The Challenge International de Tourisme was a European touring aircraft contest. The fourth and last edition was organised by the Polish Aero Club in 1934. Nationalism ran high and new aircraft were designed specially for the event, including the Fi 97. Its wing had high-lift devices similar to those of the Fi 156 Storch. Five Fi 97s, perhaps the total production, took part in the Challenge. Argus As 17-powered D-IPOS / 19, on the left , took third place behind two Polish RWD-9 aircraft. D-IVIF / 17 had a Hirth HM 8U and was flown by the engine maker's brother, Wolf Hirth. No 24 is a Klemm Kl 36. Photo from: Narodowe Archiwum Cyfrowe
Nine or ten examples were built of the ANT-6-4/M-34RD, a special variant of the TB-3 heavy bomber for flag-waving flights. Flights of three aircraft visited Warsaw, Paris and Rome in 1934. This machine in Cracow was probably bound for Rome. Photo from: Narodowe Archiwum Cyfrowe
Qantas was coerced into buying two 8-passenger Vickers Vulcans. Nicknamed the Flying Pig, it turned out it flew like one. G-EBET was assembled at Point Cook, Victoria, and flown to Longreach, Queensland, for Qantas to test. It failed dismally, unable to reach the promised altitude even when the payload was halved. Qantas cancelled its order. What happened to -EBET is not recorded. Where the photo was taken is unknown. Photo from: National Library of Australia
Only one aircraft of the type was built as a dedicated mailplane. It was designed to compete with the KLM mail services to N.E. Indies. With tail #6 it entered the famous McRobertson air race in 1934, but it was destroyed by fire after hitting an unlit tractor at Allahabad during its take off at night.
Four-seat twin-boom metal aircraft designed by Thomas Shelton as the Shelton Flying Wing, although it was not what we call a flying wing today. First flown in Denver, Colorado in 1935 with fixed landing gear which was made retractable later that year. In 1936 the design was sold to the Timm Aircraft Company here at Glendale, but no prodcution ensued. Photo by: John Underwood / Glendale Public Library
Using Avro 504 parts, the 547 was a five-seater with an extra set of wings to lift the heavier load. Proved unsuitable for Australian conditions and ended up as a chicken coop in Sydney. May never have been used on Qantas services. A second more powerful 547 for the UK Air Ministry was deemed too slow and too unstable and was quickly scrapped. Photo from: State Library of Queensland
The FK.50 eight-passenger airliner was ordered by the general manager of Alpar whom Frits Koolhoven had met in Davos in the spring of 1935. Three examples were built for this airline from Bern, this being the prototype. The second one, HB-AMO, soon crashed during blind-flying training but was replaced by the third, HB-AMA, an FK.50A with double tailfins. The type was well liked and operated Alpar's Bern-Paris-London service as late as 1946. HB-AMI was scrapped in 1947. The FK.50A even survived until 1962 when it crashed in Liberia as EL-ADV. Photo from: ETH-Bibliothek Zürich
Helicopter pioneer Frank Piasecki founded PV Engineering in 1940 and flew his first helicopter, the single seat PV-2, in 1943. Renamed Piasecki Helicopter Corporation in 1946, Mr. Piasecki left the company in 1955 to form the Piasecki Aircraft Company. Concentrating on compound helicopter and other advanced vertical flight designs, the original Pathfinder flew in 1962. Pictured at the Vertical Flight Society's Forum75, the larger Pathfinder II flew in 1965 under a joint Army/Navy development contract. It was returned to the Piasecki in 1968 for further company funded research.
The Avia BH-10 was a single-seat aerobatic sports plane built in Czechoslovakia in 1924, based on the Avia BH-9 but easily visually distinguished from it by the tall anti-roll pylon added behind the open cockpit in order to protect the pilot in the event that the aircraft flipped over or crashed while inverted. At least 20 examples were bought by the Czechoslovakian Army as a training aircraft with this example on display at the Národní technické muzeum in Prague.
The VBŠ Kuňkadlo is a Czechoslovak light single-seat sports airplane built by the brothers Vladimír and Bohuslav Šimůnková between 1924 to 1926. Problems identified after the first flight led to an extensive redesign and eventually a successful plane that performed at air shows throughout the country. After WWII it was donated to the Národní technické muzeum in Prague where it is now on display.
I tend to ignore any gliders at the various museums that I visit, however, the Czechoslovaks had such a long and proud heritage in producing excellent designs that it would be rude to do so. The Radek 3 first flew from Kbely in 1937 but the subsequent German occupation prevented any further development. In 1951 the frame was donated, by its creator František Kantor, to the the Národní technické muzeum in Prague for display.