General Aviation News reader Jack Handy recently sent in a batch of U.S. Air Force photos that were gathered by Wilber Clouser, an Air Force Systems Command technical editor of handbooks after World War II.
One interesting subset of these photos shows aircraft from several manufacturers that were efforts to meet the needs of the oncoming jet age. Some designs shunned jets, using more economical piston engines as stopgap powerplants until jet developments rendered those aircraft obsolete in the early 1950s.
The problems facing the Air Force, and designers, revolved around jet engine developments and the need for range and speed unheard of during the recently concluded World War II.
In an era when cutting and bending aluminum was the mainstay of airframe builders, it was relatively easy for contractors to build a few prototypes. Designs proliferated in the last half of the 1940s, but not all bore the fruit of long-term production.