X Planes 6 – Bell X-2 by Peter E. Davies

There’s one thing I always hear about the X-2 program; “There outta be a book.”

Well, we now have two X-2 books on the market. In November 2017, Osprey released X Planes 6 on the Bell X-2, by Peter E. Davies. Is it the “definitive” X-2 book? No, but it’s still a worthy effort with a selection of quality photos and excellent illustrations by Adam ToobyFor $20, the book is worth the investment.

The other X-2 book? Henry Matthew’s The Saga of the Bell X-2.

A few photos from the Rohrer collection made it into the book in beautiful color!

 

Inside illustration

 

X-2 by Davies - Cover
X-2 by Davies - Back

Motion Picture Herald – September 22, 1956

Chances are, you’ve never heard of the magazine Motion Picture Herald. If you were a theater owner back in the day, you did. This was the source for all the dirt on movies coming up as well as performance of what was playing at that time. In the September 22 issue, Warner Brothers promoted Toward The Unknown in a two page color ad. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a good scan of the Life magazine sized pages without disassembling it (no staples). I’ve added my pieced together scan over in the TTU Photo Album, page 5.

The interesting piece is the “First Engagements” portion at the bottom of the ad: Baltimore, Buffalo and New York. I recall seeing an article talking about what I believe was the Baltimore premiere with ARDC big wigs. I want to say Iven Kincheloe and other pilots were there. Buffalo was likely for the Bell Aircraft folks. I’m partial to the ad for having the Ad Inexplorata crest in it.

Motion Picture Herald Ad

 

Old Life Magazine Issues on Google

I’ve known about the Life Magazine photo archive on Google for a while, but I recently stumbled across something just as fun – full issues online. It looks like the archive starts around 1972 and goes through 1953 as of this post.

I remember trying to find the August 3, 1962 issue. Because there’s a Marilyn Monroe story in it, the prices were always nuts. Finally found one, but like all Life Magazines, it smells like the 60s…or musty. Google got rid of the smell.

 

On The Threshold of Space Artwork

I recently ran into an interesting post on TVWeek.com about artwork  designed by Saul Bass and Al Kallis for On The Threshold of Space promo materials. If you’ve seen the opening credits of North By Northwest, you know Bass’ work.

Some interesting background and striking artwork that never quite made it as intended.

Bass / Kallis Artwork

Image via: http://www.tvweek.com/in-depth/2016/05/on-the-threshold-of-space-premiererelease-march-29-1956/

As Seen in Life Magazine

Not only a movie star in H-19 scene in TTU, this H-19B was also photographed for Life Magazine:

H-19B 52-7564 AFFTC Edwards AFB

Pete Everest – Part 2

Another slick model from Thomas!

Pete Everest made the first, third and sixth (and last) USAF flight on 23 12 1953, 02 07 1954 and 29 07 1954 on that plane. Then the underpowered jet went to NACA. Pete was used to hotter stuff!

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Pete Everest & the D-558 II

Thomas from Germany emailed me a photo of his 1/72 D-558 II model diorama – nice!

Nov 20, 1953: Scott Crossfield broke the Mach 2 barrier in Buno. 37974

May 5, 1955: Pete Everest made a 17 minute familiarization flight (N50) in that plane (M 1.6, 68.000ft) before starting with the X-2

Skyrocket

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Pete Everest & the X-1D

Just ran across this article from “This Day in Aviation:” August 22, 1953. It talks about Pete abandoning a flight in the X-1D, barely:

Fearing that a larger explosion or fire would jeopardize the bomber and its crew, Everest abandoned the X-1D, climbing up into the bomber. The X-1 was then dropped. It crashed onto the desert floor and exploded.

The article also talks about Toward The Unknown and a very similar scene with the X-2.

Mickey, Link, X-2 drop

“Trouble with the X-2!”

Bell X-2 Book Coming This November

Osprey Publishing is releasing a X-2 book November 21, 2017 by Peter E. Davies. It is number 6 in a series of books on the X Planes.

Amazon currently has the book available for pre-order at $13.39.

 

X-2 Davies Book

Toward The Unknown Playing at EAA Museum in September

If you’re up in the Oshkosh, Wisconsin area on September 7, the EAA Museum is playing Toward The Unknown in their SkyScape Theater. Per the EAA website:

Travel back in time and experience the golden age of cinema at EAA’s Skyscape Theater Royale, a series of classic aviation film screenings. Each film begins at 6:30 p.m. in the museum’s Skyscape Theater, an intimate setting with a 50-foot screen and state-of-the-art projection and sound systems. (Seating is on a first come, first serve basis and is subject to capacity.)

Nuts. They would do that on a work night…

EAA TTU Poster