Northrop YB-49: Nuke Them All!!!

Jack Northrop’s out of this miserable world YB-49 “Flying Wing” on its way to nuke some Martians on the classic “The War of Worlds” 1953 movie. Archive images: flight testing of the sole remaining YB-49 prototype had ended three years before.

Some fireworks. Happy 4th of July.

Stout 2-AT Pullman: Start me up.

The Stout 2-AT Pullman was the first of the “Tin Gooses”. Developed by William B. Stout from his previous 1-AS Air Sedan, the Pullman like its forebear was conceived taking notes of the seminal Junkers F.13. In configuration, this high-wing all metal monoplane was a more conservative design and employed the plentiful 400hp Liberty engine. First flown in 1924, it took part successfully next year at the Ford National Reliability Air Tour. That led the same year to their introduction into service with the newly formed Ford Air Transport Service (one of them here). And later to Ford’s acquisition of the design rights and the creation of the iconic Trimotor.

Close to my hard working fan. Summer is here to stay.

Sukhoi S-26-2: Look, Ma !!!

The pair of S-26s built in 1963 were a further iteration of the soft-field performance tests undertook by the Sukhoi OKB with their Su-7. Unlike the previous S-23, these prototypes used a combination of wheel/ski undercarriage instead of the former’s ski-only landing gear. A double brake parachute (the S-26-1 only) and JATO boosters were also tried.

Soviet ruggedness to the T. This prototype survives at the monumental Monino AF Museum.

Lavochkin La-15: Against too much bad luck.

The nimble and slick La-15 entered service around the same time the MiG-15 did. Compared to the latter, the La-15 was smaller and was powered by the less powerful RD-500 (a RR Derwent copy). In service the design was well-loved by its crews, but suffered a series of accidents. One of the fatalities was a good friend of Stalin’s son…. In the end the Soviet AF decided to have just one interceptor model, and the MiG-15 was cheaper. Only circa 235 La-15s were built.

At first sight it looks a lot like the seminal Ta 183, a slender one. Kinda pretty too.

Lippisch Delta IM: Alpha of the Deltas.

Alexander Lippisch coined the name “Delta” and also had the honour of building the first practical delta wing aircraft. His Delta IM flew in 1931 as an evolution of his previous work on tailess gliders, and in particular as a powered version (30 hp Bristol Cherub III) of his Delta I. The result was both nimble and easy to handle as we can observe in this charming video. The only example built was destroyed in a 1933 crash, but the seed was already sown.

Photo: ©Alex Stocker.