Daimler Benz “Jäger”: All in the Family.

When Daimler Benz started the development of its outstanding DB 609 in Sep. 1942 they found themselves with the need to place it in an aircraft. The DB 609 was a quite massive 16 cylinder liquid-cooled engine with a projected initial output of 2700 hp. Why not to create that aircraft in-house? Their proposal was a quite conventional fighter design with one mayor exception: the contra-rotating props and their location. Sadly, only a partial mock-up of the Jäger (not its official name) was completed before its complicated engine -and hence this fighter- was cancelled in 1943.

Startling with that nose radiator, tricycle undercarriage and “birdcaged” teardrop cockpit canopy.

Dornier 1931 Rennflugzeug: The best for last.

Not quite content with their already remarkable 1928 Schneider race floatplane, the Dornier company took an even more radical path three years later. A flying boat this time, their braced-monoplane was to be powered by a pair of 2000 hp(!) liquid-cooled engines on a tandem configuration. They drove via angle drives a pusher propeller high above the fuselage. The latter, wings and tailplane had surface radiators. Stability on the water was ensured (quite questionably) by small retractable floats.
Lack of available engines, almost non-existent pilot view, those floats, questionable design choices…. It never had a chance.

Dornier 1928 Rennflugzeug: Becoming bolder.

Dornier’s second attempt of a race seaplane was shown at the International Aviation Exposition in Berlin 1928. There it caused the inevitable stir because of its unconventional configuration. A sort of catamaran wire-braced monoplane with an abbreviated nacelle which housed the pilot cockpit and a pair of souped-up BMW VI rated at 1000 hp each. This lovely model was as far as this project went.

Dornier 1924 Rennflugzeug: Elegant aborted start.


Being a company somehow specialised in naval aircraft it could have been very rare if Dornier would not have tried to enter into the Schneider Trophy competition. Their first possible contender was designed in 1924. This slick design was a twin-float equipped braced-wing monoplane powered either by Curtiss or Fiat engines of 450-500 hp. Conceived by order of the Italian authorities, in the end the project didn’t pass the wing-tunnel studies (the gorgeous model here) due to lack of funds.

To be continued.

Bell LFV: “Burning out his fuse up here alone.”

If you thought the Lunar Buggy (LRV) was astonishing… This is Bell Aerosystems artist’s interpretation of their Lunar Flying Vehicle (LFV) proposal; one of the alternative ways considered by NASA to give the astronauts more “reach” on the moon. Their flying platform was powered by a pair of rocket with had a flight range of 10-15 miles. Interestingly, its fuels were sourced from the residual propellants available in the LM descent stage.

Bell knew what they were doing.

Boeing 2707-200: Beak-utiful.

The “canard-equipped” -200 was the last hurrah of the really, really bold 2707 basic design. This very convincing artwork of a TWA example displays nicely some of the design drastic features. Of note the bizarrely configured two joints drop nose employed instead of the usual single pivot point type used by the Concorde, Tu-144, and its Lockheed’s competitor.

Artist: DavidJoseco.