Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Rolls Royce Armoured Car 1920 Mk.1

Here are some images of Roden's 1/35 scale Rolls Royce Armoured Car 1920 Mk.1

From Wikipedia"
The Rolls-Royce armoured car was a British armoured car developed in 1914 and used in World War I and in the early part of World War II.

The Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) raised the first British armoured car squadron during the First World War.[2] In September 1914 all available Rolls Royce Silver Ghost chassis were requisitioned to form the basis for the new armoured car. The following month a special committee of the Admiralty Air Department, among whom was Flight Commander T.G. Hetherington, designed the superstructure which consisted of armoured bodywork and a single fully rotating turret holding a regular water cooled Vickers machine gun.
The first three vehicles were delivered on 3 December 1914, although by then the mobile period on the Western Front, where the primitive predecessors of the Rolls-Royce cars had served, had already come to an end. Later in the war they served on several fronts of the Middle Eastern theatre. Chassis production was suspended in 1917 to enable Rolls-Royce to concentrate on aero engines.
The vehicle was modernized in 1920 and in 1924, resulting in the Rolls-Royce 1920 Pattern and Rolls-Royce 1924 Pattern. In 1940, 34 vehicles which served in Egypt with the 11th Hussars regiment had the "old" turret replaced with an open-topped unit carrying a Boys anti-tank rifle, .303-inch Bren machine gun and smoke-grenade launchers.
Some vehicles in Egypt and Iraq received new chassis from a Fordson truck and became known as Fordson Armoured Cars. Pictures  show them as equipped with what appear to be turrets fitted with a Boys ATR, a machine gun and twin light machine guns for anti-aircraft defence.

Six RNAS Rolls-Royce squadrons were formed of 12 vehicles each: one went to France; one to Africa to fight in the German colonies and in April 1915 two went to Gallipoli. From August 1915 onwards these were all disbanded and the materiel handed over to the Army which used them in the Light Armoured Motor Batteries of the Machine Gun Corps. The armoured cars were poorly suited to the muddy trench filled battlefields of the Western Front, but were able to operate in the Near East, so the squadron from France went to Egypt.
Lawrence of Arabia used a squadron in his operations against the Turkish forces. He called the unit of nine armoured Rolls-Royces "more valuable than rubies" in helping win his Revolt in the Desert. This impression would last with him the rest of his life; when asked by a journalist what he thought would be the thing he would most value he said "I should like my own Rolls-Royce car with enough tyres and petrol to last me all my life".

In the Irish Civil War (1922–1923), 13 Rolls-Royce armoured cars were given to the Irish Free State government by the British government to fight the Irish Republican Army. They were a major advantage to the Free State in street fighting and in protecting convoys against guerrilla attacks[citation needed] and played a vital role part in the retaking of Cork and Waterford. Incredibly, despite continued maintenance problems and poor reaction to Irish weather, they continued in service until 1944, being withdrawn once new tyres became unobtainable. Twelve of the Irish Army examples were stripped and sold in 1954.
At the outbreak of World War II, 76 vehicles were in service. They were used in operations in the Western Desert, in Iraq, and in Syria.By the end of 1941, they were withdrawn from the frontline service as modern armoured car designs became available. Some Indian Pattern cars saw use in the Indian subcontinent and Burma.

  • 1920 Pattern Mk I - thicker radiator armour and new wheels.
  • 1920 Pattern Mk IA - commander's cupola.
  • 1924 Pattern Mk I - turret with commander's cupola.
  • 1921 Indian Pattern - based on the 1920 Pattern. Had extended hull armour to provide extra space and a domed turret with four ball mounts for machine guns.
  • Fordson - based on a 1914 Pattern. Some vehicles in Egypt received new chassis from Fordson trucks.
A single experimental vehicle had the turret removed and replaced by a one-pounder automatic anti-aircraft gun on an open mounting. Some cars had Maxim machine guns instead of the Vickers gun.

