Welcome to the
Unusual Strange Airplane Factory Museum
-- Airplanes that Peter Bowers, David McLaren and William Green will never write about.
     This site was created April 14, 2003 and most recently updated Thursday, October 08, 2009

    Pictures in this gallery are thumnailed for faster loading. Click on any for a larger rendition and Back to return to the smaller image.
    Unless otherwise noted, the models featured in this gallery were conceived and constructed by AeroKnow founder Job Conger who also reveals the "unknown story" behind these creations. The goal is to combine elements NOT into the most ridiculous contrivances that could have never flown, but to use hismodest understanding of aeronautics and even more modest modelling skill to take a break from facts and details and have some fun.

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A1. Look closely here. Do you see anything unusual about the relation of canopy to air intakes? That is the only clue on this model likely to tell you this creation depicts NOT a Lockheed "T-33XKE" The cockpit has been modified, through the magic of plastic modeling, by removing the longer extended canopy that typically enclosed student and instructor, and rejplaced with a single-seat canopy. The canopy used was a slightly modified canopy taken from a spare Airfix F-86D Sabre kit, turned backwards and placed on the rest of the Hasegawa  1/72 T-33 kit.
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A2. The model is finished in the colors and markings of the almost-forgotten "Blue Anvils" so named because no airplane seemed to lift from the ground more like a four year old toddler trying to lift a real anvil. As the leader of the fictional team told his fellow pilots (They were all "fellows," in 1953; even the women.) "You must observe strictest discipline and grooming as we go through the opening drill prior to entering the cockpits because almost nobody's going to watch all of our performance in the air once we horse these paper weights off the frippin GROUND."
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A3.  Shown here in these photos as it flies over a giant white bath towel, the T-33XKE was an attractive airplane without the longer canopy of its more successful antecedent, but was destined to remain to this day, just a belched chortle in the annals of aviation history.
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B1. Also nearly forgotten and remembered only here at the U.S.A.F. Museum is North American Aviation's effort to combine a single-seat all-weather avionics package with a straight wing bearing an uncanny resemblance to the one used by Lockheed's legume-airy F-94B. The F-86KIA was is photographed here flying over the same giant bath towel used as backdrop for the T-33XKE photo shoot.
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B2. The model combines an Airfix F-86D kit with a Heller F-94B. The color scheme is my idea.  The F-96KIA failed to receive a production contract in large part because the designation reminded operational pilots of their likely fate if they flew the airplane against the enemy.
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B3. The combination made for an acceptable prototype, but it was never mass produced for the USAF. There was some talk of producing it for the USSR, but they wouldn't have it either. Some thought that a larger wing would improve the climb characteristics which were woeful. The initial rate of climb had been outclassed by some French bombers protecting the Maginot Line in in the spring of 1940. Like I said: woeful!
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B4. Inspired by English Electric's Canberra, some consideration was given to greater wing chord and asymmetrical tip tank  length, the first to outpace an Amiot 143 to 45,000 feet and the second to confuse enemy gunners likely to spot the type clawing for altitude thousands of feet below in hot pursuit. To the webmastere's knowledge this is the only photograph of that effort to be revealed to the public. .
Are you enjoying the U.S.A.F. Museum? If you are, please support it and AeroKnow by helping webmaster pay the bills. Your support will be most welcome when directed to
Job Conger
428 W. Vine St.
Springfield, Illinois  62704-2933
hk1c.jpg (87168 bytes)
1. Years ago I built the Entex 1/200 scale kit of the Hughes-Kaiser HK-1 Hercules. When Minicraft reissued the kit, with improved decals a model stand and weight to be placed in the forward hull, I bought it and built it. Here is is.
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2. It's a fine kit; highly recommended. When I found myself with a spare HK-1, I decided to build an imaginary version "powered" with four turbofans from a Boeing 747.
