Last Call: The Kaiser of the Air Edition

Did you know that Kaiser built airplanes? Along with just about everything else, Henry J. Kaiser dabbed in the aircraft industry, buying Pennsylvania-based Fleetwings in 1943. That company’s XBTK-1 vied for a Navy contract but lost out to Douglas and Martin. Today, Oakland-based KaiserAir Inc. operates a fleet of commercial aircraft and has over 65-years experience in the aviation business. It’s doubtful however, that a flying Henry J ever factored into any their efforts.
Image: GoAwayGarage

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  1. Batshitbox Avatar

    Well golly-gee, I learn something new every day on Hooniverse. Bruce McCall the illustrator, who drew that never seen again Henry J, is also Bruce McCall the humorist who I’ve enjoyed reading in the Shouts & Murmurs section of The New Yorker, as well as an illustrator for the same.
    I gotta get me a copy of this one, I think.

    1. Van_Sarockin Avatar

      The man is a god.

    2. dead_elvis, inc. Avatar
      dead_elvis, inc.

      All of his stuff is good. This is a particular favorite of mine.

  2. Batshitbox Avatar

    In other news… I just read two headlines on the same web page: “Trump says he will crack down on internet porn while in office” and “Trump’s odds drop 12% overnight.” Coincidence?

    1. JayP Avatar

      Well… he may be that 12%.

  3. Van_Sarockin Avatar

    According to that illustration, Kaiser had the finest bumpers, ever.

    1. JayP Avatar

      Stern Pinball like…

      1. 0A5599 Avatar

        In pinball terminology, that’s a plunger.

  4. ptschett Avatar

    I was thinking about automotive aerodynamics today, actually.
    On one hand, my Challenger’s front splitter seems reasonably functional, directing air through the heat exchangers or under the car & reducing lift; on the other, it’s very effective at accumulating insect carcasses. When I opened my garage door this morning, the air inside the garage stank from the grasshoppers accumulated during my 200-some mile drive from the parents’ farm back to Fargo yesterday afternoon.
    The undertray spanning from beneath the heat exchangers back to the front axle crossmember further segregates the airflows, and seems to help keep the engine compartment clean from dust; but, it’s also a convenient access point for the semi-feral kittens at the farm to retreat from the ‘danger’ of a nearby human into the ‘safety’ of tight spaces inside an automobile. I’ve had maybe 6 kitten hitch-hikers between the ’10 and the ’15, and only know of one survivor (who had crawled into the empty spaces in the front bumper; I’d driven from the house to a field to pick up my dad, parked the car, then heard meowing…)
    I’d maybe be willing to settle for a slight decrease in aerodynamic efficiency to not have these trade-offs…

  5. Batshitbox Avatar

    The Associated Press is killin’ me with this story on “autocycles”.
    “It’s more than a motorcycle and less than a car. It’s an autocycle. And states are wrestling with how best to regulate this new type of vehicle.” NEW! Never been seen on the roads ever before at all! Three wheels! What will they think of next?
    “Autocycles have three wheels, typically two in the back and one in the front.” Wait, are we talking about the Reliant Robin? Because the Elio and the Polaris that you mention in the article oh nevermind.
    “Phoenix-based Elio Motors… has already made more than 55,000 pre-sale reservations. After years of delays, it plans to begin mass assembly of its vehicles…” Hah! Pull the other one!

    1. Tanshanomi Avatar

      The news — it’s not what it used to be.

  6. dead_elvis, inc. Avatar
    dead_elvis, inc.

    In addition to the kaiser of the air, how about an admiral of the sea? (There must be some other fans of the Husker Du diaspora out in the ‘verse, somewhere. Hello? Is this thing on?)

    1. Texlenin Avatar
      Texlenin , my brother

      1. dead_elvis, inc. Avatar
        dead_elvis, inc.

        Interesting place, but nothing on Nova Mob. (Some Husker articles, though!)

        1. Texlenin Avatar

          Well, it’s more about all of the scene back in the day. He does cover
          quite a bit of ground. Kinda a “Wayback Mowchine” for those of
          us of a certain, angry age……

          1. dead_elvis, inc. Avatar
            dead_elvis, inc.

            Oh, I’ve already wasted more hours there than I’m proud of. There’s some great content.

  7. Wayne Moyer Avatar
    Wayne Moyer

    Since I’m the Atomic Toaster aircraft guy it’s my guy to fill you in the Kaiser aircraft. It wasn’t a bad aircraft it just arrived at the tail end of the war and was up against the Skyraider. Which there really was no competition for. What bugs me is that I was raised out near northeast Philadelphia where these were made and if they succeeded then maybe we would still have something like this out here.
    Who am I kidding. The weather makes sure that we don’t have any factories of any type.
    Here are the numbers –
    General characteristics
    Crew: one (pilot)
    Length: 38 ft 11 in (11.86 m)
    Wingspan: 48 ft 8 in (14.83 m)
    Height: 15 ft 8 in (4.78 m)
    Wing area: 380 sq ft (35 m2)
    Empty weight: 9,959 lb (4,517 kg)
    Gross weight: 15,782 lb (7,159 kg)
    Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney R-2800-34W 18-cylinder radial piston engine, 2,100 hp (1,600 kW)
    Maximum speed: 373 mph (600 km/h; 324 kn)
    Range: 1,400 mi (1,217 nmi; 2,253 km)
    Service ceiling: 33,400 ft (10,180 m)
    Rate of climb: 3,550 ft/min (18.0 m/s)
    Guns: 2 x 20mm cannon
    Hardpoints: one centreline station, 2,000 pounds (910 kg) capacity; two wing stations, 1,000 pounds (450 kg) capacity each; eight wing launchers for 5-inch (12.7 cm) High Velocity Aircraft Rockets.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      The weather…? I’ve recently started to play, and got severely hooked on, World of Warships. A friend of mine, history and qar machine buff, had messed for this game for 18 months and I tried to resist. The graphics and fantastic old machinery are a big draw, and even though planes may be a secondary thing here, they’re prominent.

      1. Wayne Moyer Avatar
        Wayne Moyer

        I played at release but haven’t gone back since. I need to get back into the game.

      2. Texlenin Avatar

        Check out Admiral Jingles…..

  8. GTXcellent Avatar

    The SS got a longer drive this past weekend when we drove it to the cabin. The mileage on the drive home – 26.5 mpg. Not too shabby.
    There are some variables at play here though – first is that it’s a very rural drive. 110 miles, but only 3 times that you come to a stop or even slow down. Very little traffic, so usually no need to speed up to pass anyone. Also, since we’re still in break-in, I didn’t drive more than 10-15 minutes at a set speed, varying between 59 and 64 mph. I think had I been able to simply hold the cruise at 61-62 for the entire trip, and the engine had a few thousand more miles to “loosen” up, I’d have been over 27 mpg.

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