Sunday, 17 May 2009
Saturday, 14 March 2009
A bit of reading shows the Northrop SM-62 “Snark” was a bit of pig and didn’t last long in service, although in this film of launch it doesn’t look too bad. Not sure I’d been keen on living near an airfield that regularly had un-launched nuclear warheads returning home and skidding along the tarmac!
Saturday, 29 November 2008
Another scan from the archive, a fairly standard press shot a little short on background info. The main attraction of this photo is that the Kingfisher Missile seems to have been designed on the back of schoolboy's maths book being almost comically rocket shape. After sports cars, fighter jets and tanks rockets must one of the most doodled machines making a change from rock band logos, optimistic scribbles of buxom maidens, sharks fins and sadly swastikas on the blank canvas of the exercise book.
The AQM-60 Kingfisher it seems was developed as test missile to test the newly developed 1950's anti-missile weapons system sadly it proved too efficient and not many of systems were able to destroy it as it sped at mach 3 across the Arizona skies. This is all obviously proves that next time the Us military need a problem solving they just need to contact the best research lab in the world i.e. any year 8 double maths lesson on wet Wednesday afternoon.
Sunday, 2 November 2008
Thursday, 23 October 2008
Anyway I found this reprint book (the Eagle Annual of Cutaways)in a comic shop a while ago and bought it for my Dad’s Birthday. It full of the most wonderful drawings.
I know most of the world isn’t turned on by cutaway diagrams of 1950’s cargo planes etc but I would heartily recommend you at least open the book in Foyle’s as its a marvel for anyone interested in drawing, design, history, culture, graphics etc.
It's a 100 pages of incredibly detailed technical drawing mostly in colour. It’s dripping with the sensibility of 1950-60’s Britain and even though everywhere is smoky chimneys and meat and 2 veg there’s refreshing optimism of the choice subject.
The enthusiasm for science and for a better world is pleasing. It’s also refreshingly un-patronising towards children as the artists assumed that they’ll be interested in more things than football and trainers. They perhaps naively assume that not only racing cars and jet fighters might spark interest but also dustbin Lorries and spectacularly oddly a potato harvester might pique some interest in young minds.
Jonathon Glancey writes an entertaining introduction revelling in a world were we still made stuff and even where even the most glamorous of motor boat is piloted by men in car coats and trilbies. So have a look you never know what you’ll learn.
This picture if the X- 15 is one of a number of space themes spreads including Telstar and Mercury capsules. The X-15 is a what might have been on space craft after a number of successful years of record breaking experimental flights it's funding dwindled to pay for the moon flights the contention of X-15 supporters is that it had been developed further we would now be flying into space much like Dan Dare in sleek rocket planes.
This striking drawing is by Roy Cross who some of you may know was the genius behind the classic box art from those other essentials for any 1960's childhood Airfix kits!
Roy's work is always full of excitement and action even if now the PC police have removed the bullets and bombs from modern boxes in case presumably any kids decide to restage the strafing of a German U boat.
Ps. there's a GPO tower cutaway on my other site as a Brucie bonus
Go here for the more details of Eagles Cutaway
Saturday, 4 October 2008
Here’s a nice postcard of America’s first black astronaut who goes by the marvellous name of Guion "Guy" Bluford (and being American) Junior. I won’t rehash the details he suffice to say he’s made 4 shuttle flights and spent a wapping 668 hours in space. The Guion's full story is here.
Wednesday, 24 September 2008
Postcard Caption "Recovery of Lieutenant Commander Shepard, the first U.S man in space, after his 302 mile ride down the atlantic Missile range". Plastichrome Postcard circa 1960 (?)
Here’s a dramatic shot of Alan Shepard being pulled from the drink after his first sub-orbital trip. Looking at this 40 plus year card a handful of things struck me firstly I don’t know what formal process developed the design, colour scheme and typography of the American military planes etc but some how their planes always look great.