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3. I call  it the Hughes-Kaiser HK-2 Aieeyikes which is what many folks say when they see the model for the first time.
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4. I usually don't build 1/200 scale kits, so I placed an advert on the great Hyperscale modeling web site and soon a kind fellow donated four pristine 1/200 turbofans.
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5. Removing the eight engines and nacelles from my earlier-built model and filling the holes with plastic and filler putty was easy. Deciding where to put the engines was not.
hk2a.jpg (97032 bytes)
6. I knew the hot gasses exiting the jets should be clear of the big horizontal stabilizer and elevators. I placed the outboard engines at the wing times to provide a einglet effect which reduces vortices and add lift. , , ,on real airplanes.
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7. I created a color scheme that's a reverse of the tri-color US Navy scheme of World War II. The orange wing was for high visibility, reminiscent of pre-war Pan Am "Clipper" flying boats. Decals came from a Monogram kit of the planned "Orient Express" space plane and Williams Bros. excellent 1/72 Boeing 247 kit.
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8. This is how the Aieeyikes would have looked if aviation artist/charicaturist Hank Caruso had depicted it. A little action with Corel Photo Paint in ribbon mode created the effect.  The conversion was fun to create.  I hope you like it.
The Martin B-26&7/8 "Meander" did not grab the mealines the way it's single-tail brother did. That's because there were so few of them. Total built ZERO (0). b26fic1.jpg (123800 bytes)
  The kit was built straight from the Airfix 1/72 scale kit box until it was time to attach the horizontal stabilizer.
b26fic4.jpg (129602 bytes)
  Since I had some extra Avro Lancaster bits in the bin -- and these days, who doesn't? -- I removed the Marauder's vert stab, trimmed the horizontal stab to the outside limit of the elevators, trimmed away some of the Lanc pieces so they were nominally smaller, and installed them.
  Lloyd S. Jones' excellent book U.S. Bombers describes the Martin XB-33, an advanced two-tail twin-engine machine that resembled the Marauder. I did not consult that book in creating the Meander because I was more interested in whimsy than history.
Here's another design the right-wing Baptist dominated media don't want you to know about.
   It all began when I realized I'd rather build my Fujimi 1/72 and realized my Monogram 110 kit wouldn't be built as a standard 110.
   This is my first project using a black cloth for a backdrop. The theory here is that the darker background will force a better exposure of the subject using automatic metering since the camera is compensating for all the black in the background.
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The Messaround Me-115 was conceived for the high speed recon mission, and since no -110 could stay on the tail of a British aircraft long enough to shoot it down, a third DB-601 was mounted to the back wall of the former nose gun bay.
messfic3.jpg (25983 bytes)
This picture was taken with available light only.
   As you may have noticed, the new DB required an additional vertical stabilizer and rudder. The center stabilization was provided by the fin and rudder removed from a spare Focke Wulf Ta-152 kit. Note also the considerably lengthened canopy.
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The longer canopy was required to accommodate a third crew member. The modification is easy because the original 110 canopy maintained a constant cross-section dimension between front and back frames. I found a spare Monogram 110 kit at Rare Plane Detective for a reasonable price. The second kit provided the third engine and canopy sections.
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A little fun with artistic effects in Corel Photo Paint resulted in this impression of a projected, fictitious big tail, high aspect ratio wing version.
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This is how the fictitious 115 looked with standard wing and tail.
messfic1.jpg (20924 bytes)
The adaptability and realistic look of the Ta-152 vert stab and rudder was simple grand coincidence. And who would have imagined that the engine nacelle cross section was a near-perfect match for the forward fuselage?
The Messaround is clearly no contest candidate, but that's okay. None of my models are contest candidates. But this was fun to build, and I hope, fun for you to see.

