Hawker “Spanish” Fury: Furiosamente bella.

Spain ordered three of these beauties in 1935. Compared to the RAF models, the Spanish Fury was fitted with a Dowty clean cantilever internally strung landing gear and was powered by a neatly cowled 700 hp Hispano-Suiza 12X Brs engine. The idea was to licence-built this updated model in Spain; enough to equip at least three squadrons. The outbreak of the bloody Guerra Civil ended all those plans. The three produced were shipped to Spain where they had service lives as convoluted as the Spanish conflict.

By the time this photo was taken (1936) the “Furia” was already obsolescent, but what a classic beauty.

Dirigible Torres Quevedo: ¡Qué Inventen Ellos!

Talking the other day about my Astra-Torres AT‘s post, I noticed the photo didn’t show the main feature of Torres Quevedo’s concept: its characteristic tri-lobed configuration. Not the same fault with this one. This is the first airship built in Spain by the Air Navigation Laboratory headed by its inventor. The studies started in 1905 and concluded three years later with its successful tests undertaken at the Parque Aeronáutico de Guadalajara. This stupendous Will’s Cigarette Card was created using a photo taken during those 1908 tests. The design was offered to the Spanish government which passed up, as usual. Torres Quevedo sold later the patent to Astra.

“Let them (others) do the inventing!” Miguel de Unamuno. Spain in a nutshell.

Lohner B.I “Pfeil”: Flechas Austriacas sobre el Rif.

The Pfeilflieger (arrow-flier) was an Austria-Hungarian military recon biplane designed and built before the start of WW1. Conventional for its era, the Pfeil in various up-powered versions was employed by its home country initially in anger and later as trainers.

Five B.I were acquired by the Spanish in 1913 and they served in an Aeronáutica Militar squadron in the then Spanish Protectorate in Morocco. One of them here displaying the type’s commendable climb performance over Tetuán, 1913.

CASA C-101EB Aviojet: “Culopollo” para los amigos.

First flown more than forty years ago, the C-101’s still going quite strong in the Spanish Ejército del Aire (EdA). Nothing rare nowadays anyway, just a sign of our era. Conceived to replace the indigenous Saeta, in the design of Aviojet participated both Northrop and the MBB companies. The objetive was to produce an unassuming no-nonsense design cheap to operate. A very civilian Honeywell TFE731 turbofan was chosen as a powerplant with economy in mind. Curiously, it has one very unorthodox feature for a trainer: an internal weapons bay. They had some more warrior-like development in mind, but only the few exported had some teeth.

One of the C-101s of the Patrulla Águila (Eagle Patrol) EdA aerobatic team. Its official name is “Mirlo” (Blackbird), but for obvious reasons it is nicknamed “Culopollo” (Chicken Butt).

Nieuport-Delage NiD.52: Fuego amigo.

The NiD.52, like the NiD.62, was a development of the NiD.42. The main difference between the two was that the 62 employed a mixed construction compared to the all-metal (duralumin) structure of the 52. First flown in late 1927, the design didn’t find a home in its own country: the 62 was cheaper. The 52 was selected anyway by Spanish Aeronáutica Militar and about 125 were acquired starting in 1930. In service the “Nieuport-Hispano” had few lovers. The design inherited the questionable stability of its French siblings and proved to be too slow.
A bunch of them were still in service at the start of the Spanish guerra Civil. They served with both sides until better fighters appeared. This superb Daniel Bechennec‘s painting represents one of the confusing combats the NiD.52s took part early in the war. Maybe even the “Blue-on-Blue” combat of 6 Aug. 1936 between two escuadrillas of the Republican Grupo 11. At that stage both sides employed similar types of aircraft and markings.

I do love the Nieuport-Hispano’s autochthonous Corominas radiator…. and the bigotito.