When we say 'weird' we mean it. Definitely.
With the issue of a specification for a successor to the Potez 631 twin-engined fighter in service with the Armee del'Air, P-E Mercier and Jacques Lecarme of the Societe Nationale de Constructions Aeronautiques de Sud-Est (SNCASE) tendered the design of a highly innovative aircraft, the SE 100…Continue
I won't be surprised to see this handsome fighter in a new version of Crimson Skies or some Dieselpunk/althistorical opus.
The Italians were the first of the participants in World War II to build a canard combat aircraft, the SAI-Ambrosini "S.S.4". Italian aircraft engineer Sergio Steffanutti had become interested in canard aircraft in…Continue
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
This Saturday, your Air Mail is brought here by an advanced experimental fighter, Buck Rogers at the controls*:
The Grumman G-34 proposal of 1938 for a single-seat twin-engined shipboard fighter anticipated the realization of an operational production example of such a type by quite a few…Continue
Probably world's most advanced fighter in 1933, this diminutive monoplane still was a formidable opponent in 1941.
The Polikarpov I-16 is one of the most unsung aircraft in history, almost the Rodney Dangerfield of fighters, getting no respect from anyone - except its opponents. Created by designer Nikolai Nikolayevich Polikarpov, this classic airplane was a…Continue
Welcome to Knights of the Air, a weekly series on Dieselpunks spotlighting the aces and pioneering aerial technology of World War I.
Every once in a while, I run across an image so weird I would swear it was Photoshopped (even if the photo pre-dated Photoshop by about 85 years). Knowing that the early days of photography were full of pranksters, I looked into the…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
The M.S.406 was a French Armée de l'Air fighter aircraft built by Morane-Saulnier starting in 1938. Numerically it was France's most important fighter during the opening stages of World War II.
Although sturdy and highly maneuverable, it was under-powered and weakly armed when compared to its…
In 1939, many European powers could boast a fighter plane equal or even superior to the German Bf 109. And Belgium was no exception.
Alas, superiority was achieved mostly on paper. In fact, "wonderfighters" designed in Poland and Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and Netherlands were either unfledged, or produced in insufficient numbers, or both. And Belgium, again, was no exception.…Continue
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
A rather unorthodox Swedish aircraft started its life as a piston-engine fighter to become a jet-propelled attacker.
In 1941 Svenska Aeroplan AB started the initial project work on a new fighter…Continue
Volumes are written on the Lafayette Escadrille, a French fighter unit composed largely of American volunteers.Continue
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
This account comes from a friend of my father who influenced my early life and is fondly remembered today. John K. (Jack) Northrop was a true pioneer and futurist. He invited my family to the maiden voyage of the YB-49 Flying Wing Bomber (1949) which is the first time I ever saw a jet airplane. He introduced me to the hobby of plastic modeling, and guided me to getting a BS in Aeronautical-Astronautical Engineering at Northrop Institute of…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
Today I found a great article on the Curtiss P-40, which most remember as being the used by the Flying Tigers in World War II. P-40 in…Continue
Everybody knows who was America's WWI Ace Number One. But can you name Number Two?
Born Francis Warrington Gillet, he was a student at the University of Virginia when he joined the U.S. Air Service on April 1, 1917. Like many, he did not adjust to…Continue
Added by lord_k on July 7, 2011 at 6:30am — No Comments
This Thursday, our hero is a pilot who hadn't much luck fighting enemy planes but scored a respectable number of victories downing enemy lighter-than-air aircraft.
Coppens, who was born on 6 July 1892 in Watermaal-Bosvoorde,…Continue
Thursday Edition is back - with Australia's highest scoring ace of the Great War.
Robert Little was to become Australia’s top fighter pilot in the First World War, an Ace pilot who claimed 47 confirmed kills before being killed in action. Robert Little was born on 19th July 1895 in Melbourne, at Hawthorn, son of James Little a seller of medical and surgical books. He was well educated at Scotch College and entered the family business as a traveling…Continue
Added by lord_k on June 23, 2011 at 6:30am — No Comments