Entries by Cayley

Mikoyan & Guryevich MiG-21

A classic dogfighter and interceptor, the MiG-21 has probably seen more combat than any other modern fighter, having taken part in at least 30 shooting wars. It was the first Soviet aircraft capable of Mach 2 in level flight, and became ubiquitous in the air forces of the Soviet Union and its allies throughout the 1960s and 70s. Its […]

Taylor Aerocar

The Aerocar was the most successful attempt yet to produce a “flying car” — a vehicle that could be both driven on the road and flown. The brainchild of US designer, Moulton B Taylor, the Aerocar first appeared in October 1949. It comprised a small car and a one-piece structure incorporating wings, tail section, and propeller. With wings folded, this structure could be […]

Sopwith Camel

The famous Sopwith F.1 Camel destroyed more German aircraft than any other World War I fighter, although it also had an unfortunate reputation for killing its own pilots. It was named for the “hump” over the two Vickers machine guns mounted in front of the cockpit. The aircraft was powered hy a rotary engine, and engine, armament, and pilot were all concentrated at the […]

Curtiss Reims Racer

In August 1909 most of the adventurous pioneers then flying aeroplanes gathered at Reims in  France for the world’s first air show. The sole American present was Glenn Curtiss. His Reims Racer, the second aeroplane he had built  was a small,  light pusher biplane built for speed. Its pilot sat over the leading edge of the lower wing, using a wheellopped […]

Bristol Beaufighter

Bristol’s pugnacious Type 156 Beaufighter was a heavy two-seater, long-range fighter that proved a formidable night interceptor and anti-shipping aircraft. A hastily improvised concept combining the flying surfaces and rear fuselage of the Beaufort torpedo bomber with a new front fuselage and higher-powered engines, the Beaufighter progressed from design to prototype in just six months. The Mk 1F nightfighter entered service in August […]

Airbus A310

Claiming the widest cabin for its length of any Airbus, the chubby A310 isessentitally a truncated version of the A300. Both aircrafl were built by Airbus Industrie, a government-backed European consortium formed in 1970 that posed the first real challenge to Boeing’s supremacy in the jet airliner market. Its first-born, the A300, was the first widebody certificated for a […]

Fokker F.VII/3m

In the I920s Dutch planemaker Anthony Fokker, who had built aircraft in Germany during World War I, successfully turned to munufacturing civil aircraft in his native Netherlands. His single-engine F.VII airliner, with a Fokker trademark welded-steel-tube fuselage frame, was a huge commercial success in Europe. In an effort to crack the nascent American market, Fokker added two extra engines to the F.VII, creating […]

Ader avion III

Whenever a sceptic wants to cast doubt on the Wright brothers’ claim to be “firsl to fly”. he is likely to cite the experiments of French engineer Clément Ader. Where most aviation pioneers studied the flight of birds, Ader perversely, modelled his flying machines on bats. His weirdly gothic steam-powered monoplanes were sufficiently impressive to attract financial hacking from the French army, but whether they […]