Nothing weird in your mail this Saturday. Just a family of Italian warplanes flown over four continents.
Probably the only weird thing about this glorious family is its lifespan, starting soon after the Great War and fading away in WWII air battles. These biplanes, once listed among the world's most advanced fighters, were a sad oddity in…Continue
When the radar existed only in science fiction but the aviation was already here, the most common way of spotting a distant target was to send a reconnaissance aircraft based aboard a battleship or a cruiser.
For submarine fleet, spotting and early warning was probably even more vital than for the large surface ships. No…Continue
This photograph looks like a shot from a sci-fi movie:
First flown in prototype form in mid-1930, the Handley-Page HP.50 Heyford was the last of the RAF's long-range biplane night bombers. It was powered in…Continue
Added by lord_k on June 9, 2012 at 6:30am — No Comments
1920s airliners... Some are famous, some have fallen into obscurity.
Have you ever heard of the Albatros sleeper - a very unlikely descendant of WWI Albatros fighters?
The Albatros L 73 was a German twin-engined biplane airliner of the 1920s. Of conventional configuration, it featured a streamlined, boat-like fuselage and…Continue
Added by lord_k on June 2, 2012 at 7:30am — No Comments
Igor Sikorsky is remembered as an aircraft designer well ahead of his time. But at least once in his long career, he was unfashionably late.
As early as in 1913, he designed world's first four-engine bomber (initially destined for transport &.research). Nine years later, he…Continue
Added by lord_k on April 28, 2012 at 6:30am — No Comments
Designed by Gianni Caproni and Dino Giuliani, this six-engine biplane was the largest landplane in the world.
The Caproni Ca.90 made its maiden flight on October 13, 1929 - two weeks before the 7th anniversary of Fascist takeover. It had an unusual layout, with two tandem pairs of 1,000hp Isotta Fraschini Asso engines above the 46.6 m (153 ft)…Continue
The Saturday Air Mail is never short of weird aircraft, civil and military. Meet the Vickers 161.
"This plane is not actually weird, if it was 1916! But in 1931, it was plenty strange, " - wrote Mysterious Bill.…Continue
Hail the minor powers! Their aces probably achieved less than von Richthoffen (or Ball, or Guynemer, or "Billy" Bishop) but their bravery should be remembered.Continue
Most airliners designed in late 1920s had to retire after only a few years of active service, making way for more advanced and reliable all-metal aircraft.Continue
I always wondered why the word Wunderwaffe is applied only to the late-WWII German projects.
In the history of WWI there is a whole lot of weird and scary "wonderweapons". And if you think that the DFW giant bomber was the only one with Mercedes inside,…Continue
The guy at the controls was a businessman, a writer and a socialite. First and foremost, he was an aviator.
"Owned one of the first petrol-driven cars in England; toured South Africa;…
Added by lord_k on February 23, 2012 at 7:30am — No Comments
Want to fly over Paris? A mere hundred francs will buy you a seat onboard the Goliath, the Jazz Age flying streetcar.
The two FF.60 bomber prototypes of 1918 heralded the start of a great family of passenger airliners and night bombers which dominated European aviation for the next decade. However the design formula remained fairly constant with equal-span…Continue
Added by lord_k on February 18, 2012 at 7:30am — No Comments
Among all WWI bomber designs, German DFW biplanes earn a special mention, thanks to their unusual powertrain.
The first was the R.I (don't forget that "R" index is for Riesenflugzeug, i.e. giant airplane). Developed as a private venture by DFW, it was a…Continue
Don't be afraid of this beast. The Saturday Air Mail will do you no harm!
Remember the WWI Caproni bombers? They looked weird with their puller-pusher twin-boom layout but their inflight stability was exceptional and performance was great at all altitudes, allowing for…Continue
In wartime, even of the most brilliant technical innovation can lead to a failure.
This is exactly what happened to a talented French engineer, his story told by Gary Warne (Warnepieces blog):
Variable Incidence, the mechanical…Continue
Got something weird in your mailbox? Hello, the Saturday Air Mail is here!
This Saturday (cold and windy, I must admit) our guest star is the GA-1 (ground attack aircraft No.1), a brainchild of Engineering Division, U.S. Army Air Service, and their engineer, Isaac M. Laddon. It was built by Boeing Airplane Company in Seattle, Washington.
It started as a moth and evolved into a dragon.
Just a few images of the Escadrille, its pilots, aircraft and lions.
The Escadrille Lafayette in July 1917. Standing, left to right are Soubiron, Doolittle, Campbell, Persons, Bridgman, Dugan, MacMonagle, Lowell, Willis, Jones, Peterson and de Maison-Rouge (French Deputy Commander). Seated, left to right are Hill, Masson with "Soda" lion cub; Thaw, Thenault (the…
Added by lord_k on November 3, 2011 at 10:30am — No Comments
The Caudron R.11 (aka R XI) was the last bomber the French built during the Great War.
Evolved by Paul Deville from the R.IV reconnaissance bomber designed by Rene Caudron, the R.11 three-seat biplane was originally intended as a Corps d'Armee aircraft, but was destined to find its forte as a three-seat escort fighter. Its design was similar to the Caudron R.4, but with a more…Continue
Most decorated Canadian WWI hero, William G. Barker was a person of outstanding bravery and skill.
The son of Mrs. George Barker, of Rathwell, Manitoba, William George Barker left high school in Dauphin to enlist in the Canadian Mounted Rifles in December 1914. He spent eight months in the trenches before he received a commission in the Royal Flying Corps in April 1916. After starting out as a mechanic, he qualified as an observer in August 1916 and…Continue
Added by lord_k on October 13, 2011 at 7:30am — No Comments