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January 02, 2008


Spike Prendergast

This one's easy...it's one of the once highly-classified "Black Dahlia" mods to the standard twin-engine Valkyrie gunships.
Reportedly the “most aerodynamically perfect” airframe ever built, “Black Dahlias” appear to have retained the characteristic double-ogive forward fuselage hull form and the “area rule” (e.g., Coke bottle shape) configuration of the standard Valkyrie long-range interceptors from which they were derived, but also possessing all-flush riveting with composite carbon-glass matrix overlay for heat dissipation. The standard Airco-Vickers & Blohm twin-row radial 16-cylinder Mega-Merlin powerplants (which power the stock gun ship variants) were also been replaced with the brand new, highly derivative R-21 Jordan-Jumo-Daimler liquid nitrogen-cooled Gandalf engines. Clearly shown in the photo is the standard array of Browning-Vickers 60 caliber “Cloud Sweeper” gatling guns and Webley-Oerlikon 60 mm “Hell Hammer” cannon systems. The aircraft has internally-mounted extra long-range tanks for the H2V2 (High Volatility/High Viscosity) 140/120 LL ultra high octane aviation fuel required by the Gandalf powerplants.
By special certification issued in Paris early in the 1950's by the Organisation de l'Aviation Civile Internationale, “Black Dahlias”, as configured above, were the first propeller-driven aircraft ever required to have dual (e.g., redundant) Mach meters installed instead of conventional airspeed indicators.
Next time, ask me something hard!
All the best, Spike Prendergast

Parrothead Jeff

That looks to ba a PBJ-1 with Lt Cdr H S Bottomley at the controls as he lands it on the USS Shangri-La (CV-38) on 15 November 1944. http://preview.tinyurl.com/32242g

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