All I have on this: a 1970 design by the German aircraft firm HFB (Hamburger Flugzeugbau) for a “flying panzer.” Clearly it’s an armored car with jet propulsion and vertical lift capability; I would assume that this is only capable of extremely limited flight for such things as hopping rivers, trenches, minefields, battlefield debris and other such tasks. Basically, the vehicular equivalent of the Bell “flying belts” or “jetpacks” which were popularized in the 1960;s, but which were too cumbersome, expensive and far too short-duration to be of any real practical value.

Still: “Flying Panzer.”

1970 HFB flying panzer

The vehicle is depicted in the foreground hopping over anti-tank obstacles and in the background crossing a river. Note that it appears to have a rudimentary skirt system; if those wheels could be drawn up above the skirt, this would make it capable of operating as a hovercraft. This would allow it to “fly” over the surface of a river much more economically than on pure jet lift. I have no idea if this was a serious design effort or just artistic doodling.

The first five issues of US Bomber Projects are now available as ebooks at Amazon. The links below not only take you to the Amazon listings, if you then buy something (*anything*, so fee free to splurge on laptops and cars and jewelry and such), I get a small commission.

I would appreciate feedback… everything from constructive criticism to reviews posted over at Amazon.


UPDATE: It seems at least some people can’t see the Amazon link-box thingies posted below. So… two alternatives.

1) Type “US Bomber Projects” in the Amazon search box you should see at the upper right, just above the “Tip Jar.”








If you dowloaded an early version of USBO01, it seems that you *can* download the latest version without re-buying it.

Date & source uncertain. Artistic depiction of the sort of stuff the F-16 could haul about.


I have – I *think* – just corrected an error in the listing that should open sales up worldwide. If some of all y’all furriners would like to take a look and see if it’s still unavailable, that’d be helpful. Note, though, that USBP#02 has been uploaded and is going through review… and – again I *think* – should be far better in terms of image resolution. If I get confirmation from a customer or three that #2 is better than #1, I will re-upload #1. I don’t know if previous purchasers can download the new, better version or not…

#2 took freakin’ *forever* to get properly formatted. I couldn’t find a way to get the “Caliber” converter on my computer to *not* reduce the image resolution, so I had to use the Amazon system directly, which meant uploading the thing and waiting for it to process, then looking through the annoyingly slow previewer for the innumerable and mysterious formatting issues. After around 20 cycles of this, I *think* I’ve got it hammered into shape with full-rez images. So while this is formatted and laid out differently from the standard PDF version, the image quality should be as good.

Unless something screwy happens (and, gosh, when has *that* ever happened), USBP#2 should be available on Amazon in the next some hours. I have high hopes of being asleep at the time.  So if you’d like to be the first kid on your block with a copy, or want to help out be getting a copy early and providing feedback (if so, thanks), just search for “US Bomber Projects” on Amazon.


My plan at this time is to keep publications at Amazon about five or six issues behind those on my website.

I have gotten some feedback by buyers of US Bomber Projects #01 on Amazon for the Kindle. Not a lot, but some. Half of the feedback is “Amazon won’t let me buy it because of where I am.” Hmmmph. I followed Amazons recommendations on pricing, and I guess that includes making it unavailable to all y’all non-American-types, even though I was pretty sure that the list of nations that it would be available in included the whole Anglosphere and then some. Or maybe it just takes longer to become available elsewhere. Hmmmph, I say.

Also: For USBP #02 on Amazon, I plan on tinkering with the format a bit. Nothing major, but I plan on trying to figure out why the filesize, an the imagery, got a lot smaller.

Also also: I went to Amazon and did a search on “bomber project” to see if and where USBP01 showed up. Turns out it’s right up there. Curiously, as you can see from the screenshot, USBP01 is listed as “#1 Best Seller in 30-Minute History Short Reads.” Woo! That was promising, so I spooled up the page that tells me how it’s selling, to see how many hundreds of copies it has sold to reach #1 status. Six!. Well… just “six.” Not “six hundred.” So I’m guessing that “30-minute short history reads” is a category that’s not exactly burning up the charts.



It’s in among some good company, at least. Pity about the dreary cover, I suppose.


The third October PDF Review has been posted over at the Aerospace Projects Review Blog. This describes wind tunnel testing of the XP-85 “Goblin”, specifically with the trapeze recovery system.

Pages from Stability and Control Characteristics of a 1 10-Scale Model of the McDonnell XP-85 Airplane While Attached to the Trapeze_Page_03


These PDF Reviews are brought to you by the APR Patreon. For as little as 75 cents per month, you can help me dig into the forgotten corners of aerospace history… and get yourself some goodies in the process. Head on over!

