Identify the mystery aircraft with German markings, if you’re able.

If you’re not able, the answer is at the bottom of this blog post.

And One More
This aircraft is in full flying condition. Again, if you can’t ID it, drift down to the bottom of the page.


Identify this soldier’s nationality from the uniform equipment.

Circa 1943/beginning of 1944.”


Kettenkrad (half track motorcycle)

It would be nice to have one now to use as a ranch vehicle on the White Wolf Mine. I could use the trailer as well.

Kettenkrad with a light trailer, August-September 1943.”


The Jug

Later P-47 models (with the four blade propellor) became true multi-mission aircraft. Eight forward firing 50 Caliber machine guns, horsepower, and heavy armor made them formidable in air-to-air and ground attack roles.


French Armored Fist 

…Prior to World War Two

Char B1 – French Tank, before the Germans came.

The French tanks were the equal of the German tanks of their era, but they were poorly led and ended up by Petan and other traitors to France – sort of France’s answer to people like John (Swiftboat) Kerry.

Answer to the photos:

Question at the top. The photo is of a Macchi C.205 Veltro with German markings  in 1943. About 25 of these Italian-made fighters served in Jagdgeschwader 77 in the Luftwaffe from 1943 to 1944.

Question at the bottom. The first asymmetrical plane in the world, Blohm + Voss BV 141 surveillance aircraft.


  1. I’m sure everyone got the one at the top. Some years ago I knew a gentleman who flew B-17s over Germany. He stayed in the AF until around 1970 retiring as a full colonel in that time flying a number of aircraft including century series jets. I once asked him what his favorite was of all the planes he flew. Without hesitation he said the P-51.

    • If I was a rich man, I would own a P-51. I said that to the CEO of the National Air Races (Reno) when I was there in 2015 and she said, “You’d kill yourself. The P-51 would be your coffin.” I replied that I’d die happy. She’s a friend, and a pilot, but she doesn’t get pushing a P-51 at 50′ AGL.

      • I used to own a house and acreage in Lemon Valley that bordered Stead Airport and the planes racing overhead was thrilling! Sat on my back deck and could see the grandstands and about 90% of the race course. To say I had lots of buddies show up was an understatement. Free show and could tune to a local radio station and listen to a aviation scanner . Good barbecue and craft beers to boot.

        • I worked on a unique drone project that was run out of Cal Tech and we would go to Stead at least once a month to operate it. We had FAA approval through Bowhead, their contractor at Stead. It’s a cool place. Yes, it would be the perfect place for a tailgate party during the races!

    • There were other nations that wore a similar metal pot to that worn by the Fallschirmjäger, but the MG 42 is a dead give-away. And I didn’t know about the Luftwaffe flying an entire squadron of the Macchi’s until recently.

        • Yeah, saw those. What threw me was the quilted garment/coat, and like the Macchi’s, equipment can be issued to or captured by third parties. Like I said,
          fallschirmjäger was a guess.

          Love this kind of “nuts and bolts” history BTW.

          • As the war dragged on, the material used for German uniforms became less regular and the quality decreased.

  2. My SEL chances would improve considerably with an F86 , over a P51. No torque reaction, and tricycle gear. I am betting I could live at least 10 minutes from takeoff.
    Years ago I read a short story, nonfiction, of a guy in a North African airfield- they got aircraft in from time to time for repair, and this P51 came in. It needed a check ride, so he volunteered to take it for a spin…only having bomber time in A 26’s or B 25’s or some such. NO problem, piece of cake. Well, one problem- the checklist was only half there, and no one else there had ever flown one, the guy who brought it in took a ride home on another bird. He survived, just barely. Inadvertent snap rolls, accelerated stalls etc figured prominently in his story….

    • I wanted to fly a MiG at Stead Airport (near Reno) but couldn’t manage to con a few flight hours out of them. It was likely for the best. I’d have taken that beast to War Emergency, past the throttle stop because that’s why you fly a MiG-19 or a P-51D.

