May 222011

From the early postwar years until well into the late 1950’s, Convair-San Diego spent a great deal of effort studying and proposing turbojet powered seaplanes. Roles covered the spectrum from small fighters to Mach 4 bombers to cargo lifters. Sadly, nothing came of these efforts, and nobody except the Russians ever fielded a fast jet seaplane.

One of the earliest of these concepts I’ve seen is this 1947 design for a single engine jet fighter seaplane, apparently the first of the “Skate” series (which ran into the 1950’s and included bombers and passenger planes). This is a highly aerodynamic vehicle, with shaping taken as far as doing away with the normal bubble canopy by making the pilot lie prone. A similar design was produced with the same basic geometry but with two jet engines exhausting near the wing trailing roots.

The plane was certainly well armed. Four .50 caliber machine guns and two 20 mm cannon, with an alternate load of  30 5-inch “spinner rockets” fired from wing-embedded “rocket guns.” The rockets look like they would have been atrociously inaccurate, so the load was almost certainly not for shooting down other fighters. However, for taking down bombers, cargo aircraft or ships, these probably would have packed a hell of a punch.

 Posted by at 10:54 pm
May 202011

OK, back to contests with actual VALUABLE PRIZES. Specifically: $20 in downloadables for whoever can identify the vehicle that this was a part of.

The contest will run until either sometime Sunday, or until someone posts the correct answer.

I’m really not sure if this one will be universally tricky or not. I suspect that few have seen this drawing… but many have seen similar.

 Posted by at 2:17 pm
Apr 202011

OK, *this* one should present a bit of a challenge.

I know what it is; I just don’t hardly believe it.

DING! Survey says:

This … thing was a Bell Aerospace design for an armored hovercraft MX launcher. Dating from the late 1970’s or early 1980’s, I know it only from a single three-view included in a Bell report detailing their conceptually similar entry into the Small ICBM (i.e. “Midgetman”) launcher design contest, to show prior art. Performance and most details are at best fuzzy from the limited info. It’s equipped with a multitude of lift jets and propulsive jet engines… and a number of liquid fueled rocket engines, for reasons unexplored in the available information. Presumably for getting-the-hell-out-of-Dodge purposes, but a rocket powered hovertank is going to have a strictly limited range at whatever the hell it considers to be “high speed.” The oddest thing is that there are rockets on all sides… forward, back, side-to-side. Shrug.

Probably make a nifty model. Anybody interested?

 Posted by at 7:19 pm
Apr 182011

Again, I expect that for 99+% of the planetary population, these are complete mysteries, and would remain so even if explained. But I also expect that for some Unwanted Blog readers, these are blindingly obvious.

 Posted by at 6:44 pm
Apr 172011

This one should be tricky for most. But it may well be easy for certain people with somewhat particular interests.

Bonus glory to whoever can not only identify *what* but *where.*

 Posted by at 5:59 pm
Sep 232010

A bit of a different one: $15 worth of downloads to the first person to tell me where – specifically – these rad warning signs are located.


 Posted by at 11:06 pm