The first time I ever saw a photo of the North American F-82 Twin Mustang I was adamant it was a photoshop. It’s not. In fact it’s not even a one off. They built 270 of these things, and interestingly the first three North Korean aircraft shot down during the Korean war were victims of these unusual aircraft.
Based on the iconic P-51 Mustang, which rose to fame as one of the USAAF’s most successful fighters of WWII, the F-82 Twin Mustang more or less lived up to its name. It was essentially two P-51′s fused together at the wing and the horizontal stabilizer. It was initially intended to be a very long-range (VLR) escort fighter to accompany Boeing B-29 Superfortresses on their missions over Japan. However the first F-82′s were only ready for service after WW2 had come to an end.
Continue reading ‘Strange Aircraft: North American F-82 Twin Mustang’ »
The Grumman XF5F Skyrocket was a prototype twin-engined fighter interceptor designed for carrier use by the U.S. Navy. The Navy ordered just one example in 1938, and two years later it flew for the very first time. The XF5F Skyrocket was unconventional in its design. Mainly because the fuselage began just behind the leading edge of the wing. It almost looks like it’s somehow accidentally slipped backwards. This unusual feature, coupled with the fact the there was no single, central engine meant the pilot had extremely good forward vision. Which helped immensely when maneuvering on the carrier deck.
The GrummannXF5F Skyrocket was modified several times during its first year. Cooling problems were resolved, the cockpit canopy was revised, the original armament of two cannons was replaced with four machine guns, and most obvious of all was an extention of the fuselage forward of the wing.
Continue reading ‘Grumman XF5F Skyrocket’ »
The x-plane programs have yielded some fairly unusual designs over the years, and the Douglas X-3 Stiletto was no exception. The X-3 Stiletto was a prototype aircraft designed to help designers and engineers better understand what sort of features an aircraft would need in order to fly at supersonic speeds, while also being capable of taking off and land under its own power.
The Douglas X-3 Stiletto’s design was revolutionary for its day. The stubby wings and long tapering fuselage weren’t pretty, and it looked nothing like the beautifully proportioned fighter aircraft of WWII. Instead, the odd shape of the X-3 Stiletto was designed for one thing. Speed.
Continue reading ‘Douglas X-3 Stiletto’ »