Deutche Technikmuseum.


Fieseler Fi 167: Flights of Fancy (IV).

Germany’s first aircraft carrier, the Graf Zeppelin, had it keel laid down at the end of 1936, but the premature start of WW2 delayed first and ended later (1943) its possible entry into service. To equip it the Reich Ministry of Aviation (Reichsluftfahrtministerium; the RLM to us) issued the usual aircraft specifications. The Fi 167 was the winner of torpedo and reconnaissance bomber one. This magnificently elegant biplane took the skies in 1938 and from the very beginning proved to be a superb performer, surpassing many of the requested specifications.
Sadly, as I’ve said, German carrier aviation came to nothing and its demise means the end of Germany’s carrier aircraft needs too. Anyway, this biplane was obsolete long before that. By 1942 its place had been taken by a carrier version of the Ju 87. The dozen or so Fi 167’s built saw some service with the Luftwaffe in the Netherlands and later with the Croatians.

A pretty cool digital artwork by

Heinkel He 114B-1: Modest yet valuable.

The elegant He 114 was a maritime reconnaissance sesquiplane aircraft conceived by Heinkel as a private venture around 1936. In 1937 a He 114 development model competed unsuccessfully against the Arado Ar 196 as a replacement for the Heinkel He 60. Despite that setback, the Luftwaffe ordered a few as, mainly, training aircraft. The type was phased out of service in the early war years, but not before performing discreet but very valuable actions, especially in the Black Sea.

Heinkel also seldom failed to export a usually small quantities of their pre-war aircraft they constructed. One of their users was Sweden which took a batch of 14 of the B-1 export model. A pair of them here in glorious color.

Fw 190A vs. MiG-3: Gotcha !!!

A Würger pilot caught with his pants (and oxygen mask) down by a MiG-3. This artwork is sure magnificent, but not very accurate. The Fw 190A lacks its Revi refector gunsight and those covers over the nose-mounted MG-131’s are kinda weird. My guess? the author just took the Imperial War Museum’s Fw 190A-8 (Werk number 733685) as a model.

Artist: Antony Bustrykov.