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AIRCRAFT Design

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October 3, 2023

The Future of Civil Aviation, as Envisioned in the 1960s

In the early 1960s, Lockheed launched the L-2000 supersonic transport (SST) program and built the mockup shown here. Intended to carry 250 passengers and travel at Mach 2.7 – 3.0, the L-2000 was intended to compete with Europe’s Concorde, but…

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October 3, 2023

WWII Transformer – How a Little-Known WWII-era Aircraft was Designed to Transform Between Monoplane and Biplane in Flight

If one were to mention the existence of a WWII-era polymorphic fighter that incorporated a system in which one set of wings retracted into and out of another, one might assume such an airplane is fictional, perhaps featured in a…

Smithsonian Aerospace Vault: The Bede BD-5
August 14, 2023

Smithsonian Aerospace Vault: The Bede BD-5

Only 13 feet long and 4 feet high, the compact Bede BD-5 provides enough internal volume for the pilot, the engine, and little else. Photo: Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Among the historic and innovative aircraft on display in…