Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Victory Airship

The airship Pobeda (Victory) was built in 1944 and later used to transport cargo, mainly hydrogen for balloons used to train parachute jumpers, on short routes from 20 to 500 kilometers long. Together with V-12 airship it performed 286 flight missions, transporting 194,580 cu. m of hydrogen and 319 ton of cargo (1945).
The Pobeda crashed on 29 January 1947, killing its crew of three airmen.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Graflex KE-4 Combat Camera

Manufactured for the military in 1953 these cameras were very large, using 70mm film. Since the design looked like a giant Contax camera it was given the nickname "Gulliver's Contax".

Source: The Camera Heritage Museum

Monday, March 28, 2011

Colorful Caproni

The Caproni Ca.113, standarbearer of Italy at Los Angeles Air Races, July 1-4, 1933.
In August 1933, Lieut. Falconi flew to Chicago for World Aviation Expo (part of Century of Progress World Fair). On August 27, flying the route Saint Louis - Chicago, he performed a head down flight for 3 hours, 6 minutes and 39 seconds, establishing a world record.

Artwork by Bob Zanella

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sporty Renée

Renée Perle was a Romanian Jewish girl who moved to Paris to become a model. In 1930 she met French amateur photographer Jacques Henri Lartigue (1894-1986) - and became his love and his muse.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lady Reading Leaving British Restaurant

Photographer: David E. Scherman

British Restaurants were communal kitchens created during the Second World War to ensure communities and people who had run out of rationing coupons were still able to eat.
They were set up by the Ministry of Food and run by local committees on a non-profit making basis. Meals were purchased for a set maximum price of 9d (about $2 US or £1 in purchasing power 2008) or less. No-one could be served with a meal of more than one serving of meat, game, poultry, fish, eggs, or cheese.
Originally called 'Community Feeding Centres', the name British Restaurants was preferred by Winston Churchill.
Other restaurants in the UK were not subject to rationing but some restrictions were placed on them, for instance no meal could be more than three courses and the maximum price was five shillings (equivalent to 25 pence today, but $10 or £5 in buying power 2008). (Wiki)

Image: LIFE

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

KV-2 Heavy Tank

On December 19, 1939, the KV-1 heavy tank, named after Kliment Voroshilov, was accepted for the service. At that time, KV-1 took part in combat tests on the Russo-Finnish War (so-called « Winter War»). The Soviet High Command came to conclusion that the heavy tank with more powerful armament is highly needed to destroy enemy bunkers, pillboxes and other fortifications.
The North-Western Front HQ ordered first four KV tanks from experimental party to be armed with 152 mm howitzers. To do this, the best engineers from KTZ's design bureau were summoned. After two weeks a new project was completed. Initially, the engineers decided to use the 152 mm Howitzer Model 1909/1930, but later it was replaced with more modern 152 mm M-10 Howitzer Model 1938/1940. A new, larger turret was designed to accept such heavy cannon. That turret was named «MT-1».
At the beginning of 1941, the tank was renamed KV-2. The MT-1 turret was placed on the chassis of a twin-turret experimental tank instead of small turret (a large turret was also removed from the hull). On February 10, 1940, first trials were conducted. At the time, Soviet tank designers weren't too experienced in the heavyweight field. They added a small lid on the the howitzer barrel. That lid was intended to prevent a gun from the dust, shell fragments and bullets. However, after the first shot this lid was torn away and never used again.
In 1940, a pair of KV-2 were sent to the battlefront on the Karelian isthmus. Contrary to the rumors, KV-2s didn't take part in battles before the war with Germany. A pair of KV-2 fired at already captured pillboxes. The results of the tests were excellent and later the KV-2 heavy tank was accepted for service. Soviet soldiers often nicknamed it a «Dreadnought».
When production has already started, the turret was slightly improved and additional DT machine-gun was mounted in it. The shortened M-10 howitzer was able to fire a 52-kg high-explosive projectile with muzzle velocity of 436 m/s.
KV-2s captured by Germans. 1941

During WWII, most of KV-2 tanks were lost. For example, 41st Tank Division lost 22 KV-2 tanks (of 33 total). Only 5 tanks were destroyed by the enemy, other 17 were abandoned due to breakdowns or simply ran out of fuel.
In October 1941, the KV-2's manufacture was canceled. Totally 334 KV-2 tanks were produced.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Rocket Scientist

Dr. Robert Hutchings Goddard is considered the father of modern rocket propulsion. By 1926, Goddard had constructed and successfully tested the first rocket using liquid fuel. Indeed, the flight of Goddard’s rocket on March 16, 1926, at Auburn, Massachusetts, was as significant to history as that of the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk.
Primitive in their day as the achievement of the Wrights, Goddard’s rockets made little impression on government officials. Only through modest subsidies from the Smithsonian Institution and the Daniel Guggenheim Foundation, as well as the leaves of absence granted him by the Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Clark University, was Goddard able to sustain his lifetime of devoted research and testing.

