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Announcing RetroMechanix.com - devoted to yesterday's wings of tomorrow!

jzichek

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​Greetings Fellow Aviation/Transport Enthusiast:

I've recently set up a new website called RetroMechanix.com, an online magazine devoted to futuristic and/or unusual aircraft from earlier decades, with special emphasis on prototype and unrealized U.S. aerospace projects. The name is a take on Hugo Gernsback's <a href="http://blog.modernmechanix.com">Modern Mechanix</a> magazine of the 1930's, the spirit of which I hope to carry on into the 21st century (minus its more sensationalistic qualities).

In its current state, RetroMechanix.com is essentially a digital version of The American Aerospace Archive magazine, though I eventually hope to start covering other forms of transport, such as unusual autos, ships, tanks, trains etc. I'm also aiming to eventually present book and model reviews, original videos and animations, etc. Having witnessed the arrival of the iPad and the demise of many traditional newsstand magazines, it's clear that the future is digital and online. Retromechanix.com articles will present previously unpublished material and/or endeavor to build upon that which has already been published. The best news is that the majority of the content is now free! At the end of most articles, you have the option of purchasing high resolution jpegs of the images featured therein as a downloadable .zip file. These are scanned at 300 dpi, watermarked with an unobtrusive semi-transparent "RetroMechanix.com" logo in the corners, and are often much larger than images previously published in either the printed or digital versions of The American Aerospace Archive, with some blueprints measuring over 2.5ft in length. These are ideal for the modeler, illustrator or general enthusiast who wants a highly detailed look at a particular vehicle; a free sample download is available <a href="http://retromechanix.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Sample_Images.zip">here</a>.

Currently featured on the site are summaries of the known proposals to the US Navy OS-130 Day Fighter competition of February 1953 which ultimately yielded both the legendary Vought F8U Crusader and the less successful Douglas F5D Skylancer:

5631478793_8706706b9b_o.jpg


Subjects covered include the Convair Carrier Based F2Y, Douglas Model 652, Grumman Design 97, Lockheed L-242 Navalized Starfighter, McDonnell Model 90/91, North American OS-130 Class VF Day Fighter, Northrop Model N-94, TEMCO Model 31, and Vought V-383/V-384. Also featured is an article on the September 1953 inspection of the Vought XF8U-1 mock-up with 91 highly detailed photos. Most of the material is original and previously unpublished.

I hope to add a couple articles per week to the site, so please bookmark it and visit frequently, add it to your RSS feed, etc. You are welcome to write comments at the end of the articles, though please keep them relevant, constructive and free of offensive language. If you enjoy RetroMechanix.com, please spread the word among your friends; we need the site traffic in order to make it an ongoing success. The American Aerospace Archive magazine will be going on hiatus, though printed versions of issues 1-5 will remain available through <a href="http://www.magcloud.com/browse/Magazine/3628">MagCloud</a> and PDF versions through AeroArchivePress.com. If you have any questions, please email me at my new email address, editor@retromechanix.com.

Best Regards,

Jared Zichek
Editor, RetroMechanix.com/The American Aerospace Archive magazine​
 

fightingirish

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Re: Announcing RetroMechanix.com - devoted to yesterday's vehicles of tomorrow!

Great site! :)
 

archipeppe

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Re: Announcing RetroMechanix.com - devoted to yesterday's vehicles of tomorrow!

ABSOLUTELY GREAT!!!!

Many thanks Jared!! ;D ;D
 

unclejim

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Re: Announcing RetroMechanix.com - devoted to yesterday's vehicles of tomorrow!

Agreed. Very good start.
 

jzichek

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Re: Announcing RetroMechanix.com - devoted to yesterday's vehicles of tomorrow!

Thanks guys; it was quite a bit of work to set up and populate with content, but things are easier now that the basic template is in place. Hope to be adding a lot of new articles in the near future!
 

lark

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Re: Announcing RetroMechanix.com - devoted to yesterday's vehicles of tomorrow!

Great work. Well done !
 

mil

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Re: Announcing RetroMechanix.com - devoted to yesterday's vehicles of tomorrow!

The fine site, and here will be on it the information on helicopters, конвертопланах and other rotary-wing cars.
 

Stargazer2006

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Re: Announcing RetroMechanix.com - devoted to yesterday's vehicles of tomorrow!

