Caribou, Mirage III’s & Hueys: Martiality in shorts.

Neatly smart Royal Australian AF presentation at RAAF Butterworth,… well, if you could be smart wearing those long socks. Canadian, American and French aircraft. By the time this photo was taken, the Australian usual British influence was already banishing -military traditions and wardrobe apart.

Fashion tastes could be deceitful, always flamboyant the Aussies, really flamboyant.

Ryan X-13 Vertijet: BOLD with capital letters.

The minuscule X-13 was designed to explore the feasibility of a pure jet vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) fighter aircraft. Efficient and successful during the test, the X-13 proved that jet thrust alone vertical flight was both technically feasible and quite practical. But not practical enough for the military though. The X-13’s tiny size and limited payload and the lacks of engines available to produce a larger, higher powered version soon relegated the concept to the museums.

Two different kinds of boldness here; the radically spartan X-13 versus the gaudily classic stravaganza of the American late 1950s “barges”.

The future was then:

NAA F-86F Sabre: Centinelas del Aire.

After years of international isolation and misery thanks to the American Uncle the Dictator Franco’s Spain became of those West’s useful freedom fighters (“but he’s our son of a bitch”, remember). One of the first, obviously, to benefit from situation were the military. The Sabres started in Spain -with the humbler T-33 – the “Era de los Reactores” (jet era). Hard to find a better way to start.

A pair of Torrejón’s Ala 6 de Caza/ 6 Fighter Wing on their way to the Balearic islands. Not very usual to see Spanish Sabres with these Dayglo Orange International painted drop tanks (200 gallons here).

Photo: V.G Moñino.

But wait, there’s more !!!. This magnificent “Air Sentinels” NO-DO documentary about the Ejército del Aire jet pilots. Don’t worry, you don’t miss much if you don’t understand Castilian; just the usual unctuous Francoist yackety-yak.

Spirit of America I: “Once as a jet it played in the stars….”

Ok, it’s not an aircraft, but this seminal jet record “car” looked the part. A “So-Cal” hotrodder, young Craig Breedlove took in the early 1960’s with his creation a huge step ahead. More an aircraft than a car, Spirit of America didn’t disappoint: it made its creator the first man to achieve 400 mph (640 km/h) during a land speed record in Sept, 1963.

Gorgeous rear end, in fact a surplus GE J47 jet engine from a F-86 Sabre. Photo taken from the classic book of Cyril Posthumus, “Land Speed Record”.

It’s a very hot summer my friends, at least here in Spain:

“….but now on the ground it’s the king of our cars”.