Source: NASA
Image via NASA on The Commons @ Flickr

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Langoliers, 1938

From The Aerophages by Kurt Ceasar
published in Il giornale delle meraviglie

from Fumeti Classici blog
(special thanks to Leviathan @ for the tip!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Alessi Cocktail Shaker

Swedish designer Sylvia Stave designed this beautiful cocktail shaker, which was originally manufactured between 1920 and 1930 by the C. G. Hallbergs company of Stockholm.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Big Oil

An advertisement for Italo American Oil Society
by Filippo Romoli

via vespavbb1963 @ Flickr

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Lioré et Olivier LeO H-46

This float-plane bomber intended for the French Navy was flown for the first time in May 1936 with test pilot Lucien Bourdin at the controls.
The prototype was powered by two 870 hp Gnome & Rhône 14 Knrs double-row 14-cylinder radial engines, the production version was to be fitted with 1,000 hp engines.
However, a major mishap took place at l’Etang de Vaine, near Marseille in 1938, and the aircraft was severely damaged. Costly time-consuming repairs and a change of priorities and policies led to the abandonment of this naval bomber.
Photo and Info: (Niko Braas collection)
Color images: WW2 Drawings

Friday, March 11, 2011

That's the Case

Advertisement for wristwatch cases (especially for pilots)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Palace of Soviets Revisited

A part of Rechnoy Vokzal river station interior
(don't miss the airship!)
Moscow, 1935

by seriykotik1970 @ Flickr

Monday, March 7, 2011

Futurist Cuisine

The starter makes it clear that this will be no ordinary meal. Expect to be served an olive, a quartered fennel bulb and a kumquat, while the fingers of your free hand stroke morsels of velvet, silk and sandpaper. At the same time the scent of carnations will be sprayed into the room and your ears will be assailed by “wild jazz”, Wagner and aeroplane noise.
Three years ago, diners were able to sample this “Aerofood” and five other courses for one night only at the British Library, in a banquet staged in homage to a forgotten gastronomic cult: The Futurist Cookbook.
The cookbook was published in 1932 by Filippo Tommasso Marinetti, a poet, novelist, critic and early Fascist who once fought a duel with a critic. It outraged conservative Italians by suggesting a ban on pasta and was derided as the work of a group of attention-seeking, prankster artists.
Marinetti believed that traditional Italian cuisine was a manifestation of everything smug, lazy and bourgeois. His most notorious suggestion was to outlaw pasta, which he claimed induced lethargy, pessimism, nostalgia and neutralism. Speeches and serious discussion at the table were forbidden.
Marinetti’s philosophy and recipes also anticipated many culinary developments, from the emphasis on presentation in nouvelle cuisine through themed restaurants and low-carbohydrate diets to the application of scientific techniques...

NFZ W40s

by ixlrlxi @ LJ aka 600v @ Deviantart

Sunday, March 6, 2011

1934 Soyer 500cc

The firm of Soyer & Cie produced motorcycles between 1920 and 1935.
The company was originally established in Colombes, France and later on moved to Levallois.
Soyer was one of the very many French makes that used a variety of proprietary engines for their products, although they also produced their own power sources.
JAP, Sturmey Archer and Chaise were among the engines that were employed.
This particular machine is equipped with a fierce looking OHC face cam engine of Soyer’s own manufacture.
Only five of these exotic sports machines are known to have survived.
This particular machine has been part of a French collection for a long time and it’s a well-matured restoration.


Friday, March 4, 2011

Tokyo Olympics

A poster promoting the XII Summer Olympic Games, canceled due to war in China.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Two Pushers

Boulton Paul produced a whole family of low/medium altitude fighter designs and derivatives in answer to the Air Ministry’s spec F6/42. Here we take a look of two of them.
Boulton Paul P99
A pusher, twin boom layout with the unusual placement of the tail fin right in the middle of the tail plane. The cockpit was well forward giving excellent field of vision for the pilot.
Boulton Paul P100
A contraprop pusher layout with advanced swept main wings to aft and high mounted canard wings forward, immediately behind the extreme forward cockpit giving excellent field of vision for the pilot.

While offering many advantages, the prop pusher layout had one critical problem. That being, in an emergency, pilot escape was a very risky exercise in that the props would be in the direct path of the escaping pilot.
Boulton Paul envisaged a novel escape system being adopted on both P99 and P100 designs. The forward lower third of the fuselage directly under the cockpit would hinge out and down like jaws to allow the pilot to escape.
While the Boulton Paul designs attracted much interest, they were rejected by the Air Ministry as being “too advanced”. In fact, many features can be seen today on modern fighter aircraft.