Hawker Typhoon Mk.1B: “I Got Stripes”.

A Typhoon Mk IB photographed by Flight magazine before its delivery to the RAF in April 1943. Exhibiting its gloriously aggressive lines to advantage; nice way to show us its 12in black and 24in white bands. As I’ve commented before, one of the Typhoon’s problems -especially in early service- was that it was easily mistaken with the Fw 190. This was the solution.

Photo. IWM.

Cunliffe-Owen OA-1: The harsh reality.

The British little known Scottish Aircraft & Engineering Ltd. company purchased in the middle-late 1930’s the licence rights to produce Vicent Burnelli‘s UB-14 lifting fuselage. Called by them OA-1, the prototype took flight in 1939,.. the year of the invasion of Poland. With the country at war, the by then renamed Cunliffe-Owen company, turned its back to the Burnelli and soon switched their capabilities to produce parts for other aircraft companies. So this unique prototype remained the one and only “British Burnelli” produced. It worked for a living though; serving with both the RAF and latter with the Free French AF (de Gaulle included) until its extinction.

Lovely publicity artwork with a neat cutaway depicting the main features of Burnelli’s idea.

Shorts S.B.5: Hubris sometimes pays.

The S.B.5 was built basically because the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) Farnborough didn’t trust the configuration (mainly the low set tailplane) chosen by the English Electric company for their P.1A. This simple and spartan testbed proved the civil servant were the ones in error. Anyway, that waste apart, the manufacture of the S.B.5 turned out to be wise and profitable decision; it became one of most versatile and cos-effective research tool in highly swept wing surfaces thanks to its easily changeable wings.

Useful, but not pretty. The Shorts people obviously knew that and decided in this add to erase the S.B.5 fixed undercarriage.

Supermarine Spitfire Tr.9: More than a drink or two.

Curious the misuse of the term “Fokker” in this recent ad; Done on purpose or a mistake?. “Fokker” was used quite often by Allied pilots during the war in reference to the Focke-Wulf Fw 190. That trend, no doubt, had  its roots in the WW1 “Fokker Scourge”.
Weird also the shape of this Spitfire. ML407 was a war veteran converted into a two-seat trainer in 1950. The late Nick Grace acquired it in late 1979 from the Strathallan Museum and spent five years restoring the Spitfire to flying condition. A gifted engineer, Grace also created for its Spitfire the so-called “Grace in line Canopy Conversion”: the bulbous rear canopy could be removed in order to keep somehow the original line of the Spitfire almost intact. That configuration is clearly depicted in here.

By the way, not a bad ale, not bad at all.

Handley Page Type F: No mistaken identity here.

This graceful monoplane, with its exceptionally clean lines for the period, was designed by Frederick Handley Page to take part on a 1912 War Office prize for military aircraft. The type F was an evolution of “HP” previous models, with such gorgeous wing shape as a sort of household signature. First flown in May of the trial year, the Type F suffered lateral stability problems and was retired from the contest. Later, when its wing-warping was replaced by ailerons the problem disappeared. Sadly, it didn’t enjoy a long life. On December 1912 it crashed tragically with the lost of his two occupants due to a failure of its Gnôme rotary engine.

Hendon, Nov 1912.  A close-up from a photo of The Flight magazine archive.