Crashed Hawker Hurricane Model Diorama, Hornchurch

crashed hurricane model diorama  Crashed Hawker Hurricane Model Diorama, Hornchurch(Image: Lightningboy2000, cc-nc-nd-3.0)

This image by Lightningboy2000 brilliantly captures a model Hawker Hurricane crash diorama, set in the Pacific theatre during World War Two.  The model, which appeared at the Hornchurch Southern Expo in 2010, reflects the level of realism and detail that can be achieved even in 1/72 scale.  If you’re into model making and historic recreation, there really are no limits to the imagination, as stirring wartime scenes can be recreated in less space than is taken up by a computer keyboard.

Keep reading – if you enjoyed this 1/72 scale model, check out these full scale replica Hurricanes and Spitfires, as well as these mock-up aircraft used as film props.

1986 Image Shows Crashed F-4 Phantom at Gulfport, Mississippi

crashed f 4 phantom gulfport  1986 Image Shows Crashed F-4 Phantom at Gulfport, Mississippi(Image: US Air Force, public domain)

This black and white photo shows the aftermath of an incident that took place on March 14, 1986 at Gulfport, Mississippi, in which an F-4 Phantom sustained damage during an emergency landing and ended up in a field not far from the main runway.

The jet, serial number 66-7675, which belonged to the 170th Tactical Fighter Squadron of the Illinois Air National Guard, was returning from a training mission at the time.  The Phantom remained largely intact and, although the crew was forced to eject, nobody was injured during the incident.

Keep reading – dive the submerged F-4 Phantom of Subic Bay and visit the crashed Phantom at the Hanoi Aviation Museum.

Historic Photos Show X-15 Rocket Plane Exiting Paint Shop Sealed for High Speed Flight

x 15 2 ablative  Historic Photos Show X-15 Rocket Plane Exiting Paint Shop Sealed for High Speed Flight

(All images by NASA, public domain)

If you plan to push an air vehicle beyond mach 7, you’re going to need a pretty impressive thermal protection coating to keep the overall temperature of the airframe to manageable – and survivable – levels.  These historic images show the second X-15 emerging from the paint shop sporting the thick white coating engineers hoped would fulfill that task.

x 15 2 ablative coating  Historic Photos Show X-15 Rocket Plane Exiting Paint Shop Sealed for High Speed Flight

As they were to soon discover, the second flight of the newly coated (formerly black) X-15, on October 3, 1967,  was to be the fastest the type would ever undertake, as well as one of the most eventful.  When test pilot Major William J. “Pete” Knight landed back at Edwards AFB, the aircraft’s special ablative coating was said to resemble burnt firewood – you can read the full account here.

Space Shuttle Discovery to Overfly Washington, DC

space shuttle discovery 747  Space Shuttle Discovery to Overfly Washington, DC(Image: David Shapinski, cc-sa-3.0)

It’s an exciting time in Washington, DC as the city prepares for the arrival of the Space Shuttle Discovery, the best known and most travelled of the NASA orbiters.  The space agency has announced that Discovery will fly over the DC metro area mounted atop the 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft between 10 – 11am EDT on April 17.  Check out the flyer below, and read the NASA announcement here.

nasa discovery washington  Space Shuttle Discovery to Overfly Washington, DC

Flight Design Launches New Electric Aircraft – the CTLSi

Flight Design CTLS  Flight Design Launches New Electric Aircraft – the CTLSi(Image: CLI, cc-sa-3.0-Poland)

German plane manufacturer Flight Design has launched a new electric aircraft that builds on its well established CT (Composite Technology) series. The CTLSi, which comes with an additional $12,800 on the price tag due to a new Rotax 912iS engine, flew for the first time this week.

The announcement was made during a news conference at Sun ‘n Fun. The new engine is expected to deliver fuel savings of 21% at altitude and includes electric trim and a lithium ion battery.

Flight Design CTLS Lite  Flight Design Launches New Electric Aircraft – the CTLSi(Image: Image: Agentblank, cc-sa-3.0)

Flight Design also told AVweb that the company’s C4 project, launched about a year ago, was also moving forward. “Our next big decision is to nail down the avionics,” said marketing director John Doman. “We need to get everything to come together to meet our $250,000 target.”

(The aircraft used for illustration purposes in the lower image is the CTLS Like, introduced in 2010.)