Many years back I was given a photocopy of a Soviet journal article describing a Soviet version of the WWII-era “Silverbird.” The Silverbird was the brainchild of Austrian rocket engineer Eugen Sanger and was a concept for a hypersonic rocket powered “spaceplane” capable of dropping bombs halfway around the world. In the years immediately after the war, the report Sanger wrote proved to be influential on policymakers and engineers, especially in the USSR.

This article describes a Silverbird modified with sizable ramjet engines mounted to the wingtips. Sadly, I can’t read a single word of Russian, so I can’t make heads or tails of it apart from the illustrations. One notation indicates that this may date from 1947. The vehicle described would seem to be the “Keldysh Bomber.”

I have scanned the article and posted it as a PDF on my Patreon for patrons at the $1.50 level (c’mon… that’s $1.50 a month! Mere pennies a day!).


As well as the 11X17-format PDF collection of diagrams for USBP07 through 09.



Issue 11 of US Bomber Projects is now available (see HERE for the entire series). Issue #11 includes:

  • Boeing Model 464-40: The first all-jet-powered design in the quest for the B-52
  • North American D-118: A turboprop conversion of the F-82E into a ground attacker
  • Boeing Model 701-218: A twin engined supersonic concept
  • NAA Model 705-00-04: A ramjet cruise missile with a manned rocket booster
  • Northrop Nuclear Flying Wing: A well defended if rather hypothetical design
  • Martin Model 223-11: *almost* the XB-48
  • Boeing B-1: The design that might have beaten the Rockwell concept
  • Bell/Martin 464L: The submission that most closely resembled what the Dyna Soar eventually became

USBP #11 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $4:






And also available, issue #01 of US Transport Projects. Done in the same format as US Bomber Projects, USTP will cover flying vehicles designed to transport cargo, passengers and troops. Issue 01 includes:

  • Redstone Troop Transport: An Army concept for a troop & supplies launcher
  • Lockheed CL-334-1: A small STOL battlefield transport
  • NASA LH2 747: A “three fuselage” hydrogen-fueled jetliner
  • Douglas DC-8-1004: A very clean pusher-prop passenger liner
  • Bell/Boeing/NASA ATT: A wasp-waisted transonic concept
  • Boeing Model 733-94: An early SST
  • Aereon Dynairship: A giant modern airship
  • Boeing Model 473-10: One of the earliest jetliner designs

USTP #01 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $4:






Large format USBP drawings, Issues 07-09

The CAD drawings created for USBP reformatted and rescaled for 11X17 collected in a separate volume. Drawings have in some cases been corrected, improved and added to.

USBP 11X17 07-09 collects the diagrams created for issues 07, 08 and 09, including:

Boeing model 464-25; Boeing Model 828-2; Fairchild N-12; Rockwell D645-3; Boeing Model 701-273-7; Martin Model 223-7; Convair 464L Dyna Soar I; Convair 464L Dyna Soar III; Bell MX Hovercraft; Bell mobile defense platform; Boeing Model 464-27; Rockwell D645-6; Republic M-4.25; Martin MAMBA; Boeing Model 484-2-2 (twin-pod); Martin Model 223-8; Douglas 464L Dyna Soar I; Boeing Model 800-11A; Boeing Model 464-33-0; Consolidated Army Bombardment Type; GE Supersonic System 6X; Convair B/J-58 B-58C; Boeing Model 484-2-2; Martin Model 223-9; Northrop N-206 Dyna Soar I/II/III; Boeing Model 800-15A

USBP11x17-01-03 can be downloaded as a PDF file for only $10:




I’ve uploaded a PDF file of some good diagrams of American aircraft Gatling guns to my Patreon “creations” page for all my patrons. Some years ago I made photocopies of these pages from… something. Clearly it was an Interavia publication, but I couldn’t tell you what with any certainty. A quick Google search indicates that the “Interavia Data” volume on “Aircraft Weaponry” is a good bet. if anyone knows for certain, I’d be happy to have some sort of confirmation.


If you would like to access these items and support the cause of acquiring and sharing these pieces of aerospace history, please visit my Patreon page and consider contributing.


The X-37B has been lurking in orbit since December, 2012 doing… whatever it was it was doing. Suspicions generally revolve around it performing recon missions of some kind. But it has returned at last to a safe runway landing. Some good photos from an just after that landing are here:

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