  3. What was the purpose of an asymmetrical plane like the Blohm + Voss BV 141 surveillance aircraft? What was their flight characteristic? An odd aircraft, I wonder what the first test pilot thought as he approached the plane.

    • It was very fast. If they’d had a better propellor (if they could have made one), it might have been even better. But it remains one of those oddities that never took the concept further. Maybe it was just the war, maybe the benefits weren’t significant enough. A lot of engineers and aircraft developers create and build a concept just because they can. That is only a guess on my part.

      The forward swept wing (X-29) was another interesting concept that never went further. Forward-swept wings make an aircraft harder to fly, but the advantages are mainly down to maneuverability. They maintain airflow over their surfaces at steeper climb angles than conventional planes, which a steeper climb with full lift and a good angle of attack.

      The oblique wing concept is another one that works, going back to German research during WW2.

      Even the swing wing (only the B-1B remains in inventory) is going the way of the iron horse.

    • Part of it is, with single engined (or single propped) aircraft, there is a significant torque put on the aircraft by the engine in the direction the prop is spinning, right or left. It’s what made the Sopwith Camel such a pilot eater during landing, slow too much and the engine yanks the plane to the right and down. In the air, one can use the torque to your advantage, such as the Sopwith Camel having an incredible turning radius, to the right, that scared the Germans.

      So… how to defeat the torque? Mount the engine farther away from the direction of torque. Now what to do with that empty space on the other side of the wing? Put a glass observation cabin.

      It worked.

      The French made some asymmetrical designs also.

      And… in modern times, Burt Rutan has made several successful (as in ‘they flew and flew well,’ not as in ‘a sterling commercial success’ but that’s the truth with most of his designs.)

      Another way to solve that torque problem is with two engines mounted fore and aft pushing counter-rotating props mounted fore and aft. But that’s a whole complete mess of fish.

      Truly, what killed the concept, except for fruitcakes, weirdos and savants like Rutan, is two things.

      Jet engines, a serious duh there.

      And people want their planes to look normal, not some flying freak of a vehicle. Even if it works, if it looks freaky, people buying it, financing it, flying in it, won’t want it.

      Like Rutan’s SpaceShip One or Two. Would you fly in it? Most people look at that composite freak and go “NOPE!” Which, well, I kind of agree with. He has interesting designs but there’s not a lot of long-term use of his composites in a space environment.

      • Would I fly on SpaceShip One or Two…yes. But I’m getting older and have a WTF attitude about going out with a splash rather than shitting myself to death in a rest home some day.

        Good commentary, though. Thank you for adding to the discussion.

        • It was a recon plane, they wanted the maximum possible clear view angles. Depending upon which way you circled it, you could either have a continuous unobstructed view of a target, or a continuous unobstructed horizon pan.

          They built another one for the same mission that was a little less odd… the FW 189a. It was a twin boom, with the heavily glazed cockpit between.


          • The FW-189 was decent, but was becoming dated. The BV-141 was intended to replace it. However, it looked weird, so despite pilots reporting excellent flight characteristics and visibility for the observer, it wasn’t procured. Back on the late 80s when the fly-off between the Lockheed-Martin YF-22 and the Northrop-Grumman YF-23 was happening, I predicted to everyone I knew that the F-22 was going to win, and that it would have to be quite a bit worse than the F-23 to lose. It Was L-M’s “turn” for a major contract, and (secondarily) the F-22 looked more “normal”. But perhaps the Navy would be interested in a navalized version of the F-23. The end of the Cold War ended that, though, and seriously curtailed F-22 production.

          • Exactly. Flown clockwise over the objective it would have completely unobstructed view to photograph (film).

  4. Anyone passing by Greybull, WY should stop at the airport. Lots of old military aircraft there converted to slurry bombers. Probably fifty aircraft in various stages of disassembly.

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