Wrecked B-52 Bombers South of Edwards AFB

b 52s edwards  Wrecked B-52 Bombers South of Edwards AFB(Images via Google Earth)

Aircraft enthusiasts who frequent Edwards Air Force Base in California will likely be familiar with a Boeing NB-52B nicknamed Balls 8, either for its history as NASA’s longstanding “mothership” or for its more recent position on display by the airfield’s north gate.  Less well known are two derelict B-52 bombers located south of the dry lake bed – one relatively complete minus its tail fin, the other chopped into several large pieces.

b 52s edwards 21  Wrecked B-52 Bombers South of Edwards AFB(Images: JACoulter, cc-nd-2.0; Google Earth)

The wrecked B-52s are among several retired airframes dotted across the Edwards radar range.  With security so high at the base, it’s surprising that photographers have managed to get close enough to take these photos.  Is the range still active or is it abandoned?

Rare Brewster Corsair F3A-1 the Subject of Restoration Efforts

brewster a3a 1 corsair  Rare Brewster Corsair F3A-1 the Subject of Restoration Efforts(Image: D. Miller, cc-3.0)

Seen here at AirVenture 2005, Corsair Bu. No. 04634 is a rare example of a surviving F3A-1 variant built by Brewster Aeronautical Corporation.  Operating from MCAS Cherry Point in North Carolina, the aircraft’s flying days ended when it crashed into a swamp killing the pilot.  The Brewster-built Corsairs allegedly had a reputation for poor build quality and none reached front line units.  But No. 04634 has become the subject of an ongoing restoration campaign and even boasts its own website.

NASA Puffin: Cool Concept, Shame it Never Flew

nasa puffin  NASA Puffin: Cool Concept, Shame it Never Flew(Image: NASA, public domain)

In early 2010 the online realm was buzzing with news of the Puffin, a NASA concept for a one-man personal aircraft capable of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL).  The brainchild of aerospace engineer Mark Moore, the electric aircraft was designed to stand 12 feet high and transport a lone pilot around 50 miles at speeds potentially reaching 150 mph.

NASA built a one-third scale proof-of-concept model in 2010 as a means of exploring new technologies and the transition from cruise to hover flight.  However, the Puffin was never intended to be a production vehicle and despite its potential application – military and/or civilian – and inarguable appeal, the concept shown above never actually flew.

Vintage Visions: Villemard’s 1910 Depictions of 21st Century Aviation

villemard art  Vintage Visions: Villemard’s 1910 Depictions of 21st Century Aviation(All images via Tom Wigley)

Flying machines were in their infancy in 1910, the ability to fly in itself a technological wonder.  But that didn’t stop eccentrics and inspired thinkers dreaming of a time when aircraft were so ubiquitous that bars and restaurants would offer ‘fly-throughs’.  That might sound rather far fetched, even by today’s standards, but French artist Villemard offered an image of Parisian life in the year 2000 that in some ways has come to pass.

villemard art 2  Vintage Visions: Villemard’s 1910 Depictions of 21st Century Aviation

These retro-futuristic postcards show a variety of aviation-related scenes in which aircraft rescue stricken sailors, helicopters patrol the skies, spying on those below, and a seaplane – in this case a vintage wooden boat held aloft by two zeppelin-like hot air balloons – drifts above an ocean.

villemard art 3  Vintage Visions: Villemard’s 1910 Depictions of 21st Century Aviation

Elsewhere, flying cops hold up unruly airborne motorists – a theme explored in science fiction films such as Minority Report, but perhaps not too far from (an alternate) reality if flying cars are anything to go by.  In more serene scenes, all manner of flying machines, from prop-planes to ornithopters, cruise down the Avenue de l’Opéra.

The scenes are at once pleasant and chaotic.  While Villemard could never grasp the rate by which technology would advance over the next 90 years, he clearly understood the crucial role aviation would play in our modern world.

Buildings Shake as Eurofighter Typhoon goes Supersonic

eurofighter  Buildings Shake as Eurofighter Typhoon goes Supersonic(Image: Smudge 9000, cc-3.0)

Fears that an earthquake had hit northern England were allayed today when the Ministry of Defence confirmed that a Eurofighter Typhoon was given permission to go supersonic.  The aerial action took place yesterday in airspace west of Harrogate in North Yorkshire, although windows rattled and buildings shook as far away as Cumbria.

An MoD spokesperson told Harrogate News:

“The MoD can confirm that a Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from RAF Coningsby was authorised to go supersonic over land at 15:53 yesterday.  Any inconvenience caused to local residents is regretted.”

The emergency services were not called out and no damage has been reported.  Harrogate resident Sarah Callaghan, who was driving near the American radar base at Menwith Hill when she heard the boom, said:

“It did cause a moment of concern.  The noise was, shall we say, out of the ordinary.”

eurofighter typhoon coningsby  Buildings Shake as Eurofighter Typhoon goes Supersonic(Image: Simon Fidler, cc-sa-3.0)

The British Typhoon was one of around 60 based at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire (above).