At the end of WW2 men who had been trained by our nation’s military to fly wanted to continue flying as a hobby. As they found employment and disposable income they began buying aircraft. Two companies saw the coming general aviation boom and prepared for it. Cessna built their Model 195, which was basically a continuation of their pre-war designs. It had a high wing, tailwheel design a radial engine. Beechcraft, on the other hand, designed an all new plane with a metal low-wing, monoplane design using Continental’s E-185 horizontally opposed six cylinder engine, and retractable landing gear.
Continue reading Forked-Tail Doctor Killer: The Beechcraft Bonanza
Following up a legend with another great is virtually impossible, just check out The Godfather III, The Who’s replacement for Keith Moon, and the Jaguar XJ-S. There are exceptions to that rule, including Empire Strikes Back, The Godfather II, and the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers. But can anyone name the Supermarine Spitfire’s successor? Continue reading Swapping Spits
Last week’s discussion of attractive vintage propellor aircraft got me to thinking about sexy vintage jets. One of the first that always springs to my mind is the wonderfully-named North American A-5 Vigilante. A scarred veteran of some very hairy missions over Vietnam, total speed demon, and superb-looking to boot, the Vigilante’s small production numbers meant it was never to gain much recognition in the aviation world. Continue reading Pretty, Brave
If you lived in Scotland, Wales or Yorkshire during the 1960s or 1970s, you would have memories of many quiet hillside picnics shattered by a fleeting couple of shadows and seconds later the terrifying blast of jet engines screaming mere dozens of feet right over your head. The usual culprit was the Blackburn Buccaneer – for several decades the finest-handling low-level attack aircraft in the world.
Continue reading Banana Jet