1963 ... underground

... missile crew station; underground command capsule; Titan ICBM silo.

1954 ... Convair 'Pogo' VTOL

1954 ... Convair 'Pogo' VTOL

... Convair (Consolidated,Vultee Aircraft) was a huge aerospace company of the Cold-War 'military-industrial complex'. They were building all sorts of weapons systems for the government. Bombers, fighters, rockets and assorted weird concepts like the above VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) fighter. 

As discussed previously on this blog; VTOL aircraft were a long and frustrating obsession of the military. The Air Force wanted them to reduce dependence on expensive and vulnerable runways and the Navy lusted for an alternative to costly 'sitting-duck'  aircraft carriers. [note: helicopters, because of the laws of aerodynamics are limited in speed and range; great at the up and down but not very good at dog-fighting)

Problems of engine power and the nearly impossible task of landing 'tail-sitters such as the 'Pogo' and the Lockheed 'Salmon' stymied any useable developments.Still the vision of fleets of these muscular mix-o-matics squatting hidden in the backyards of suburbia was an intriguing fantasy. "Hey mister! Mom sent me out to see if you'd like some lemonade!"

It was not until much later that the undauntable and innovative British aerospace industry developed the  'Harrier' and a VTOL fighter was put into production.

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1962... JFK- Cuban Missile Crisis

... at 7:00PM on October 22nd President John F. Kennedy speaks to the nation via Live Television on a matter of 'grave national urgency'.
... the AV Kid has the entire 18 min address- filmed slightly to the side of the straight on view of the TV cameras
          "... and now ladies and gentleman- the President-"

1970 ... attack warning!

Attack Warning Radio Message: Early 1970s

1951 ... motor-oil wins Cold War!

1955 ... jet fist!

... we may wonder about the wisdom of today's military in choosing weapons systems. 
But in the 1950's they were cranking out turkeys as fast as they could get them off the drawing boards!

The 'Gutlass Cutlass' was one such debacle. It suffered from the common complaint of lousy jet-engines. Not enough thrust, unreliable and with a tendency to 'flame-out' in the rain!

But then again; the venerable P-51 Mustang of WWII started out as a dud- until the British put in their superb 'Merlin' Rolls-Royce engine.

1947 ... Red Cross

... this painting by Jes Wilhelm Schaikjer for an American Red Cross poster actually pre-dates the advent of the nuclear Cold War ( the Soviets tested their first A-bomb in 1949 ). But - war, disaster and human suffering has a sadly generic look.

1954 ... apocalypse comics!

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1958 ... SM-62 'Snark'

... before Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles were fully developed, weapons systems like the Air Force 'Snark' and the Navy 'Regulus' were attempts at unmanned, guided, nuclear delivery systems. The 'Snark' was actually a jet which could fly a pre-programmed flight path.

1953 ... unrivaled performance!

1950 ... deadly fog!

... pre-H-Bomb. One way to get a lot of 'bang for your buck' was to maximize the fallout effect from the fission A-bomb inventory. Radioactive rain and mist will do the trick! There are a lot of important cities that are ocean and river ports!

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1961 ... "welcome to Chicago!"

... just like a god-less slime of peanut-butter and jelly; the Communists spread out all over the Earth!

... shipped by Atomic Sub!

'... when it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight!'

I think part of the thinking here was that given the bitter experience of WWII's 'Battle of the Atlantic'- a safer faster way to ship large amounts of supplies during war time was being looked for.

... let's see; how many ways can this go terribly wrong?

1957 ... "ooo- it's so pointy!"

... after months of tireless research by top-notch geeks; the identity of our buxom starlet visiting a fighter base has been confirmed!

1986 ... MX Missile- railroad launcher!

... reality imitates fantasy- almost. 

... the enemy can't destroy our missiles if they can't find them. So in
a 'time of crisis' why not send 25 regular looking trains that have 2 big missiles
with ten MIRV warheads out into the hills and hollers of America? 50 ICBM's with
500 warheads on choo-choos. Then the Cold War ended. Darn!



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1958 ... Lionel meltdown!

... there was a cold war Arm's Race amongst toy makers in the United States. Not wanting to see the railway system left out of the fight for appropriations the Lionel company moved ahead with bold plans. Missile launching flatcars, anti-aircraft systems and even a man in space program were their accomplishments. Unfortunately this was all wiped out in an instant when Ideal Toy Co. launched a pre-emptive strike with it's Atomic Cannons.

1959 ... MIG-21 "balalaika"

... most popular girl at the Cold War Dance; 11,496 built.