X Planes: Spend a Day in the Troposphere

Hey, Jean
This is Henry McClean
And I’ve finished my beautiful flying machine…

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Via xplanes: The Magnus Spherical Airship prototype, 1982.

Don’t let anybody steer you different; Andrew B’s x planes Tumblr is straight-up anachro-airship porn. Andrew has been posting scores of “weird and wonderful aircraft pictures and stories found both on the web, and in print” over there for the better part of a year now. You can get lost in the archives for days:

experimental aircraft. exotic aeromachines. oddities. sleek silver cigars. pedal-o-trons. soviet hive-mind bombers. aerial joy. the olden days. action shots. propaganda posters. etc.”

Where’s your fucking jet pack? You don’ need no steenkin’ jet pack when you’ve got a Gyrodyne Model GCA-55. While you’re dreaming, have some Convertawings. How about a Switchblade jet? Check out the wingless jet WASP, the Bat-Winged Cantaliver jet plane, the steam-powered Giffard. MmmnnggmpfffssSPLOOOOOGE.

1909 Aviation Show, France.

Some more choice excerpts from x planes after the jump, but seriously, if you have a few minutes (or a few hours) to spare, just get over there and explore. Motherload.

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The powerful Pratt-Whitney 135 Jet Engine.

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“A Lewis gunner at action stations on the engine gantry of a North Sea type airship. Note the complete lack of any type of guardrail or safety line” (circa 1918)

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Modern Mechanix and Inventions Magazine, 1935.

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Hog is my copilot. 1909.

The trials and tribs of Sophie Blanchard, first female balloonist. 1819.

6 Responses to “X Planes: Spend a Day in the Troposphere”

  1. m1k3y Says:

    exactly this!

  2. Sweet tea Says:

    Sweet find! I’d like to point out the Pratt & Whitney engine is in fact the F135, not F1355.

    Sorry for being nitpicky, the F135 is my baby.

  3. Mer Says:

    Thanks. Typo has been fixed.

  4. Evan Says:

    What a dreamy place to get lost in. Thanks for this!

  5. Jessica Says:


  6. andrew b Says:

    thanks for the love Meredith =D