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Feathers to Flight

24 May 2017

The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science opened earlier this month in Miami FL—and of many intriguing exhibits is Feathers to Flight. Beginning with feather covered, or adorned, dinosaur replicas including the massive tyrannasaurid Yutyrannus haul. Subsequently advancing through birds and human aviation. The Northrop F-5B Freedom Fighter (interestingly treated in a chrome-ish finish) as well as space exploration complete the timeline.

Yutyrannus huali, largest know feathered dinosaur (early Cretaceous Period)—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft image

Yutyrannus huali, largest know feathered dinosaur (early Cretaceous Period)—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft image

Caudipteryx sp. which was a small feathered dinosaur (early Cretaceous Period)—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft image

Owl of the modern day—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft image

Replica of an Otto Lilienthal glider (1890s)—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft image

Replica of an Otto Lilienthal glider (1890s)—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft image

Closer view of the X-frame and wing spreaders (stiffeners) of the Otto Lilienthal glider replica (1890s)—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft image

Models of various aircraft (1930s through the 1950s) having an impact upon Miami’s aviation history—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft image

Model of an Eastern Airlines (formerly based in Miami) Lockheed Constellation—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft image

Model of the Curtiss Triad, second airplane to fly in Miami (after a Wright Flyer B). Glenn Curtiss founded a flying school and airfields in Miami which include what became Miami International Airport—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft image

4 o’clock view of the Curtiss Triad model—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft image

Model of the Pan American Airways Sikorsky S-42 which many call the beginning of PAA’s long-range international flying clippers with a base in Dinner Key (now Miami’s City Hall)—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft image

4 o’clock vouw of the PAA Sikorsky S-42 model—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft image

Scale model of Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Electra. Unofficially her ill-fated round-the-world attempt began in Miami with this aircraft—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft image

Northrop F-5B Freedom Fighter in chrome (1950s through the 1980s)—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft image

Wind tunnel-esque model of a Northrop F-5B Freedom Fighter (1950s through the 1980s)—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft image

Northrop F-5B Freedom Fighter in chrome (1950s through the 1980s)—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft image

Northrop F-5B Freedom Fighter in chrome (1950s through the 1980s)—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft image

Mercury/Redstone, Gemini/Titan and Apollo/Saturn V to scale (1960s) and note the massive size increase for a moon shot as opposed to Low-Earth-Orbit—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft image

Apollo Command and Service Modules as they would have appeared traveling to the Moon and back (late 1960s)—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft image

Voyager scale model, Voager 1 (1970s through the present) is the 1st man-made object to reach the heliosheath on its way to leave our solar system after a recce through the solar system—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft image

Mosquito Aviation XE homebuilt helicopter of the early 2000s—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft image

TPM—exciting update, The People’s Mosquito

22 May 2017

The People’s Mosquito (TPM)—the noble project to construct an original World War II era de Havilland Mosquito to be owned in the public trust as well as to fly. This will be the sole Mosquito flying for and by the public. This will also be the only flying Mosquito not risking an irreplaceable airframe though not to critique private owners which fly the one or two restored de Havilland Mosquitos. The TPM staff are expert in their fields—John Lilley in restoration, Ross Sharp in all things historical as well as regulatory, Bill Ramsey one of the UK’s most experienced pilots, Alan Pickford the financier and many more. Travel for Aircraft has supported TPM since its beginning and has been more than happy doing so.

The People’s Mosquito (TPM) key fob especially cut from the wood used in fabricating the wing ribs of TPM—Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft image

But why?

T4A is based in the United States so why the British born de Havilland Mosquito? After all, there are other return-to-flight restoration projects within the U.S.—both somewhat common as well as equally rare? Happily, there are multiple choices and one cannot say one is more worthy than another as zero sum games are for the desperate or unthinking in most cases when all is said and done.

