Made in a time when men were in black and white, women in Technicolor and the eternal dessert sun reflected off sleek bodies of polished aluminum. Giant Earth takes you back to a land where tobacco was safe, radiation harmless and nothing could beat the satisfaction of a well pressed shirt. Behind the safe protective wall of the thermonuclear bomb, family life bloomed in front of the radios.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A place called Boulder

I was a dam builder across the river deep and wide
Where steel and water did collide
A place called Boulder on the wild Colorado
I slipped and fell into the wet concrete below
They buried me in that great tomb that knows no sound
But I am still around..

114 people died during the construction of the Hoover Dam

Words: Willie Nelson

All photos courtesy of The National Archives

Monday, June 11, 2007

The flying wing revisited.

Today we take a closer look at the XB-35 history. As it became clear to the air force that the future lay in jet propelled bombers, it was decided to convert some of the XB-35’s and put jet engines on them.

The new plane was named YB-49. It proved to be as prone to faults as its predecessor. The fact that none of the airframe, which was designed for a propeller driven wing, was changed must have contributed greatly to this. Nonetheless the plane did fly, and what a sight it must have been.

Version YRB-49A had 6 engines, notice the ones mounted under the wing. It was intended as a reconnaissance plane. During test flights radar operators noticed that the plane had a low radar signature.
In the end all the XB-35 and XB-45 was scrapped.

If you want to read more se these brilliant articles:

B-49 Flying Wing

Northrop YB-49

Photos taken from:

Northrop YB-49

Photographs are courtesy U.S. Navy and U.S. Federal Government.