Fantastic news, Jared! Keep up the great, great work!
 

sferrin

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Re: Announcing RetroMechanix.com - devoted to yesterday's vehicles of tomorrow!

You guys might like this site too:

http://www.strange-mecha.com/index-e.htm


All kinds of obscure stuff on it.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Re: Announcing RetroMechanix.com - devoted to yesterday's vehicles of tomorrow!

Its a cool site, but I for one would rather have a downloadable PDF of the article complete with higher res pictures than the ultra-high-resolution scans.

As it is I'm going to want to save the article out as HTML or try to print it into a PDF anyway to store with the images.

What do other people think?
 

robunos

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Re: Announcing RetroMechanix.com - devoted to yesterday's vehicles of tomorrow!

I'm with you on that...


cheers,
Robin.
 

Antonio

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Re: Announcing RetroMechanix.com - devoted to yesterday's vehicles of tomorrow!

First of all, congrats to Mr Zicheck for that great work. I really love the contents.

What do other people think?

I vote for the pdf too. That's a lot of work to extract the text from the html file.

Besides I'm neither an engineer nor a modeler so I'm not interested in dozens of detailed technical pics like "left wheel brake hidraulic actuator". Instead I'd love to put my money on 3 views, internal views, armament options or beautiful artwork of unbuilt projects. If I could pick and pay just for that pics, that would be a dream.

I think many of the picture collections on sale are too unbalanced to the engineer/modeler side thus being too expensive for the regular enthusiast. :(
 

bercr

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Re: Announcing RetroMechanix.com - devoted to yesterday's vehicles of tomorrow!

Well, ultra-high-resolution scans are welcomed ! Pretty good idea these downloadable zips with ultra high resolutions scans. I'm particularly interested by the hi-res scans of the mockup of McDonnell F3H-1 seen in American Aerospace Archive magazine and the mockup of XF8U-1 !!
 

jzichek

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RetroMechanix.com - now with free high resolution images!

After reviewing the initial numbers for the site premiere, I have decided to offer free access to the high resolution drawings, photos and artwork of the aircraft proposals featured therein. If you have not visited RetroMechanix.com for a while, please come by and check out the new image galleries for each article; there are now approximately 500 high resolution images available to freely view and download of the Convair Carrier Based F2Y, Douglas Model 652, Grumman Design 97, Lockheed L-242 Navalized Starfighter, McDonnell Model 90/91, North American OS-130 Class VF Day Fighter, Northrop Model N-94, TEMCO Model 31, Vought V-383/V-384, and Vought XF8U-1 Mock-up Inspection. All of it is based on primary documents and the majority is previously unpublished.

5631478793_8706706b9b_o.jpg


I've also added a new article on a proposal known as the <a href="http://retromechanix.com/aerospace/grumman-sapphire-powered-cougar-proposal/">"Sapphire powered Grumman Cougar"</a> dating from the early 1950's:

5631478705_a4df0d780d_o.jpg


This was an intermediate study between the F9F-6 and the Design 97, a stage in an evolution that eventually culminated in the F11F Tiger. The article features 12 never before published images and a short summary of the design. All articles and images are published under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd-nc/1.0/">Creative Commons License</a> and subject to the terms laid out therein.

Going forward, we will be regularly updating the site several times per week with new articles on various aerospace studies, prototypes, modifications, etc. Please check back frequently, add us to your RSS feed, etc. We've decided to focus solely on aerospace subjects for the time being, but may expand to cover other vehicle types as we acquire more material.

As we now rely solely on advertising dollars for support, we ask that our readers help us by doing the following:

1. Help promote the site — post links to articles you particularly like on relevant sites and forums, your own blog, etc. This especially goes for our international fans, as we want to reach as wide an audience as possible.
2. If you utilize an ad-blocking plugin on your browser, please disable it for RetroMechanix.com.
3. Please support our sponsors.

Feel free to comment on the articles; registration is now open for those who want to participate. You can read our commenting policy <a href="http://retromechanix.com/commenting-policy/">here</a>. The site is best viewed with the latest versions of Google Chrome and Safari; Explorer, FireFox, and Opera also work, but display inferior anti-aliasing of the low resolution versions of the images. (The images look fine once you zoom in to the high resolution versions, however). Depending on your connection speed, some of the pages may load slowly due to the high resolution of the images being displayed.

Thank you for your consideration; I hope you enjoy the site and visit frequently.

