Remember my miniature airplane display case? Well, I recently received a custom order for the design of new airplanes. Turns out the requested airplanes are some of the most interesting ones ever engineered. It was great fun working on the models and reading up on the background of these planes.
First was the Boeing 747, an aircraft that doesn’t need any introduction:
Next came the Lockheed SR-71 “Blackbird”:
This was one of the first stealth airplanes, with a very meticulously planned small radar cross-section. It was capable of sustained Mach 3 flight, and incredibly innovative for its time. The SR-71 flew on specially formulated fuel, and usually took off with a partial fuel load, to reduce stress on the brakes and tires, and was refueled in-flight. The Wikipedia article for the SR-71 is well worth a read if you are interested in technology at all.
Then we have the Lockheed Constellation, a propeller-driven, four-engine transatlantic airliner:
And the North American P-51 Mustang, a single seat WW II fighter:
Finally, the Chance Vought Corsair: This airplane has very bizarre looking angled wings, but they not only make absolute sense in the context of the technical requirements, but are in fact an ingenious solution: The airplane was planned to be carrier-based, and thus the wings could be folded up. By attaching the landing gear at the lowest point of the angled wings, the airplane got enough ground clearance to allow for a 4m span propeller.