of the week
07:13:13 - 08:03:13
07:13:13 -- PICTURES OF THE WEEK: From the June, 1952, issue of Science and Mechanics magazine, schematics and materials list for for a pulse-jet powered model airplane. Full article available at Modern Mechanix.
07:20:13 -- PICTURES OF THE WEEK: From 1952, aircraft of the United States Navy's famed Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Squadron. Top: A Chance Vought F7U Cutlass. Bottom: Grumman F9F Panthers in flight. The Chance Vought was radical in design and innovative, but also plagued by technical problems, with several Navy pilots already killed in mishaps. Its incorporation into the Blue Angels was meant to impress congressional VIPs, but its run was short-lived and consisted in solo flights only. Lieutenant Commander Edward "Whitey" Feightner described to Air & Space Magazine the hazards of one such flight...
While the Panthers were grounded for fuel control problems in the spring of 1952, Feightner, in a blue and gold Cutlass, made his Blue Angels airshow debut, flying a one-man show for VIPs in Pensacola, Florida. "I rolled down there, hit the afterburner, and headed straight up," he says. "We didn't have any other airplane that could do that in those days. I just started to climb, then I lost the hydraulics. You couldn't eject until you got to 1,500 feet, and I topped out at 1,100, then headed straight down. I have the stick [full aft] and nothing is happening. The ground is getting bigger and all of a sudden everything hooks up again and the airplane goes nur-ooop. So now I'm flying -- but there is a row of trees at the end of the runway. I couldn't get over them so I just picked out a space between two trees and carved a hole through them." Streaming hydraulic fluid and wood pulp, Feightner wrestled the Cutlass onto the runway and even managed to taxi up to the crowd.
"There is dead silence. They saw me hit the trees and knew I had a big emergency. Everybody is waiting to see what would happen. I get out and step off and a big cheer went up. Admiral Price comes over and says, 'Man, that was a real airshow.'"
07:27:13 -- PICTURES OF THE WEEK: From 1951-1952, exhibition pieces at the New York Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) exhibition "Good Design". As America moved from the war years into the "space age" the new design ethic became simplistic form following function -- rejecting ornamentation -- a "modernistic" viewpoint also then being reflected in art, architecture, electronics, appliances and even home furnishings. For the 1951-1952 show, the selection committee criteria included the provision that automatic rejection would come for "pieces that would dominate a room by their sensational aspects".
08:03:13 -- PICTURES OF THE WEEK: From 1946-1956, athodyd ramjet aircraft designed by French engineer Rene Leduc. Leduc began assembly of the prototype in 1937, which was interrupted by the German occupation of France. Carefully hidden away until after the war, the first test flight took place in 1946. Because ramjets cannot produce thrust at zero airspeed, the Leduc aircraft required a piggy-back launch from a mother ship. Leduc's eventual goal was a high altitude supersonic aircraft. More on Leduc can be read here.
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