Stout 2-AT Pullman: Start me up.

The Stout 2-AT Pullman was the first of the “Tin Gooses”. Developed by William B. Stout from his previous 1-AS Air Sedan, the Pullman like its forebear was conceived taking notes of the seminal Junkers F.13. In configuration, this high-wing all metal monoplane was a more conservative design and employed the plentiful 400hp Liberty engine. First flown in 1924, it took part successfully next year at the Ford National Reliability Air Tour. That led the same year to their introduction into service with the newly formed Ford Air Transport Service (one of them here). And later to Ford’s acquisition of the design rights and the creation of the iconic Trimotor.

Close to my hard working fan. Summer is here to stay.

Bloch MB.81: Save yourself in the process.

The MB.80 was designed in answer of a requirement for a flying ambulance to be employed exclusively in the French colonies. Of all metal construction, this rough and ready monoplane was conceived to carry a sick/wounded passenger lying on a stretcher inside a windowed compartment between the pilot and the engine. The prototype made its maiden flight on Jul. 1932. Its positive tests derived in a production order (20) of a re-engined model under the MB.81 name. They were operated all around the French North African and Middle East (Syria) colonies. A few were still in service at the start of WW2.

It saved lives and also the aviation manufacturer career of Marcel (Dassault) Bloch. Pretty neat too.

Dewoitine D.520-01: Arrested Development.

Emile Dewoitine’s D.520 was the best French mass produced fighter of WW2. This racy beauty was roughly equal to both the Spitfire and Bf 109E in 1940. Sadly, that was also the year of France surrender and the end of D.520’s further serious improvement. The design continued to be produced in quantity by Vichy France anyway, with German permission. Captured and new built saw also service with the Germans, Bulgarians and the Italians. The latter two in anger. It was that good.

The sheer prettiness of the first prototype. Photo taken after its Nov. 1938 landing accident: the three-blade variable-pitch prop has replaced the pedestrian two-blade fixed-pitch wooden prop.

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.

Mitsubishi (2MR1) Tobi: Not all Falcons are handsome.


This lanky artifact was Mitsubishi competitor to replace in 1926 the Army locally-built Salmson 2 A2 recon aircraft. The 2MR1 was designed by Nobushiro Nakata with with the help of Professor Baumann. Of mixed construction, the Tobi (a sort of falcon) was powered by a 450-600hp Mitsubishi (Hispano-Suiza) engine. Its sesquiplane configuration consisted on a quite large upper wing mounted way up high connected through a bizarre array of centre section and interplane struts to the boxy fuselage and lower wings.
The Tobi prototype made its maiden flight in the summer of 1927. Factory tests were very positive with a top speed well above the requirements. Sadly, during the official test flights the prototype was seriously damaged on a heavy landing and was eliminated from the competition.

They also knew how to make pretty ones.

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.

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.

Nennig C.3: As fast as it went.

This sharp looking racer was conceived by Edmond Nennig to take part in the classic 1935 Coupé Deutsch de la Meurthe race. Originally designed to be powered by a Salmson 12 engine it ended with a Régnier 6 cylinder. Not completed in time to take part in the competition, the later whereabouts of Nennig C.3 are obscure. It seems it was never flown.

The last design iteration of the C.3 in this lovely model inside the wind tunnel of the University of Lille, Shades of…