Sukhoi Jet Engine Powered Aircraft: We must begin somewhere.

This was Pavel Sukhoi’s OKB first attempt into the jet aircraft design. Conceived as a purely research aircraft in late 1942, this dandy artifact had an annular intake scoop placed the fuselage just behind its teardrop-shaped cockpit capsule. The nose section would have housed both the cockpit and a fuel tank, and was to be attached to the larger diameter central fuselage by four pylons. The central fuselage was to contain the “half-step” composite jet engine: a classic air-cooled engine -with an oil cooler- driving a pair of co-axial propellers was employed to supply compressed air to a sort of jet engine’s fuel injection/combustion chamber placed in the tapered tube. Complex enough?. The project never left the drawing board.

Very Soviet style artist’s impression of the subject. It could have been really something.

Tupolev Tu-4LL: Mutant !!!

Behold the Glory. This Tu-4 (aircraft 94/1) engine testbed had its no. 3 ASh-73Tk engine replaced by “half a Tu-91”; the entire forward/center fuselage of Tupolev’s “aircraft 91” naval strike aircraft. This Tu-4LL was flown in this configuration in 1954.

Almost cartoonist that “91” nose. Incredible aviation era, those were the times.

Main info source.

Chyetverikov MDR-6B-1: In full Bloom.

The few MBR-6’s built were the only real success of designer Igor V. Chyetverikov. A little more than 50 of these highly advanced long range flying boats were produced in the late 1930’s-early 1940’s. The MDR-6’s of the main variant were powered by a pair of radial engines (Shvetsov M-25, M-62 and M-63) and served with the Baltic, Black Sea and Far East fleets until late 1942. Structural defects and faulty fuel system caused their hasty retirement. War then was going badly for the USSR and there was no time to spare in these small production assets…..and there were Lend-Lease Catalinas to burn.

Very beautiful aircraft in their more pedestrian form, the MDR-6 became just gorgeous in its later prototype iterations. In this photo, the first -and prettiest- of those prototypes. The B1 was a total redesign. Slicker and smaller, its designer cleaned it out thoroughly -retracting floats included- and replaced the radial engines with a pair of Klimov M-105 liquid-cooled engines. Add to those features a gorgeous twin-finned tail and the result was just irresistible. It was test flown, crash included, during late 1940-1941.

Mil Mi-8: Here we go again.

A Mil Mi-8 helicopter ready for some early action at the runway of Camp Bastion (Afghanistan) October 23, 2011. Afghanistan is a place those ageless helicopters know all too well. They still, regrettably, have a lot of hot and dangerous days ahead down there.

A superb photo anyway of Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Chandler (Regional Command Southwest).

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23: “War is Peace”.

Abandoned MiG-23’s (MiG-23MS, MiG-23MF and MiG-23UB) of the Syrian AF captured by rebels, mainly of the al-Nusra Front, at Abu ad-Duhor airbase, Northwest Syria on Sept. 9, 2015. The siblings of these old warriors are still in use by the Syrian Regime in that international quagmire called the Syrian Civil War.

An outstanding photo composition anyway. Omar Haj Kadour (Getty Images).

Soyuz 1: “This Devil Ship!”

50 years ago, on 24 April, 1967, we lost the first human in an actual spaceflight. Cosmonaut Vladimir Mikhaylovich Komarov died when his Soyuz 1 capsule crashed into the ground after its parachute recovery system failed, the horrible culmination to a cursed mission full of technical problems. RIP

Komarov here during training in bare bones Soyuz flight simulator. Photo: RKK Energia