Messerschmitt Bf 109E: Good ole German over-engineering.

This Luftwaffe “Black Man” (ground mechanic) is calibrating the definitely robust Zeiss Ikon ESK 2000 B 16mm gun camera on the wing of an early Bf 109E.

As I’ve said before not a fan of colored photos, but there’re exceptions.


Gemini VII: Happy B-Day, Shaky.

90 years old turns James A. (Jim) Lovell today, ninety, my friends. Good ole”Shaky” has always been anything but tremulous.

Funny portrait taken during his first space mission, Gemini VII. Lovell wears the weird looking David Clark G5C, a soft spacesuit that incorporated a separated “bone dome” helmet.

Lockheed L-1049 Super Connie: Captivated.


Relishing with gusto Le Corbusier’s 1935 book “Aircraft”. In that classic work, the peerless architect placed aviation as the pinnacle of modern technical achievement. It was then indeed.

He also declared the ecstatic feeling aviation produced in him. He surely disguised well his emotions: the Super Connie was his preferred aircraft.

CANT Z.1007bis Alcione(?): In bocca di… cane.

Stylist portrait of a Regia Aeronautica (RA) pilot taken during a supposed stratospheric flight over Greece. Based on the cockpit canopy structure and the shape of the control wheel, the aircraft looks to me like an Alcione. Not 100% sure though.
The pilot’s headgear consists of a Giusti flight helmet and the bulky and unmistakable FILOTECNICA oxygen mask; the RA standard issue. Its truncated cone shape earned that mask the nickname “dognose” or “pignose”. The flight suit appears to be a MARUS 1930.

Photo: Rivista Tempo n.82, 1940.

Heinkel He 111H: The Germans loved a view (III).

XI Flieger Film Korps photographer Erwin Seeger taking things easy in the nose of a Heinkel He 111H. The plane, according to the info I have, was on a transfer flight from Sicily to Tunisia, carrying under tow a Gotha Go 242 glider, 1942. No enemies were expected; Seeger is resting over the Ikaria MG 15 machine gun turret.
That unmistakable both the kapok-filled Schwimmweste model 10-76B-1 life vest and the “Netzkopfhabe” LKpN101 flight helmet.

That asymmetric marvel.

John W. Young: Ad Astra, Titan.

The painting shows a pensive John Young during suit-up for the first space shuttle mission. Yep, that incredible all-up manned first flight. He sure had things to think about.
The incomparable John Young has taken another first flight. Sadly, the non-return one.


“When Thoughts Turn Inward”,  a water color by Henry Casselli.