Monday, August 31, 2009

Artillery Tractor

Soviet 130 h.p. Comintern was developed especially for the Red Army. It borrowed quite a lot of parts from the T-24 tank. Production started in 1935. More than 1700 built, none preserved.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Close, but no Leica

Hansa Canon. c. 1937
The original model of Canon was the production version of the Kwanon, named for a Buddhist deity. It was originally a response to a call from the Emperor of Japan to the Japanese people to develop domestic technology and industry. The company that produced it, Seiki Kogaku (Precision Optical), was a new company that had never designed or marketed anything, much less a precision 35mm rangefinder camera. It was not a copy of the Leica, but rather a response to it. Great effort was made to avoid infringing upon patents by Leitz and Zeiss. Stumped by the German patents on rangefinder design, and lacking resources to develop their own optics, they turned to another Japanese company, Nippon Kogaku (Japan Optical), to help them out. Nippon Kogaku provided Seiki Kogaku with the rangefinder and focus mount design, as well as building the rangefinders and providing the lenses.

Text & photo © Pacificrimcamera

Twin-Screw Pusher

Handley Page HP.75 Manx
An experimental aircraft designed by Handley Page that flew test flights in the 1940s. It was notable for its unconventional design characteristics, being a twin-engine tailless design of pusher configuration.
Another unorthodox aspect incorporated into the aircraft was that the main undercarriage was retractable, while the nose gear remained fixed

Read more (Wiki, EN)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ford Target Computor

An electro-mechanical approach to the aiming of large artillery pieces.
Washington, D.C., 1922
National Photo Company Collection glass negative

via Shorpy

Monday, August 24, 2009

Land Cruisers

Russian multi-turreted CMK and T-100 heavy tanks.
Armed with two guns - 76 and 45 mm.
Development wisely stopped just before the war to make way for the real bully - KV series tank.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Black Swan

Two Type 10 express locomotives were built in Germany in 1957.
Nicknamed 'Black Swans', they were two heavy for most of the routes.
Their lifespan was short - only 11 years.
One of them is preserved in a museum near Kulmbach, Bavaria, the other was scrapped in 1972.

Pictures: Märklinfan Forum

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Swedish Armour

HMS Sverige
A 6852-ton coastal defense ship
Four 11.1-in guns in twin turrets
Laid down: 1912 Launched: 1915
Commissioned: 1917 Scrapped: 1958

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Century of Progress, 1934

Italian Pavilion at the Century of Progress Exhibition,

'Proudly representing a country which has contributed so much to the progress of aviation', it is built in the shape of a giant airplane - a kind of homage to the trans-atlantic flight of 24 Italian airplanes under command of Gen. Italo Balbo

Monday, August 17, 2009

Flying Dutchman

KLM Poster with a picture of Fokker F.XXXVI airliner

The plane was an interesting compromise between old and new - streamlined monocoque construction and unpressurized fuselage, wooden wings and non-folding landing gear.

Only one was built.

Read more about it (

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Airship Italia

Built as a private venture, this 105 m-long semi-rigid airship reached the North Pole at 12:24 am on May 24, 1928 under command of Gen. Umberto Nobile.
Crashed on the next day about 120 km (75 mi) northeast of Nordaustlandet, Svalbard.

Read more about it (Wiki, EN)
Photo © Bundesarchiv

Swedish Pusher

Saab J/A 21A fighter-attack airplane
built around DB605 piston-engine and later developed into a jet-powered J 21R
Maiden flight: 1943

Read more about it (Wiki, EN)
© Shigeo Koike

Friday, August 7, 2009

GWR Diesel Railcar

Introduced in 1934, these AEC-powered railcars were nicknamed 'Flying Bananas'.

Read about them (Wiki, EN)

Photo by James F Clay @ Flickr

Somewhere in Italy

Chiesa di Sant' Anna
(Oriolo Frezzotti, arch., Alfredo Pappalardo, ing.)
Pontinia (LT), piazza Pio VI

by Xavier de Jauréguiberry @ Flickr

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Fast Battleship, French Style

Battleship Strasbourg
Laid down: 1934 Commissioned: 1939
8 x 330mm main guns in quadruple turrets
283mm armour belt

Faster than full battleships, but not as heavily armed or armoured as them, Strasbourg and Dunkerque were designed to counter the threat of the German "pocket battleships".
During the Phoney War she was used, along with her sister-ship Dunkerque, to escort convoys. After the fall of France, she was docked in Mers-El-Kebir, along with Dunkerque. The ships became one of the main objectives of the British attack on the French Fleet at Mers-el-Kebir on 3 July 1940. While the Dunkerque was heavily damaged, the Strasbourg managed to escape to Toulon. She became the flagship of the Navy of Vichy France.
She was scuttled in Toulon on 27 November 1942, refloated 17 July 1943 by the Italian Navy, but the Italian capitulation in September halted these activities and the ship was taken over by the Germans. On 1 April 1944 they handed her back to the Vichy Navy, but she was sunk by US bombers on 18 Aug 1944. After the liberation of Toulon she was raised for the second time on 1 October 1944, and used as a testbed for underwater explosions until condemned and renamed Q45 on 22 March 1955, to be sold for scrapping on 27 May that year.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Big Max

Tupolev ANT-20 Maxim Gorky
8 engines, 63-meter wingspan
Intended for propaganda purposes, it was equipped with a powerful radio set called "Voice from the sky", printing machinery, radiostations, photolab, film projector with sound for showing movies in flight, library etc.
Crashed during a demonstration flight in Moscow on May 18, 1935.
45 were killed in the crash.
Read all about it (Wiki, EN)

A Beauty

1939 Triumph Dolomite Roadster

By Mark Rutter @ Flickr

Monday, August 3, 2009

Any Direction You Like

DAF 139 amphibious vehicle
Two steering wheels. Two drivers. Ready to move North or South, East or West.

More data & photos