5 x Banner Plane Formation in Miami
25° 44′ 59″ N / 80° 08′ 50″ W
Recently, I looked up from my location on Virginia Key to see five banner planes flying in an echelon-trail right formation. Unusual site seeing non-military aircraft in good formation, isn’t it? I suppose the aircraft formed on the banner in the front and to the right of them.
Vintage DC-3 spotting in FL
This DC-3 dates to 1943 and still works for a living. Operated currently by Yesterday’s Wings for flight training, type rating and film (as a star, no less) work — it is also a D-Day veteran.
This DC-3C is a bit older than the one above since its manufacture date is 1942! The livery is in excellent shape and both P&W R-1830 Twin Wasp engines are being looked after.
Taylor Aerocar III — what could have been :@
Moulton Taylor designed cars which could fly and his final design, the Taylor Aerocar III is displayed in the Museum of Flight. As you may expect his designs incorporated clever engineering features which, though vital, are discreet:
- Front wheel drive (common today but unusual in the 1960s) since proper landings required the rear wheels to freely spin
- The Y-tail since a conventional tail would hinder garage storage—a design Predator drones use today
- The flight controls and driving controls mechanically engage and disengage with the mounting or dismounting of the wings and tail
Never meant to perform as an over-the-road cars, Taylor’s designs were meant to take advantage of the plentiful airports which abounded after the cessation of World War II but not be at the mercy of ground transportation once there. What a beautiful idea and especially for those airports not graced with a mass transit subway station! Alas, the Aerocar was certified as an airplane but could not be certified as a car, that and lack of adequate production facilities fated Moulton’s design to one of history’s eddys—leaving us to ask, “What could have been?”
More about the man and the car can be read in this Seattle Times article.
AirCam Taking Flight
Lockwood Aircraft’s AirCam was designed to explore in undeveloped regions. Designed by Phil Lockwood for a National Geographic exploration into the Congo Basin it has the security of two engines, a tandem arrangement so the pilot can fly the aircraft’s photographer (sitting up front) with a nearly unobstructed 270° view, and detachable wings making the AirCam easy to trailer down single track trails. Later, floats were fitted. The cost is in the neighborhood of US$100,000 and performs as well as it looks — as seen in these recent photos.