Here are the main points for T4A:

  • It is a public affair—a world-wide public affair, not a private group soliciting donations. A community run like a business instead of a business cabal with a community facade.
  • The de Havilland Mosquito is a remarkable aviation performer (built for immense speed, as well as range, and made to burn through the atmosphere) and historic for its reputation, mission spectrum and derring-do by her flight crews (both RAF and USAAF).
  • Where else can one be involved with an original creation from the ground up? Original plywood molds take care of the fuselage construction and a recovered number plate takes care of the regulation permitting an original classification and not a faithful replica.
  • The people involved are known to T4A—without exception they are earnest, expert as well as extremely worthy of trust.

Supporting  The People’s Mosquito (TPM) is easy and rewarding to the spirit as well as for the gratification.

So, go ahead, keep supporting the aircraft restoration you are involved in—but join in a unique return-to-flight project for the public (the DH Mosquito will be placed into the public trust (e.g., the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight) and not kept in private hands subject to contested wills and the like)—The People’s Mosquito (TPM).

The RC-26

17 May 2017
RC-26B Primary function: Counterdrug. Speed: 288 mph. Dimensions: Wingspan 57 ft.; length 59 ft. 4 in.; width 16 ft. 8 in. Range: 1,380 miles. Crew: Two. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Lance Cheung)

Fairchild RC-26B “Metroliner” with the USAF and the ANG, note the belly pod housing a phased array radar—U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Lance Cheung

The X-57 Maxwell

15 May 2017
X-57 NASA image

Artist concept of the X-57 Maxwell—NASA image

NASA has a goal to reduce the energy required to fly a light aircraft at 175 mph to only 20% that required today. The X-57 Maxwell will be a modified Tecnam P20006T modified to use 14 electric wing mounted motors with the outer ones used during cruising flight. It will fly two people for one hour with a range of 100 miles.

 

Cant-Z-506B Airone

10 May 2017

 

Captured CANT-Z-506B Airone secured by an RAF sentry on Mondello Beach (Sicily) in 1943—Library of Congress image

The CANT Z-506B Airone (Heron) is unheralded in English speaking countries but served Italy for twenty years in torpedo bomber, bomber, recce, maritime patrol and air/sea rescue missions. Unusually, one was used in a WW II Allied POW escape effort.  The one in these images was forced down onto a Sicilian beach in November 1943. Construction was mostly of wood though the floats were duralumnium. Although dozens survived WW II only one remains—fittingly on display in the Italian Air Force Museum near Vigna di Valle in Italy.

Captured CANT-Z-506B Airone secured by an RAF sentry on Mondello Beach (Sicily) in 1943—Library of Congress image

Consolidated XP4Y Corregidor—the plane that lost out to the B-29

8 May 2017

 

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Consolidated XP4Y Corregidor in flight—San Diego Air and Space Museum archive image

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Consolidated XP4Y Corregidor view of the hull—San Diego Air and Space Museum archive image

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Consolidated XP4Y Corregidor taking to the water—San Diego Air and Space Museum archive image

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Consolidated XP4Y Corregidor making way—San Diego Air and Space Museum archive image

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Consolidated XP4Y Corregidor in flight starboard profile—San Diego Air and Space Museum archive image

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Consolidated XP4Y Corregidor (note the Davis wing and twin tail design which were both later used on Consolidated’s Liberator aircraft)—San Diego Air and Space Museum archive image

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Consolidated XP4Y Corregidor (note the windows indicating two decks) in U.S. Navy livery and now armed with a nose and upper gun positions—San Diego Air and Space Museum archive image

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Consolidated XP4Y Corregidor overland—San Diego Air and Space Museum archive image

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Consolidated XP4Y Corregidor (note the upper turret and bulb at the nose for a gun position)—San Diego Air and Space Museum archive image

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Consolidated XP4Y Corregidor with the executive/staff transport interior layout (layouts for 58 passengers or 28 litter cases were also planned)—San Diego Air and Space Museum archive image

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Consolidated XP4Y Corregidor flying though not successful since its engine production was required for the B-29 Superfortress production line of aircraft—San Diego Air and Space Museum archive image

Hindenburg Tragedy in the news media

6 May 2017
FIU Wolfsonian Collection

German media coverage of the Hindenburg tragedy FIU Wolfsonian Collection—photo by Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

This is the anniversary day of the airship Hindenburg tragedy. It is poignant to read an article from the airship’s home country on the event which was thankfully displayed in the FIU Wolfsonian Museum of Contemporary Art.