Best Regards,

Jared Zichek
Editor, RetroMechanix.com
 

Stargazer2006

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Your websites is all sorts of amazing... and I can't thank you enough for making these wonderful documents available to us!
Of course, an address worth repeating... ;)
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Very nice. I still think selling a PDF version of each article would be worthwhile though.
 

fightingirish

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The site has been updated. :D
Link: http://retromechanix.com/site-updates/site-updates-42111-all-high-resolution-images-are-now-free/
 

Sundog

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I don't know about you guys, but the site is totally fubar when I try to go to it. I'm using the latest Firefox release.
 

jzichek

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I tried it using FireFox and it looks fine on my end; it looks best in Chrome or Safari though, as they have better anti-aliasing.
 

Sundog

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It might be the "No-Script" plug in I'm using. I tell it to allow the scripts at your site, but I think there is a compatibility issue.
 
O

Overkiller

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overscan said:
Very nice. I still think selling a PDF version of each article would be worthwhile though.

I would agree with that idea. I would be quite happy to pay for just such a PDF option.

Great site Jared, the recent update regarding the NAA Navalized F-100 is of particular interest.

regards

Duncan
 

jzichek

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Just a quick note to let everyone know that the content on AeroArchivePress.com has now been integrated into RetroMechanix.com at http://retromechanix.com/category/publications/books-and-magazines/. If you try to visit the old AeroArchivePress.com site, you will be redirected to this page at RetroMechanix.com. For the time being, I don't have plans of making the material in the magazines freely available on RetroMechanix.com, as I do not want to undermine sales for several bookshops overseas which currently stock the publication. The downloadable PDFs that were previously sold through AeroArchivePress.com can now be purchased exclusively through MagCloud.com.

Also, MagCloud is presently having a 25% off sale now through May 8th for Mother's Day. While I can't imagine many moms being interested in vintage US aircraft projects, treat yourselves and pick up an issue at a bargain price!

-Jared
 

jzichek

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Updates at RetroMechanix.com - 5/12/11

Greetings,

Based on reader feedback, I've revised the way images are presented in the articles; before I had multiple, different image galleries spread across several pages—now these have been collapsed into a single image gallery that appears at the top of page 1 of each article. The major articles affected by this change are the Grumman Design 97 Day Fighter, Lockheed L-242 Navalized Starfighter, McDonnell Model 90/91 Carrier Day Fighters, North American OS-130 Class VF Day Fighter, Northrop Model N-94 Class VF Day Fighter, TEMCO Model 31 VF Day Fighter, Vought V-383 / V-384 Day Fighter (Original F8U Crusader Proposal), North American All-Weather Super Fury, and the Vought V-358 Attack — Fighter Design Study. Check these out again in case you missed out on some cool content; the Northrop N-94 article has 102 images alone.

Also, Tony Buttler has been kind enough to donate some color photos of desktop display models to supplement the articles. I've added one to the image gallery of the Grumman Sapphire Powered Cougar here and one to the Vought V-383/V-384 gallery here.

-Jared
 

jzichek

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UPDATE: The site is down at the moment due to some technical issues; will probably not be back up till late this evening PST. Will advise when it is back up and running.
 

XP67_Moonbat

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Jared,

Is the website being re-done? I was hoping to look at the articles on the Super Fury and Martin Orbiter and the links give me Error 404.
 

Stargazer2006

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fightingirish said:
Breaking News: Retromechanix.com has been updated!!!! :eek: B) ;D

Great news! I was thinking about Jared's site only a few days ago, wondering where it was at... I even wondered if it was still active, so here's the answer. ;D
 

fightingirish

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pometablava said:
I can't see nothing new ???


