Startdown: Flight of Fancy

Doesn’t air travel look classy?

Image via retro-tech.

Airborne Awesomosity

On a Float!


In the late 1940s, one of many US Air Force research projects was being conducted by the EDO company, attempting to modify an aircraft such that it could be operated from ice and snow as well as from water. The testbed was a Grumman OA-9 Goose, modified with a hydro-ski configuration consisting of 4 parts, a main ski, tail ski, and two wing float skis. The concept worked, but was only beachable with the use of a bulky cradle. The flight tests also demonstrated that the primary hydro-ski was the only component required for a successful aquatic takeoff, and this fact attracted US Navy interest in further research and development, to explore the hydro-ski as a means to improve the rough water handling of seaplanes.

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Airborne Awesomosity

What Could Have Been: The Duchess

Imagine, if you will, that you are heading to the airport on vacation. Instead of going to some vast expanse of tarmac, smelling of bus and jet exhaust, you head to the ocean. Amidst the smell of the sea and the cackling of sea gulls a high-pitched whine comes from over the water. Floating in to a dockside jetway is your plane.
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Military-Grade Awesome

Master of the Seas

Earlier, Deartháir asked about our favorite jet planes. That’s not an easy question, but my top two choices were claimed a mere minutes after the post went live. So, I’ve resorted to taking my toys and going home. Well, that and I needed something to write about today.
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Giant F*ck-Off Aircraft, Startup

Startup: The Imperial Porcupine

Now with 100% more images!

No conversation about flying boats would be complete without mention of the Short C-class “Empire” flying boats. These craft were really quite unique in their particular realm. While significantly smaller than any of the other flying boats we’ve looked at, these are still enormous aircraft for the pre-WWII […]

Giant F*ck-Off Aircraft, Startup

Startup: Finally! One That Worked!

The Saunders-Roe Princess, way up in the air, something our two previous seaplanes couldn't accomplish.

After two posts about flying boats that just did. not. work, it’s kind of refreshing to be able to do a post about one that did.

Of course, the fact that it worked did not prevent […]

Giant F*ck-Off Aircraft, Startup

Startup: Surprising Origins

"Up, up and away! But only up a little bit! Okay, that's enough!"

In yesterday’s Startup, we talked about the Spruce Goose, a massive undertaking that never fully realized its true potential. Turns out, it wasn’t the first giant seaplane to learn this lesson.

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Giant F*ck-Off Aircraft, Startup

Startup: Seaplane or Flying Boat?

Since yesterday’s Startup, I’ve had thoughts of the Spruce Goose stuck in my head. It’s one of those marvels of engineering that I got to see up close and personal when I was young, and found it so captivating because it inspired my imagination in amazing ways.

My parents were awesome for […]