Tuesday, 26 January 2016

USAAF Hurricanes & Spitfires

The USAAF did operate a few of Britain's finest fighters...

The USAAF used a number of Hawker Hurricane Mk.II`s as unit hacks in 
the Middle East and the Airacobra equipped 350 Fighter Group even 
converted some of theirs into 2 seaters

The American  Hawker Hurricane with a bite!

Spitfire PR.XI PA944  Reconnaissance aircraft

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Messerschmitt Me 264 'The Amerika Bomber'

The Messerschmitt Me 264 'The Amerika Bomber' was a long-range strategic bomber for the Luftwaffe that would be capable of striking the United States from Germany, a distance of about 5,800 km (3,600 mi). The concept was raised as early as 1938. Only 3 were built and the first aircraft flew on the 23th December 1942. The project was cancelled in September 1944 to allow Messerschmitt to concentrate on other aircraft production.
Read more @: http://www.luft46.com/prototyp/me264.html

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Hurel-Dubios HD.31/32/34

HD.34 Photo by Han de Ridder

The Hurel-Dubios HD.31/32/34  were a family of 11 built high aspect ratio designed aircraft. 
It first flew (HD.31) on the 27th January 1953. Air France placed an order for 24 feederliners, Aigle Azur signed for four & Institut Géographique National also ordered four. In the end only the IGN aircraft were delivered for aerial photography. The aircraft's wing design made it ideal for long-duration, low-speed flight, ideal for aerial photography and survey work. These machines were designated HD.34 and were fitted with an extensively glazed nose and an offset retractable nosewheel.

HD.31 - prototype with Wright Cyclone C7BA1 radial engines with twin fins (one built). 
HD.32 - prototype with Pratt & Whitney R-1830 radial engines with twin fins (two built)
HD.321 - prototype with Wright Cyclone 982 engines and single fin. (two converted from HD.32 by replacing twin fins with a single central and two small auxiliary fins)
HD.34 - aerial survey version for IGN. Glazed nose, retractable offset nosewheel  (all other aircraft had  fixed, faired tricycle undercarriage). Also built with a single central and two small auxiliary fins (eight built)

Specifications: HD.34
General characteristics
Crew: Five
Length: 23.57 m (77 ft 4 in)
Wingspan: 45.30 m (148 ft 7 in)
Wing area: 100.0 m2 (1,076 ft2)
Empty weight: 12,300 kg (27,060 lb)
Gross weight: 18,600 kg (40,920 lb)
Powerplant: 2 × Wright Cyclone 982-C9-HE2, 1,140 kW (1,525 hp) each
Maximum speed: 280 km/h (175 mph)
Range: 2,200 km (1,375 miles)
Service ceiling: 8,000 m (26,200 ft)

HD.31 Photo by Terence Wong-Lane 
HD.34 Photo by Han de Ridder...Nosewheel up!

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Savoia-Marchetti S.55

The Savoia-Marchetti S.55  first flew in August 1924. I was very surprised that over 240 were built as I have not seen much about this aircraft in the past. The final one was retired in 1945. Only one survives today in a museum in Brazil.

The twin hulls could accommodate cargo or up to 10 passengers. The cockpit was placed in the thick wing section between the two hulls. Odd as it was the S.55 set many records for the time and was a pioneering aircraft at flights across the Atlantic when it was a very risky adventure.

In 1933 Italian Air Marshall Italo Baldo organized a squadron of 24  S.55s to attend Chicago's Century of Progress taking just over 48 hours in V formation. Now that must of been a great sight and sound! The aircraft were use by Italy's Regia Aeronautica as long-range bomber and patrol aircraft up until WWII. S.55s also operated with Aeroflot and the Military of Brazil, Spain & Romania.

S.55-Prototypes and original production model delivered from 1927 to 1930, 90 built, including two prototypes.
S.55C-Civil variant delivered from 1925 to 1926, eight built.
S.55P-Improved civil variant with enlarged hull for 10 passengers and enclosed cockpits delivered from 1928 to 1932, 23 built.
S.55A-Military variant delivered with 418 kW (560 hp) Fiat A.22R engines, 16 built.
S.55M-Variant with some wood structures replaced by metal, seven built by Piaggio in 1930.
S.55 Scafo Allargato-Widened and deepened hull and enclosed cockpits, 16 built by Savoia-Marchetti and 16 built by CANT.
S.55 Scafo Allargatissimo-Variant with greatly enlarged hull, 20 built by Savoia-Marchetti, 16 built by Macchi and six built by CANT.
S.55X-Variant fitted with Isotta-Fraschini Asso 750 engines for North Atlantic formation flights, later armed and used as a reconnaissance-bomber. 25 built.

 CREW: 5-6
 ENGINES: 2 x Isotta-Fraschini "Asso 750R", 656kW
    Take-off weight 8260 kg /18210 lb
    Loaded weight 5750 kg /12677 lb
    Wingspan 24.0 m/79 ft 9 in
    Length 16.75 m/55 ft 11 in
    Height 5.0 m/16 ft 5 in
    Wing area 93.0 m2/1001.04 sq ft
    Max. speed 279 km/h./173 mph
    Cruise speed 233 km/h./145 mph
    Ceiling 5000 m 16400 ft
    Range w/max.fuel 4500 km/2796 miles
    Range w/max.payload 2000 km/1243 miles
    4 x 7.7mm machine-guns, 1 torpedo or 2000kg of bombs