... early Intercontinental Bomber ideas!

... before the practical development of in-flight refueling, if you wanted to go a really long way, you had to have a really big airplane. Lots and lots of fuel meant big fuel tanks, bigger wings for more lift, bigger tails for better steering in the high-altitudes which meant bigger engines etc. etc. There were a lot of designs. And a lot of wacky ideas. 

Remember- in the late 1940's and early 50's there was a distinct lag between long range radar coverage, interceptor technology and the chance that this big baby (or a B-36) just might be able to slip through to it's target!


1968 ... USAF in Spaaaaace!

... we have to realize that much of what spurred the "Space Race" was the Cold War and the "Arms Race". Big rockets meant big payloads; and those payloads could either be heroic astronauts of H-bombs. The Air Force had it's own space program throughout this period. USAF interest in military applications of space continued throughout the Cold-War. Remember Reagan's 'Star-Wars' (SDI) program. Here we see the sort of nifty magazine cover that I am trying to resurrect in my own illustration work. (no wimpy articles on green, baby-whale saving, technology here!)

Lifting body research helped lead to the Space Shuttle; but the fly-boys were talking manned bombers and fighters in orbit ... oorah!

1952 ... Avro "Vulcan"

... my photo-illus - Vulcan

... I've always really liked the Vulcans in their original all-white 'anti-flash' livery.
But it's difficult to find good photos from that period. So I settled for a more moody depiction of this big V starting it's descent for it's low-level bomb run. 

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1952 ... Vulcan 'V-bomber'

... safe supply of air!

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1961 ... old iron pants!

... General Curtis E. LeMay - commander (inventor) of the USAF Strategic Air Command. Often criticized for his hawkish views (but would you really want the head of SAC to be a sissy?)

1956 ... SAC plans headquarters!

1946 ... save the world!

... pre-cold war- optimism and hope!


1964 ... Cheyenne Mountain Complex - NORAD

... the first image reminds me of a corporate 'annual-report' (could very well be a USAF version).

... second image of a 'hardened' antenna on top of Cheyenne Mountain (microwave receiver?) Apocalyptic Modern Art.


1983 ... Soviet Civil Defense!

"... mmmmdfmf, mmef, mmmddlm!" 
"What's that Comrade, we can't quite hear you!"

1958 ... SAGE (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment)


1950 ... the mighty Mig-15!

... talk about tall tails! probably the most successful and popular of jet-fighters about 18,000 were built. Under the unfortunate NATO reporting name of "Fagot".
Как ты меня назвал?!? 


1970 ... 'Colossus: The Forbin Project'

... originally made in 1968 ( I knew it seemed older than '70 !)  'Colossus: The Forbin Project' is a science fiction -political thriller about a giant computer that is given complete control of US nuclear forces. Great idea- what could go wrong?

( Doesn't it seem like a lot of these thrillers are made in a fictional world where no one has ever read, or even heard of, basic cliched science fiction plots?)

For me the best scenes are in the beginning when the giant machine (back in the day when BIG computers meant smart computers) is turned on and sealed away in a Cheyenne Mountain type complex. Unmanned, unable to be shut-down, shielded by glowing gamma radiation. I repeat- what could possibly go wrong?

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... Canada's Big Wheel!

... posted by Scott Lowther at 'the unwanted blog'. Seems to be a Really Big snow-tractor that would crawl across the Arctic waste and poop out a couple of ICBM's when the big-one got started. Novel solution to idea of mobile missiles are harder to target; except it seems like it would be visible to satellites and couldn't travel very far in the ninety minutes between reconnaissance passes. 

Vroom, vroom! "Can't you get this thing above 10mph!"

... big boomer!

... it can be said the 'The Electric Boat Co.' (General Dynamics) does not have any competition to advertise against. But hey! - my concept here is to produce 'good-will'. Which was the motivation behind much of the Cold War advertising we have seen.


... B-36 weapons test.

... I know that B-36's dropped at least one nuclear weapon during testing in the 1950's; but I have not been able to determine when and where.

... my photo-illustration. Accomplishing the goal of portraying (in hi-res.) historic and interesting scenes of which there is little or inadequate records of. In other words - gee-whiz- oooo ! - events. 

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... SR-71 'Blackbird' cutaway!

"... you are going to be in so much trouble if you don't get Dad's airplane put back together before he finds out!"

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... ball bearings beat Commies!