SmugMug Appreciation Sunday — No. 055

In brief, these posts serve to introduce new readers — and reintroduce regular readers — to photos from the early days of this blog and, occasionally, to photos from days before this blog came into existence.

Today’s stroll on memory lane is another quick one . . .

The original post for these photos is HERE, and the photos are from THIS Gallery.

These photos are from ten years ago, so some of the items might not currently be on display.

I’m referring to photos from the National Air & Space Museum, A. K. A. the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.

Note: I just found out that all the links in the Smithsonian catalog changed. That means that — in the original posts and the previous Sunday posts about the museum — any link referencing the museum’s database will return a dead link error (error 404). I’m not going back through the original or recent Sunday posts to update the links. One, because it’s a lot of work, and two, because no one mentioned it. If you’re looking for the Smithsonian’s entry for a plane, just search under the name.

Sikorsky YH19A

That is the Sikorsky YH-19A.  Introduced in 1950, it has many variants, and a later model was already showcased in my post documenting the Weisbrod Museum in Pueblo, Colorado.

By the way, this gallery is small . . . only 21 images and half of them are the signages for the aircraft. . . which happen to be rotor aircraft! (a.k.a. flying bricks).

Example of signage

Like with most other flying contraptions at the museum, there was a case of models.

FYI, that long thing with the smokestack in the case . . . not a helicopter.

Hiller YH-32 Hornet

I called it the Hiller YH-32 Hornet, but the sign shows the designation given for the models assigned to the Navy for evaluation.

Hiller is a big name in helicopters.  Not as fancy as Sikorsky (I mean, that has “sky” in the name!  . . . how cool, not to mention convenient, is that!), but still a flying brick.

I have to show the signage before showing the actual flying brick because it’s otherwise difficult to visualize.

Of all the ones I saw, the Kaman looked most like a brick.

Hiller YROE ultralight helicopter

There was a well-intentioned idea behind the development of the Hiller YROE.  The plan was to build a foldable helicopter that could be airdropped to downed pilots so they could extract themselves from behind enemy lines.

The Marines did not accept the design because of “low performance, vulnerability to small-arms fire and the lack of visual references on the structure. This problem could cause the pilot to experience spatial disorientation at all but very low altitudes. The YROE or ROE never saw military service.”  (text from Wikipedia)

I think the following had similar issues; plus, it looks vulnerable as all heck.

It does not say so on the Wiki page for the Hiller VZ-1 Pawnee, but if I remember correctly, the original idea for this was to design shooting platforms.  The thing was stable, but you know, given one had to actually fly the thing, it made it difficult to shoot at the same time.

Nakajima, J1NS, Gekko, “Irving”

The platform was supposed to be controlled by the pilot shifting his body weight to tilt the platform (think aerial Segway).

The larger model (the Pawnee) had ineffective “kinesthetic control” and required conventional controls manned by the pilot; that can’t-shoot-while-you-fly thing I mentioned.

You can see the yellow craft — a Hiller-Copter — to the side of the platform.  Let me tell you about Stanley Hiller Jr. No.  Click on the link, and read it for yourselves; you’d never believe me if I wrote it.

This next thing could not be made these days, as lawyers for stupid people who injured or killed themselves would quickly bury the company under a ton of lawsuits.  But, hey, while it lasted, it was pretty good.


You can’t read it here very well (you can read it on the SmugMug Gallery), and it might not be obvious in the photo, but this thing has no motor.  The Bensen B-6 Gyroglider.

The B-6 was meant to be towed to a speed of about 20mph, at which point it would become airborne, and give the pilot about 15 minutes of flight.  It did not need towing if there was a 23mph wind blowing.  These were kits for the home market, so, no military application that I know of.

B-8M gyrocopter

The above is the Benson B-8M, which added an engine to make it fully autonomous (meaning it did not need to be towed).  Remarkably similar to modern-day designs, it was very successful, and thousands of sets of plans were sold over the course of thirty years.

This next thing is an attempt to gain the advantages of both an airplane and a helicopter in a single design.

The Kellett XO-60 has no wings, as it is another autogyro, where the lift is provided by the unpowered rotors.  The front propeller provided the thrust to move the aircraft to takeoff speed.

The rotors folded up, I presume for easy hangar storage.  It was successfully used for air-mail service, and the model above was used in an observation role (governments . . . always wanting to spy on people).

And so we come to a more direct attempt to get the best of two worlds. An airplane that could take off vertically and then fly horizontally with conventional propellers.

The Bell XV-15 would pave the way for the development of the V-22 Osprey (of which I do not have a photo).

Only after reading the Wiki, did I realize an XV-15 landed on the lawn of the White House . . . where the pilots were promptly wrestled to the ground by the ever-alert Washington police.  In a rare case of common sense, they stopped short of shooting the unarmed pilots.

Well, boys and girls, this was actually a short post (for me).  I do have one more photo, but mostly I did not linger long in front of helicopters . . . damn things look unsafe even when sitting on the ground.  

In fact, my favorite shot was this, where I knew I was out of range of their egg-beaters.

There are seven eight posts documenting my visit to the museum, and I’ll cover one each week until done.

Note: the transition is set to 4sec (gives time to read the captions), but — if you move the cursor anywhere within the photo — you’ll see a pause button on the lower left, and, once paused, you can use the left and right arrows on both sides of the photo to navigate the slideshow. It will make it easier to read the captions.

I highly suggest watching these slideshows in full-screen mode, but that’s just me.

You’ll exit the slideshow and find yourself in SmugMug if you click anywhere in the photo instead of the pause button. You can then scroll through the photos or interact in other ways.

Slideshow of the Air and Space Museum Part 5 Gallery — (21 photos)

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


Note: if you are not reading this blog post at, know that it’s copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intentions, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

Note 2: it’s perfectly OK to share a link that points back here.


If you’re new to this blog, it might be a good idea to read the FAQ page. If you’re considering subscribing to this blog, it’s definitely a good idea to read both the About page and the FAQ page.