Feb 262018

Looks interesting:


I may be wrong, but it sure seems like there has been a recent resurgence of WWII movies. *Specifically,* there seems to be a revival of interest in stories set in and around a Britain that is being threatened with a barbarous invasion, a Britain that is close to standing alone, going its own way, facing doom at the hands of a culture that threatens to swamp and erase it. In this particular case, there is the obvious connection with Eastern Europeans who are also not at all thrilled with the foreign invasion.


 Posted by at 1:04 pm
Feb 252018

Almost forgotten these days is the Fairchild XC-120 “Packplane,” the single example of which flew from 1950 to 1952. It was a cargo plane with a difference… the cargo was carried not in the fuselage, but in a replaceable “pod” carried below the flat-bottomed fuselage. It would permit the carriage and easy swapping of specialty pods… surgical units, housing, that sort of thing. An interesting notion, but not interesting enough to merit production.

Like a lot of aircraft, not a whole lot of good diagrams of the XC-120. I found a kinda horrible copy in a report, split into several pieces, and stitched it back together.

I’ve uploaded the full-rez version to the APR Patreon Extras Feb 2018 folder, available to all APR patrons at the $4 level and higher.

Support the APR Patreon to help bring more of this sort of thing to light!



 Posted by at 9:51 pm
Feb 222018

Another researcher has asked me if I know of any photos of the RB-29 that was equipped, circa 1948, with a side-looking 100-inch K-30 camera. I do not, but I figured I’d put the request out there in case anyone might have leads.

 Posted by at 8:02 pm
Feb 202018

From Those Were The Days… currently on eBay is a truly impressive piece:

Douglas Aircraft Co 1960’s Skeletal Wood Model of the C-5 Cargo Proposal LARGE

The Buy-It-Now price is a substantial fifteen grand. It shows the internal structure of the Douglas proposal of the CX-HLS, what became the C-5, at fairly large scale. More pics after the break.

Computer graphics are great. But they would not compare to seeing something like this set up as part of a sales display. Of course, you can’t exactly email this thing as a PDF…

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 4:38 pm
Feb 182018

A few decades before the “X-Wing” configuration gained a measure of popularity, Hughes Tool Company made a detailed study of a somewhat similar concept, the “rotor/wing.” This was a three-bladed helicopter rotor attached to a large central lifting surface, either a circular disk or a triangular structure. The rotor was not turned the conventional way with a turbine engine turning a drive shaft, but instead the engine exhaust was ducted through the center and then out to nozzles at the tips of the rotors. Jet thrust would spin the rotors without transmitting torque to the rest of the vehicles; as a consequence only a small tail rotor would be needed, just powerful enough to orient the craft at low airspeeds.

A few configurations were produced, most of which looking much the same. Probably the most well known configuration was shown in US VTOL Projects 01. Shown below is a lesser-known configuration designed for anti-submarine use. Normally the configurations included the turbojet engines within the upper fuselage, close to the hub of the rotor, but this one rather bizarrely put the engines on the tail. No obvious means of ducting the exhaust to the rotor is evident, so presumably a third (or even fourth) engine was tucked into the fuselage somewhere.


 Posted by at 1:24 am
Feb 152018

The “expert” suggests books, snacks and Ipads as a way of appeasing the little monster. Seems to me there are more effective solutions.

Passengers Recall ‘Flight From Hell’ After 3-Year-Old Screamed for 8 Hours Straight

There is an auto-play bit of video with nice, loud audio of screeching. Must’ve been a heck of a fun time.

The obvious solution is to duct tape the little monster, both into his seat and his mouth shut. Another solution would be to drug him. Back when I used to fly I saw lots of smaller pets brought on board; and a *lot* of them were brought on board sedated. If it’s good enough for a cat, it’s good enough for a little monster. Another solution: cargo hold.

 Posted by at 9:53 am
Feb 132018

Now available: two new US Aerospace Projects issues. Cover art was provided by Rob Parthoens, www.baroba.be

US VTOL Projects #2

US VTOL Projects #2 is now available (see HERE for the entire series). Issue #2 includes:

  • SOS Interceptor: A US Navy Mach 3 aircraft with jettisonable wings
  • Lockheed GL-224-3: A small battlefield surveillance and ground attack plane
  • Phalanx Dragon MP-18: An unconventional small civilian transport
  • Lockheed L-161-1: An early concept for a variable geometry roadable helicopter
  • GE Supersonic V/STOL: A supersonic strike fighter with flip-out lift fans
  • Convair ANP-VTOL: A nuclear-powered ground-effect craft of the Navy of unusual configuration
  • Piasecki 16H-3: A compound helicopter for high speed passenger transport
  • Boeing Vertol Model 147: A tilt-wing close support fire support design for the US Army

USVP #2 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $4:


US Research & Recon Projects #2

US Research & Recon Projects #2 is now available (see HERE for the entire series). Issue #2 includes:

  • Lockheed A-1: The first true design leading to the SR-71
  • Bell MX-2147 Model 105: The high altitude “X-16”
  • Boeing/CRC/AMROC X-34 Reference Configuration: A reusable launcher test vehicle
  • Martin Model 159: A scout/observation float plane
  • NASA-Langley Low-Boom Demonstrator: a recent design to demonstrate quiet SST tech
  • McDonnell-Douglas DC-9 Super 80 Propfan Configuration 1: A fuel efficient transport demo
  • Convair “HAZEL” MC-10: An inflatable Mach 3 plane for the Navy
  • Republic Manned Hypersonic Reconnaissance Vehicle: an early scramjet concept


USRP #2 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $4:


 Posted by at 11:57 am
Feb 082018

Not the Heavy launched a few days ago, but the previous Falcon 9, launched a week ago and soft-landed in the water.

Air Force Strike Takes Out SpaceX’s Floating GovSat Booster

The booster tested high retrothrust landing. Like a lot of SpaceX’s successful tests, they didn’t expect the booster to survive virtually intact, so they didn’t have a plan in place to recover the thing. Officially that made it a hazard to navigation; boosters like this have carbon over-wrapped high pressure helium tanks and other splodey bits. Unofficially, I wonder if the real reason was a desire to keep the booster from falling into nefarious hands… not so much the likes of United Launch Alliance, but more like Bond villains or the Chinese government (but I repeat myself).

Exactly how the Chinese or SPECTRE would go about snagging a floatign rocket booster is anyone guess. The rational approach would be to pre-position a modified cargo vessel equipped with cranes and such… hardly likely to go un-noticed. Less likely would be to modify a submarine to rise up underneath it, latch on, poke some holes in it, sink and be on its way. Less likely still would be a giant dirigible or seaplane.

These are of course all silly. But then, the CIA paying Howard Hughes to scoop a Soviet ballistic missile sub off the ocean floor was a silly notion as well.

But to the specific topic at hand, I wonder if the strike operation was carried out with laser guided bombs or with gunfire. I suspect the former… a B-1 or B-52 laying waste seems like the sort of excessive drama the situation calls for.

 Posted by at 6:39 pm