Yesterday morning my RSS-reader said this:
  • Flight Tests of the Prototype Grumman F6F-5K Target Drone (1946-7)
    This article reproduces the “Final Report on Flight Tests of Prototype F6F-5K High Speed Target Drone with Eclipse-Pioneer P-1K Auto-Pilot,” Report No. R-0168, produced by the Naval Air Material Center, Naval Aircraft Modification Unit located in Johnsville, Pennsylvania in 1947. The following paragraphs reproduce the main conclusions of the report, a high resolution version of [...]
  • NACA and the Convertible Aircraft, 1945-9
    The convertible aircraft, a vehicle which can function either as a direct lift, rotary aircraft or as fixed wing airplane, with conversion from one to the other type as required, has long been a dream of aeronautical inventors. Combining the vertical flight capacity of the helicopter with the greater efficiency in forward flight of the [...]
  • Higgins-Bellanca Cargo Model 39-60 (1944)
    This article reproduces the original specification document for the Higgins-Bellanca Cargo Model 39-60 of 1944, an enormous transport aircraft designed for the USAAC which combined an elegant blended wing-fuselage with a twin boom tail assembly. According to various sources, this project began in 1941 and was also referred to as the “HC-57,” with the HC [...]
  • USAAF Evaluation of Navy SWOD Mk 9 Bat Glide Bomb (1945)
    The U.S. Navy’s “Special Weapons Ordnance Device” (SWOD) Mark 9 “Bat” glide bomb was one of the world’s earliest fully-automatic, target-seeking “smart” weapon systems. The Bat was a development of the “Pelican” glide bomb, which was equipped with a Receiving Homing Beacon (RHB) that required a radar beacon to illuminate the target. The Bat had [...]
  • Convair Generalized Supersonic Bomber (GEBO) II Studies (1951)
    The Forth Worth Division of Consolidated Vultee (Convair) Aircraft Corporation initiated conceptual studies of a supersonic bomber for the USAAF in October 1946 under the Generalized Supersonic Bomber (GEBO) program. This was followed by GEBO II in March 1949, under which Convair further refined the concept. This article presents excerpts from Convair Report Nos. 3 [...]
  • Martin 246 Naval Attack Aircraft Proposal (1949)
    The aircraft shown in the brochure at left is the Martin 246, a jet attack aircraft submitted to the US Navy Bureau of Aeronautics (BuAer) on an unsolicited basis in 1949. Its chief characteristics were its inverted gull wing and T-tail, the latter being a popular design choice at Martin in this period. According to [...]
  • Stroop “X-Wing” Convertible Speed Planes (1935-9)
    Robert C. Stroop is one of the many obscure Depression-era aeronautical inventors who created innovative if somewhat impractical designs that, for various reasons, never saw their full potential. The author has unable to uncover much about the background of Mr. Stroop apart from a few interesting facts. In surviving correspondence with the Army Air Corps, [...]
  • Bell XF-109 VTOL Fighter Brochure and Mock-up Inspection Program (1959)
    In our final article in a series on the Bell D188A/Model 2000 (a.k.a. XF-109 / XF3L—both spurious designations invented by the Bell marketing department) supersonic VTOL fighter of the late 1950s, we present a brochure and mock-up inspection guide dating from February 1959. A preview of the brochure is shown to the left; it is remarkable for being [...]
  • Doblhoff Wnf 342 V4 Helicopter—Evaluation by General Electric (1948)
    The photos above depict the Doblhoff Wnf 342 V4, an experimental German helicopter which employed tip jets to drive the rotor. It was built by a group of Austrian engineers at the Wiener Neustädter Flugzeugwerke headed by Friedrich von Doblhoff and was originally designed to fulfill a German Navy requirement for an observation platform to be [...]
  • Scherrer Jet Propulsion Airplane Proposal (1943)
    Avid students of the history of jet propulsion may be aware of “Jake’s Jeep,” a ducted-fan engine similar to the Campini design that was developed at NACA Langley by Eastman Jacobs and Albert E. Sherman from 1941 to 1943 before being abandoned in favor of superior turbojet technology imported from England. Even a dedicated research [...]
  • Bell D188A/Model 2000 VTOL Fighter Mock-up Report—February 1959
    In our latest article in a series on the Bell D188A/Model 2000 (a.k.a. XF-109 / XF3L—both spurious designations invented by the Bell marketing department) supersonic VTOL fighter of the late 1950s, we present this huge, heavily illustrated mock-up report dating from February 6, 1959. By this time, the Air Force had become a significant partner in the program, [...]
  • Douglas El Segundo Project 9 Tailless Bomber—Wind Tunnel Tests (1938)
    The Douglas El Segundo Division Project 9 was a study for a twin engine tailless bomber dating from 1938. It was likely designed (or heavily influenced) by Jack Northrop, who would leave Douglas the following year to form his own independent company. The report presented in the gallery above describes the results of wind tunnel [...]
Maybe the website was just refurbished and so the timestamps were changed. :-\


Edit:
Some links to older articles don't work anymore. I'll add the new links later on. :)
 
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