I mentioned a little while back that I had a sibling that was able to attend the Reno Air Races. While she was there, the race announcer, mentioned that once upon a time Smirnoff had sponsored a Grumman Bearcat race plane, and that there had been a cocktail that someone concocted to go along with it. Being naturally curious, when she got home, she went on a little internet quest to discover the recipe for said cocktail, and found the image of the poster that you see above. Naturally, she shared it with me, thinking it might make a good image for a shutdown one day. I got a little curiouser, and did some more digging, and found out that the Smirnoff Bearcat might just represent the prefect fusion of Atomic Toasters and Hooniverse. Hit the jump, and I think you will agree!
Continue reading Cold as Ice
Factory floor at the Skunkworks, building SR-71s
The Professor (remember him?) used this photo in a post a while back about OXCART. I think it is epically fantastic and it needs it’s own post. I’m not going to add any new knowledge about the A-12 or the SR-71. I’m just going to ask [...]
The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird. Nevada mountains sold separately.
We haven’t had a gratuitous SR-71 post in a while. Time to rectify that.
Continue reading SR-71 Cockpit Checkout
To me, one of the more fascinating forays into the worlds of unusual aircraft that the military has taken over the years was the era of the Navy airships, the Akron, Macon, Shenandoah and Los Angeles. The Akron and the Macon were not only impressive rigid hulled dirigibles, but were also flying aircraft carriers, the sort of flights of fancy found in a few modern films hardly worth mentioning, and in one of the greatest animated series’ of all time, TaleSpin. In order to house these ginormous aircraft, a equally ginormous hangar was built in Lakehurst, New Jersey, and recently I came across video of wind tunnel testing for that hangar. Hit the jump and take a look!
Continue reading Blowing in the Wind
On February 20, 1947 a Strategic Air Command B-29 took off from Ladd Field near Fairbanks, AK on a secret mission. That mission meant the Kee Bird was to fly north to the geographic north pole then return. With extended range tanks filling its empty bomb bays, it could stay aloft for 26 hours. The mission was expected to last 20 hours.
Continue reading All That For Nothing
Japan, not wanting to be outdone by their German ally, also wanted in on the rocket plane frenzy. However, due to cultural differences at the time, their rocketplane would be less fighter and more cruise missile…with a pilot.
Continue reading Japan’s Suicidal Rocket Plane
Up until 1944, the Luftwaffe had great success intercepting Allied bombers. With point defense fighters, the bomber fleets of the good guys suffered pretty significant casualties. That all changed in early 1944. The Allies now had long range P-51 Mustangs. Worse, they changed tactics. Instead of simply escorting the bombers and waiting for the Germans to attack, the P-51s went ahead of the bombers and cleared the way.
Continue reading A Last Minute Heinkel: A Throwaway Fighter Tale
Before the Me 163 was the He 176. Ernst Heinkel was fascinated with speed. He wanted to increase the performance of aircraft and that meant looking at alternative propulsion methods. To Herr Heinkel, the piston engine and propeller had run their course.
Continue reading H Comes Before M