@john-norris I was just reading something about how the F-5's area-ruled design inspired Raymond Loewy to incorporate coke bottle styling into the Studebaker Avanti, which was then also adopted by a decent number of other early '60s car designs.
Flogger pilots were confident that they could defeat USAF F-4 Phantoms, but the new F-16 Falcons were judged to be a fair match, and the F-15 Eagles were feared.
Funnily enough the -23s that aren't the export specials might have come out ahead of the Viper, since early Vipers didn't have BVR capabilities, strike fighter first and all that.
The Flogger's advanced design and ongoing QC issues
The cockpit design isn't very good, although it is from the age before ergonomics were seriously considered in aircraft cockpit design. Early variants also handled horribly at high angles of attack. Some Constant Peg accounts go as far as to say that it tried to kill them every flight... and one actually killed General Robert Bond, although stupidity on his part also did a lot of work (pretty surprised you didn't manage to wedge that in).
@skyfire77 In addition to the exports you mentioned, South Africa worked with IAI to integrate many of the Kfir's improvements into their Mirage III fleet, creating the fairly similar Atlas Cheetah:
South Africa no longer operates the type, but Ecuador has bought some of the retired planes, and Draken operates them as agressors.
Great post! I love how wide ranging you are in these.
Thank you! I do try to cover as many bases as possible, so my definition of "aviation" may be a bit broad at times. I also try hard to represent more women who were aviation pioneers, since they still get short shrift these days.
As for the Lego Winnie Mae, I recently built the Amelia Earhart tribute set. As soon as I finished it, I wondered if I could order all the pieces in white and make a Winnie Mae with the same instructions. Then it would just be a matter of sourcing the stickers somewhere. Oh, and trying to find a one-eyed Wily Post minifigure....
June 21, 1961 – The first flight of the Aviation Traders Carvair, an aircraft developed from the Douglas DC-4 by entrepreneur Freddie Laker to allow travelers to take their cars with them on holiday. The DC-4 was modified by placing the flight deck in a raised section above the main fuselage to provide room for five cars and 22 passengers, or three cars and 50 passengers. The flexible design of the Carvair meant that the configuration could be changed on the ground between flights in as little as 40 minutes. A total of 21 DC-4s were converted and flown by various airlines in Europe, and one remains in service, based in Denton, Texas, which set a world record in 2005 when it carried 80 skydivers aloft.
@chariotoflove I mean, some of that is due to the shear volume of work being done at Langley and how far down on the list the R-40C submissions were. The rest is just that attitude of "Can we do this? Dunno, let's find out!" that lasted up until the 60s.
@facw Since the semiconductor age and the rise of radar low observability, most design innovations are now in areas not immediately visible on the outside. That and the peace dividend put paid to a lot of the wilder stuff being considered in the mid 80s.
June 6, 1915 – Zeppelin LZ 37 becomes the first Zeppelin destroyed in air-to-air combat. During WWI, the Germans used Zeppelins to carry out strategic bombing missions against France and England. On the night of June 6-7, LZ 37 of the German Imperial Navy (Kaiserliche Marine) took part in a three-airship raid on Calais and was attacked by Royal Naval Air Service pilot Reginald Warneford flying a Morane-Saulnier L fighter. Warneford climbed above the Zeppelin and dropped bombs on the airship which set it on fire and caused it to crash. The explosion caused Warneford’s fighter to roll and lose power. He was forced to land behind enemy lines, but was able to restart his fighter and return to base. Eight members of the nine-man Zeppelin crew were killed, along with two people on the ground. For his actions, Warneford was awarded the British Victoria Cross and French Légion d’honneur.
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Per his Wiki:
Having no alternative, Warneford had to land behind enemy lines, but after 35 minutes spent on repairs, he managed to restart the engine just as the Germans realized what was going on, and after yelling "Give my regards to the Kaiser!", he was able to achieve liftoff and returned to base.
Unfortunate fate for him though, dying ferrying an aircraft returning from receiving the French Légion d’honneur
@skyfire77 One of my working theories is that something changed between F-35 design freeze and the various non-American 5th gen reveals that made lambda wings much more viable for LO design. I don't expect to learn what it was before my mind goes, or to not be sworn to secrecy if I do learn it, but there's clearly something there.
That engine was first run in 1936, and then built in great numbers throughout Europe under license.
A lot of the German build up before WWII was in aircraft that were ostensibly for civilian use but were really meant for military use. They also did a lot of pilot training in Russia, of all places. German pilots who died in training were sent home in boxes marked "spare parts." At first, Hitler tried very hard to conceal his military build up, but in the end he just said screw it and gave up the deception.
@bman76 Yeah, that's why I love doing these still; even now I pick up something I hadn't known before. The Whale being a stealth test bed I knew, but the connection to JSTARS was something I had not known until now.
"All Change Points, from Xerxes to the last presidential election, create worlds with clean, efficient Zeppelin traffic. Changing history may produce Zeppelins as an inevitable by-product, much as bombarding uranium produces gamma rays. Often, the quickest way to tell if you are in an Alternate History is to look up, rather than at a newspaper or encyclopedia. From this premise, it is not outside the realm of Plausibility that our history between 1900 and 1936 was, in fact, an Alternate History. It would, at least, explain a lot."
— Kenneth Hite, "An Alternate-Historical Alphabet," January 14, 2000
Often abbreviated as Hite’s Law: Alternate histories always have Zeppelins.
@ttyymmnn Yeah, planes are, in general, larger than you'd expect, and getting the size of even fighters across is hard sometimes. I also try to limit myself to royalty/copyright-free images, so that makes it challenging. Here's a shot off Flickr that kinda does a better job:
Really, an unspeakable tragedy all the way around. I wonder if it's a bit like the unbelievable slaughter on that road out of Kuwait. The allies knew they had won, it was pretty much over, but there were still lots of bullets to be fired. And nobody could stop them.
I've never read his work. The reviewer does call him out for a few things, and it sounds like you might agree with him. The educated reader, though, will be able to see through the hyperbole to find the meat inside. Hopefully he is at least an engaging writer.