In 1991 the US Navy Advanced Tactical Aircraft (ATA) program and the associated subsonic McDonnell Douglas/General Dynamics A-12 Avenger II two-seat stealth attack aircraft was cancelled. The program was plagued by delays and huge cost overruns. The design was simply way too ahead of its time! Unfortunately the “Flying Dorito” never took flight and all that… Read More The A-12 Avenger II “Flying Dorito” Has Wings Again!
Continuing my visit to the National Aviation Museum of Argentina (Museo Nacional de Aeronáutica de Argentina), at the Morón Air Base in Buenos Aires during December 2019, let’s now take a look at the FMA I.Ae 33 Pulqui II (Arrow II) prototype. Intended for service with the Argentine Air Force (Fuerza Aérea Argentina – FAA),… Read More Argentina’s Pulqui II – South America’s First Swept Wing Jet Fighter
When I travelled to Argentina in December 2019, one of my main destinations was always going to be the National Aviation Museum of Argentina (Museo Nacional de Aeronáutica de Argentina) and I was not disappointed. The museum is nearly spotless and you can get a good view of all the aircraft on display. Located at… Read More Argentina’s Pulqui I – South America’s First Jet Design
Finding a Stealth Replacement for the Intruder The Grumman A-6 Intruder was a legendary long-range US Navy attack aircraft that could operate in all weather conditions, day or night. They served from 1963 through to the 1990’s with the US Navy and US Marine Corps and saw extensive combat in Vietnam during the 1960’s and early… Read More What Might Have Been – The A-12 Avenger II
The Bell P-63 Kingcobra first flew in December 1942 and was the successor to the Bell P-39 Airacobra. The Kingcobra featured significant improvements in design and performance but visually the most notable difference is the larger airframe and tail fin, along with the big four bladed propeller. The Bell P-39 Airacobra and P-63 Kingcobra both… Read More The Bell P-63 Kingcobra – All Hail The King!
The German Luftwaffe Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe (Swallow) was the first operational jet fighter and appeared in air combat towards the end of World War Two. The Me 262 has always been one of my favourite World War Two era aircraft. It wasn’t the best jet to ever grace the skies but I have always… Read More The Survivors: Messerschmitt Me 262 – Germany’s Jet Fighter
Rare aircraft are a passion. If they are a bit of an oddity, then that’s even better and the Vought V-173 “Flying Pancake“, World War Two era experimental aircraft more than fits the bill! Ordered in May 1940, the wooden framed, canvas covered V-173 was completed in 1942 as the sole Proof Of Concept prototype for the… Read More The Survivors: Vought V-173 “Flying Pancake”
Reportedly dubbed “Whispering Death” by Japanese ground forces due to its quiet engines (courtesy of engine sleeve valves), fast and powerful Bristol Beaufighter heavy fighters were flown by Allied pilots to strike Axis shipping and ground targets in the European, North African, Mediterranean and South West Pacific theatres of World War Two. I can picture… Read More The Survivors: Bristol Beaufighter – The “Whispering Death” of the Pacific and Beyond!
The USAF Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) Program commenced in the 1970’s, then continued through the 1980’s and 1990’s, as a development, demonstration and evaluation program for a new USAF fifth generation fighter with stealth technology to complement and eventually replace the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle air superiority fighter. Lockheed and Northrop proposals were accepted in… Read More The Survivors: Northrop-McDonnell Douglas YF-23A Black Widow II Advanced Tactical Fighter
By all accounts the 1980’s era Northrop F-20 Tigershark was a great fighter jet that was maneuverable with good short field capability. It was kind of like a super F-5E Tiger II with a new single General Electric F404-GE-100 turbofan engine that boosted performance to Mach 2.0 and featured modern avionics, a Hands On Throttle… Read More The Survivors: Northrop F-20 Tigershark – A Formidible but Unlucky Jet Fighter!