Feb 202017
 
Streamlined Dreams: Ten Amazing Unbuilt Automobile Designs, 1916-1939

Automotive history is filled with concepts which never left the drawing board, with early streamlined projects being among the more fascinating. This book presents ten of the most striking and unusual aerodynamic automobile studies of the interwar period. Subjects include a torpedo-like race car driven by periscope; advanced teardrop passenger cars; rocket-powered vehicles with wings; Harry […]

Oct 022015
 
Martin Model 262 Convoy Fighter: The Naval VTOL Turboprop Project of 1950

The Martin Model 262 was an unconventional turboprop VTOL aircraft proposal submitted to the US Navy’s convoy fighter competition of 1950, which ultimately produced the Convair XFY-1 Pogo and Lockheed XFV-1 Salmon. It was a swept-wing aircraft with triple vertical tails powered by an Allison XT-40-A-8 turboprop engine driving 16 ft contra-rotating propellers. The launch […]

Mar 132012
 
Douglas El Segundo Project 9 Tailless Bomber—Wind Tunnel Tests (1938)

The Douglas El Segundo Division Project 9 was a study for a twin engine tailless bomber dating from 1938. It was likely designed (or heavily influenced) by Jack Northrop, who would leave Douglas the following year to form his own independent company. The report presented in the gallery above describes the results of wind tunnel […]

Feb 152012
 
Early Lockheed XF-90 Concepts — the L-153, L-167 and L-169 Studies

The Lockheed XF-90 was built in response to a 1945 Air Force requirement for a long range penetration fighter and bomber escort. It was an attractive aircraft heavily influenced by the company’s experience with the P-80, sharing a similar intake and low wing configuration. However, it was designed to operate at higher speeds, with a […]

Feb 062012
 
Johns Hopkins Long Range Ram Jet Missile Study (1946)

Previously, we featured an article here at RetroMechanix.com on a Cornell study for a long range ram jet bombardment missile dating from March 1946. During this period, the Air Force appears to have been especially interested in this type of weapon, as it also issued a contract for a similar study by the Applied Physics […]

Jan 242012
 
Cornell Long Range Ram Jet Bombardment Missile Study (1949)

The above gallery reproduces the main body of “Influence of Certain Parameters on Long Range Ram Jet Bombardment Missiles Including the Effect of Highly Swept Wings,” a Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory report dating from March 29, 1949. In the report, Cornell investigated the horizontal, self-powered flight path of a given ram jet missile configuration to determine […]

Jan 032012
 
Armstrong Whitworth AW.56 Jet V Bomber Proposal (1947)

The gallery above reproduces an Intelligence Report from the U.S. Military Attache, London dated December 12, 1947 which was found in the files of the U.S. Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff, Development, Director of Research and Development, Aircraft Division, Airplane Branch, RG 341 at National Archives II in College Park, Maryland. The report describes the […]

Dec 152011
 
Lockheed V-156 Jet Patrol Airplane Project (1944)

The Lockheed V-156 was a study for a jet patrol airplane prepared for the US Navy Bureau of Aeronautics on November 1, 1944. Resembling an enlarged Fouga Magister (though bearing no relation to that design), the V-156 was a shoulder wing monoplane with a V-tail powered by a pair of unspecified jet engines, possibly the […]

Oct 182011
 
USAF Air Materiel Command Design 938A Penetration Fighter Study of 1948

The concept of a “penetration fighter” evolved towards the end of WW II, when the USAAF anticipated the need for new class of jet fighter aircraft for the long-range escort of its strategic bombers. In 1946, it ordered the McDonnell XF-88 and Lockheed XF-90 to meet this requirement; the following year it would also order […]

May 122011
 
Douglas Model 1875 Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Logistic Carrier (1955)

In April 1955, Douglas drafted these unorthodox transport aircraft studies under the Model 1875 designation for the Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion (ANP) project, a joint effort between the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and USAF which began in May 1951. ANP was the successor program to the Nuclear Energy for Propulsion of Aircraft (NEPA) project initiated in […]

May 112011
 
Vought V-358 Attack — Fighter Design Study

In 1947, at the request of the Bureau of Aeronautics (BuAer), Chance Vought Aircraft conducted a comprehensive design study of long range carrier based fighters. The purpose of the study was to determine the airplane performance, size and optimum arrangement with various available power plants, including turbojet, turboprop and reciprocating engines. The effect of reducing […]

Apr 232011
 
North American Aviation ESO 4705 CIC / AEW Studies

Sometime in the late 1940’s / early 1950’s, North American Aviation produced these studies for an Airborne Combat Information Center (CIC) / Airborne Early Warning (AEW) aircraft for the U.S. Air Force. Documentation is lacking and we presently only have these general arrangement drawings to go by. These were scanned from microfilm and much of […]