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Stipa-Caproni 'Flying Barrel' (1933)



The dawn of the jet age came with this and similar machines. The slightly tapered barrel fuselage produced a venturi effect making for a more efficient tractor. But it simply wasn't efficient enough to justify all the ungainly aspects of the machine. Give it a few years...


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DOP:  Thanks for the B-47 inspiration.  I have largely forgotten this airplane, as I usually fixate on the B-36 (huge R-4360 fan since I used to own & fly a pair of R-985s).  The amount of mainten

Two R-985s?? Sweet. Did you own a Goose or something similar? Yes...the 47 was pretty cool. Flew like a fighter by accounts. But it was underpowered none-the less...JATO was standard for loaded t

Mine was a 3NM.  Funny, but when I was a wee kid, I was introduced to general aviation by the pilot and engineer that kept a D18S for local construction magnate.  They would show a couple of 12 year o

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A great Canadian aircraft...airshow favorite of the day. 

The de Havilland DHC-4/C-7 Caribou



Saw extensive use in Viet-Nam from early-on. Its raw power and unimproved-short field capabilities made it a natural for the job. Just over 300 made. Used by the CIA's "Air America" on occasion. Many other 'foreign' operators over the years...some still in use, I'm sure.


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The Douglas DC-8


I spent a lot of time aboard various versions of this aircraft as a yoot. More than the 707 which I didn't really see a lot of at Canadian airports I frequented. Air Canada-TCA and Canadian Pacific both used the DC-8. CP I believed leased a bunch of 707s at some point to take care of the soaring demand for jet travel. I'm sure Air Canada did as well...but these rigs were the luxury machine of the day for many major airlines. First class REALLY was...




Model 43


Model 63 stretch...


Trans Canada Airlines...proto-Air Canada



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Witchcraft...one of the few B-24 Liberators still flying. A B-24J to be precise.  A later model. You can tell late from early models...generally...by the nose. If it has a turret...late. No turret...just glass...early. The Liberator was the less famous but more numerous partner to Boeing's B-17 Flying Fortress. Preferred in the Pacific Theater to the Fortress due to its better range plus ability to fit "Tokyo Tanks" in part of the bomb bay.




Diamond Lil is the other airworthy example. It's dressed-up as an A model B-24. Very first run. Note the early-war US markings. They were changed as they could be confused with the Japanese Rising Sun "Meatball" markings in a pinch. "A" models were quickly upgraded to "D" models for the main production run. They sported the more powerful P&W R-1830-43 Twin Wasp supercharged engine. You can see the difference on the engine cowlings...later has the twin intakes.




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The Flying Tigers:  First American Volunteer Group (AVG)



Nationalist Chinese Air Force...the good guys. Not the Communists.





Contrary to popular myth, the AVG did not see its first combat until the 20th of December, 1941. While the Nationalist Chinese Air Force had been fighting the Japanese for years already, the AVG did not fight before Pearl Harbor as some seem to think.

The aircraft of choice was the P-40B Tomahawk/Warhawk...minus various items not found in the export version including radios and reflector gunsights!



Pay was high for the time...and was about three times what one would make in the regular USAAC/USAAF. It attracted quite a few who sought both adventure and combat. Greg 'Pappy' Boyington perhaps being the best known of the group... 


On the 4th of July, 1942, the AVG was absorbed back into the USAAF...but the air war over China continued.



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