   jkg11.jpg (14561 bytes)
    Not even Barret Tillman has written about the almost forgotten Vought XF4U 1& 7/8ths the design that proved the value of the bent wing, which is how most people remember the Corsair..

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    With landing gear purloined from a Brewster F2A (might have been an F3F; nobody remembers for sure) the "Unbent-wing Bird " used a smaller prop, which limited power and paved the way for the better design.

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    During its only non-combat appearance atn the Battle of Halfway, stunned enemy pilots were heard exclaiming over monitored radio channels, "With Corsairs like this, who needs Buffaloes?"  Clearly something has been lost in the translation, but we thought it was worth mentioning anyway.

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     To protray this "prelude to a legend,"  modeler Job Conger chose the worst 1/72 F4U on the market: the early Fujimi -5.       The smaller-llookng propeller was intentionally "shaved" to better depict a prop turning revs. This technique is used throughout the AeroKnow collection on models depicted in flight.

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    As probably the first glider fighter to be attempted by any combatant, even before the Blohm & Voss BV-40, Grumman's XGF5F Skyrock was equally successful.

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    The high aspect of the wing is especially apparent in this photograph retouched to scare fish swimming near the surface of the bay off Long Island, N Y.      When asked about landing gear, a Grumman official is rumored to have replied, "We don't think this tub will get off the ground so we're not looking that far into the future."

    jkg1.jpg (13117 bytes)
    Though respected for its armament of four .5000 calibre Brownings, the guns were not sufficient to correct the chronic tail-heaviness that doomed any chance for a production order. The lack of a towplane capable of operating from an aricraft carrier deck was also noted int he final report.   Sadly, even the Wright XR-1820 engines introduced to the design failed to win this unique airplane a production contract.

    jcg2.jpg (13283 bytes)
    As soon as I opened the box of Academny's excellent 1/48 kit, the clean wing SHOUTEDf the possibilities for a nearly forgotten glider fighter.          These are the only reminder of the project because even I have more sense than to not complete this model by adding the rest of it.



    jcg6.jpg (13261 bytes)
     Seldom seen in the sky north of the DMZ, the Vought XFA85C Crusilante flrew on an A-5C wing and a the shortened fuselage of an F-8E.

    jkg7.jpg (9001 bytes)
     Built  for the U.S. Air Force, the wings folded down for stabliity in supersonic cruise, which, sadly was beyond the capability of the Crusilante.

    jcg5.jpg (17161 bytes)
    Though their example would later be emulated by the General Dynamics F-16's blended delta, which lost out in a competition with the F-15E, the pioneering Crusilante is remembered mostly for its markings which lasted about 18 minutes in the air force, and not much longer aboard big boats.

    jkg8.jpg (16683 bytes)
    The model was inspired when I had to rob a Vigi kit for clear parts. At the time I was also building two Hasegawa F-8Es and had several other tail-less 1/72 project at the workbench. All the others were completed to depict aircraft better known to William Green and those other guys.r

    jkg9.jpg (13785 bytes)
    Early in the orocess, I removed a portion of fuselage behind the main landing gear doors because I knew there was too much fuselage for the wing. The F-8 wing was cemented to the fuselage where all but the center section was removed. The A-5 wing was added, and the area filled and smoothed. THEN I shortened the fuse forward to better balance the design.

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    The  McDonnell-Douglas F-18Xtry Horngle was the second type to be be built at the USAF, inspired by a spare but incomplete F-15 and an early Hornet whose wings were damaged during an inverted ribbon pickup at Springfield Air Rendezvous. The pole holders for that act are still getting weekly counselling.

    jkg17.jpg (15872 bytes)
     Built before Aviation Week & Space Technology published their news of a "Super Hornet" canard design actually considered by McD-D, F-15 wings were grafted to the rear of an 18 fuselage. The 18's vert stabs were not  modified or repositioned. The elevators of both designs were discarded, and in their place, the vert stabs of the Eagle were selected as forward canards.

    jkg18.jpg (16434 bytes)
When these pictures were taken, the Horngle was returning to base after knocking out Iraq's air force. Since there wasn't enough opposition to require a second Sidewinder, it came home with the airplane.

     jkg15.jpg (15153 bytes)
     During the refuelling, somewhere, not very high over a blanket of green flannel (NOT metaphorical code, btw)   the pilot flew a little to close and the boom operature used a wide angle lens to include the entire airplane.

     jkg14.jpg (14730 bytes)
       The SI tail codes, in fact, are used by the 183d Fighter Wing, based at Capital Airport in Springfield, Illinois, home of AeroKnow and the USAF. They are a terrific aeemblage of talent and dedication, always a fighter unit since they began flying in 1947. In point of fiction, Colonel Dick Eslinger could be talked into trading in his F-16s for a ramp full of Horngles!

jkg20.jpg (12836 bytes)
An inverted pass. Placement of the canards helped direct air into the intakes during climb and nose-high maeuvers, including final  approach. Nose down or in level flight, drag was minimized by the arrangement, and there was always adequate air for the engines. Low wing placement limited the size of ordinance hung there and contributed to the dssigns failure to capture the internationally redundantly redundant and acclaimfully acclaimed dual designation.

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Freshly refuelled, fuel tank expansion at high altitudes gave a bloated appearance, especially at close distances from nervous boom operators.

C47fict1w.jpg (20866 bytes)

Coming soon to
a drop zone near you!
More about this  Unusual Strange Airplane Factory design will be shared soon. State uned.

    So you think you've seen all there is to see in the USAF Museum collection?
    We hope you will visit this site often because there are more almost- forgotten designs Gordon Liddy, Walt Boyne and David Duchovny's bosses on The X-Files  don't want you to know about,, and we intend to set the record straight.

      It's the truth. It's actual.
  Everything is satisfactual.

    jkg21.jpg (13810 bytes)
      Heree's a view of a red white and blue (figuratively espeaking) AMERICAN HORNGLE no Syrian, North Korean,   former Iraqi or taxnspend Libra Necromantic fighter pilot  wil  never see!

These models are on display at AeroKnow's Modelair Museum, Springfield, Illinois.

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