Convair B-58 Hustler: Bitch, Please !!

In fact, the B-58’s form of pre-recorded female voice warning system provided by Nortronics Division of Northrop Corporation was recorded by actress and singer Joan Elms, not by Gina Drazin. The crew referred to that voice as “Sexy Sally” or as “The (Old) Bitch”…. since she always brought bad tidings.

Photo taken from the July 1962 issue “Popular Science”.

YB-36, B-29 and a Buchón: Strange companions.

A Hispano Aviación HA-1112 M1L in its authentic Ejército del Aire (Spanish AF) colors sharing tarmac space with some of Strategic Air Command (SAC) huge irons at the old Air Force Museum (Wright-Patterson AFB) in the late 1960’s.  One of them is the second Peacemaker built, YB-36 (42-13571) -rebuilt as a RB-36E. This prototype was he original Peacemaker selected for display at the old Air Force Museum premises. For not disclosed reason, it was actually not moved to the new museum premises. Even worst, 42-13571 was scrapped…with a bulldozer. Sinful to say the very least. The sad remains still linger on Walter Soplata’s farm. The one now displayed in the new museum was flown to the site of the new museum in 1959 and was the last flight of a B-36.

Lockheed F-104CCV: The icing on the cake (II).

This strange “thing” was a test vehicle employed by Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB) to validate the fly-by-wire control systems intended for the future generation of fighters. With the help of ballast to change the centre of gravity CoG, this Fokker-built F-104 was transformed from a conventional naturally stable aircraft into a unstable platform. Equipped with a triple.redundant fly-by-wire system, this Control Configured Vehicle (CCV) testbed took the skies in 1977. Not having enough, in 1980 a sort of vestigial F-104’s tailplane was added on the forward spine also for aerodynamic destabilizing purposes. The very profitable data acquired during its tests helped in the design of both the X-31 and the EFA.

That extra tail sure did the trick. More and More.

Fokker F.10: We are all the same, but not equal.

The American-built Fokker F.10 was an larger more powerful version of the classic Fokker F.VII airliner built in the late 1920’s. Like their forebear they were quite prolific (more than 60 built) and turned out to be real money-makers until that fateful day. On March 31, 1931, the wooden-wing of a Transcontinental and Western Fokker F.10 failed catastrophically and it crashed in the Kansas prairie, killing, among others, a popular football hero of the era: Knute Rockne. That accident, and the huge publicity it produced, meant the end of wooden airliners in the United States and also brought radical changes in the regulations and operations of the airlines. The American commercial aviation technology supremacy achieved from the middle 1930’s was the result.

Gorgeous machines they were. We can no deny the splendor of that era.