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Where’s the pilot?  Well, maybe it’s not a plane.  Maybe it’s a missile of some sort.  But then, where’s the warhead?

You’re looking at a G.H. Davis cutaway drawing, 1956, of a Leduc 021 ramjet aircraft.  No pilot, no warhead.

The Leduc 021 was carried up by a Languedoc airliner, Space Shuttle-style, and then released.  The Leduc’s maximum ceiling was 65,000.

The reason for this unusual launch was because the Leduc used a ramjet instead of a rotary compresser (like you see on passenger jets) to force (i.e., ram) the much-needed air into the engine.  The jet had to build up a certain minimum airspeed in order for the jet to fire.

Click to Enlarge to 894 x 755 px:

French Leduc 021 Experimental Ramjet Cutaway, 1956

French Leduc 021 Experimental Ramjet Cutaway, 1956

A nice G.H. Davis cutaway (note “France” added just above his signature) of a French Baroudeur SE-5000.

See the landing gear on the Baroudeur?  No?  That’s because the Baroudeur (roughly translated to “adventurer”) is leaving its landing gear behind on the ground.  That’s right, the SE-5000 carried no gear, instead relying on a wheeled trolley to assist its takeoff.  It landed on grassy fields on skids.  This cutaway drawing shows the skids retracted.

Developed for NATO, this lightweight fighter, with a range of 1,500 miles, never entered production.

Enlarge to 1560 x 712 px:

French Baroudeur SE 5000 Fighter Jet 1956

French Baroudeur SE 5000 Fighter Jet 1956

Source:  Popular Mechanics May 1956

A circa 1950 G.H. Davis cutway drawing of two Soviet T-34 tanks (in the rear is the bottom of the upcoming Joseph Stalin III tank).

The T-34 weighed about 34 tons, with a 500 hp diesel engine.  Max speed:  30 mph.

Source:  Popular Mechanics November 1950

G.H. Davis

G.H. Davis

Like most magazine illustrators of the early to mid 20th century, little is known about George Horace Davis.

From a site dedicated to The Illustrated London News (ILN), we learn that he spent 40 years contributing to that publication, producing up to 2,500 pages of illustrations.

Born in Kensington in 1881, Davis was first published in ILN on July 29, 1923.  He learned art at Ealing School of Art and served with the RFC during WWI.

Davis died December 7, 1963