Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Republic XR-12 Rainbow

New from Speciality Press, authored by Mike Machat

Still the fastest multi-engine piston aircraft ever flown, the Republic XR-12 and its competitor, the Hughes XF-11, were well ahead of their time in 1946. Envisioned as a long-range photo-reconnaissance aircraft with a top speed of more than 450 mph, the Republic XR-12 also offered near jet-like performance for the world's airlines with a 44-passenger commercial version named the Rainbow. Using original Republic photos, data, and artwork, the author reveals never-before-published information about the Rainbow airliner. While the clear emphasis of this book is on the Republic airplane, the Hughes XF-11 is also covered and compared in its role as a twin-engine competitor to the more advanced four-engine Republic airplane. Although the XR-12 and XF-11 were among the most elegant-looking aircraft ever built, the Rainbow was considered to be Republic chief designer Alexander Kartveli's ultimate masterpiece. Conversely, the more cantankerous XF-11 almost took the life of its designer and chief test pilot, Howard Hughes.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

The best of youtube's ...LOW PASSES !!

A single click to view here

The " low pass" as it is known couples two kinds of terror rather neatly: your rather understandable fear of flying and the rather less likely fear of being hit by a low flying aircraft. Even as an 'enthusiast' - and ex-AF dispatcher - aircraft are scary at the best of times. Multi-tonne tubes of metal and highly flammable petrol that just hang in sky  - and just as easily fall out of it ! Most flight is so effortless planes barely look believable when you see one right up there in the blue sky, but when you see an aircraft near the ground at high speed there's something uncanny and fascinating about it. Aircraft are most usually near to the ground having just taken off or coming in to land - not always so exciting. But the the low pass is. Here's some of the best/ most terrifying low passes I could find on youtube. You'll duck..guaranteed!

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Victor B.2 XL513 & XL 512 carrying Blue Steel - ebay photo find #57

An original Ministry of Defence photograph of Handley Page Victor B.2 XL513 equipped with a Blue Steel Missile. Note the four Vulcans on...