  • ARR-2, Sliabh na mBan, 1920 Pattern Rolls-Royce was retained by the Irish army and is generally accepted to be the car that was accompanying Commander in Chief of the National Army, General Michael Collins on the day he was killed. It is the worlds oldest serving armoured vehicle and is one of only two original Rolls Royce armoured cars still running today It is regularly aired during parades and open days, often being driven under its own power. It has recently undergone a complete refurbishment, which involved a complete strip down and rebuild. It is maintained by the Irish Defence Forces Cavalry Corps in the Curragh Camp.
  • A Rolls-Royce 1920 Pattern Mark I is on display at the The Tank Museum in Bovington, England. The vehicle is displayed in the museum's inter-war years gallery. David Wiley, curator of the museum, called it "one of the best exhibits we have" 
  • One of the 12 sold (ARR-1 Danny Boy/Tom Keogh) survives with a collector in England.[citation needed] This vehicle carries replica bodywork.
  • A 1920 pattern Rolls Royce armoured car is displayed in sand colour at the RAF Regiment Heritage Centre at RAF Honington. It had previously been on display at the RAF Museum at Hendon. The armour is a facsimile of the original, built on an original Rolls-Royce chassis in the 1960s.
  • A Rolls Royce armoured car replica is on display at Eaton Hall, Cheshire, home of the Duke of Westminster, and can be viewed at charity open days of the Hall.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Bristol M.1 C

Here are some images of Special hobby's 1/32 scale Bristol M.1 C.

From Wikipedia"
In 1916, Frank Barnwell, chief designer of Bristol Aeroplane Company, realising that the performance of existing fighter aircraft was inadequate, designed a new single-seat tractor monoplane fighter as a private venture, the Bristol M.1.
The first prototype, the M.1A made its maiden flight on 14 July 1916. It was of conventional wood and fabric construction, with a carefully streamlined circular cross-section fuselage. The wing was shoulder mounted and was braced with flying wires running from the wing to the lower fuselage and landing wires from the wings to a cabane made of two semi-circular steel tube hoops positioned over the pilot's cockpit. A 110 horsepower (82 kW) Clerget rotary engine drove a two-bladed propeller fitted with a large hemispherical spinner to reduce drag. It was purchased by the War Office for evaluation, and demonstrated impressive performance during official testing, reaching a speed of 128 miles per hour (206 km/h) and climbing to 10,000 feet (3,000 m) in 8 minutes 30 seconds, although the forward and downward view was criticized by test pilots.
The War Office ordered four modified aircraft, designated M.1B, in October 1916. These differed from the first prototype in having a more conventional cabane consisting of a pyramid of four straight steel struts, a large clear-view cut-out panel in the starboard wing root to give improved view for landing and a single .303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machine gun mounted on the port wing root.
Despite excellent performance - it had a maximum speed some 30-50 mph (50–80 km/h) higher than any of the contemporary German Fokker Eindecker and French Morane-Saulnier N monoplanes - it was rejected by the Air Ministry for service on the Western Front, ostensibly because its landing speed of 49 mph was considered too high for small French airfields, but more likely because of a widespread belief that monoplane aircraft were inherently unsafe in combat. The RFC had imposed a ban on monoplanes after the crash of one of the Bristol-Coanda Monoplanes on 10 September 1912, and despite the subsequent 1913 Monoplane Committee clearing the design type there persisted a deep-rooted suspicion of monoplanes. This suspicion may also have been re-inforced by the RFC's underwhelming experience with various Morane-Saulnier monoplanes, especially the Morane-Saulnier N, which was also criticised for its high landing speed.
Nevertheless, a production order for 125 aircraft was placed on 3 August 1917. Designated M.1C, this version was fitted with a Le Rhône rotary engine and had a Vickers machine gun centrally-mounted in front of the pilot.
A single M.1, registered G-EAVP was rebuilt as a high-speed testbed for the Bristol Lucifer three cylinder radial engine. This aircraft was designated the M.1D.

Thirty-three M.1Cs served in the Middle East and the Balkans in 1917–18, while the rest were used by UK-based training units, where they were popular as personal mounts for senior officers.
One pilot of the M.1Cs that served on the Macedonian Front was Captain Frederick Dudley Travers DFC of No. 150 Squadron RAF, the only ace on this type. Travers switched from the Royal Aircraft Factory SE.5a, in which he had scored three of his four kills and scored the last five of his victories between 2 and 16 September 1918, possibly all in the M.1C serial number C4976. Amongst his victims was a Fokker D.VII, widely regarded as the best German fighter of its day.
Twelve were sent to Chile on second half of 1918 in part payment for the battleships Almirante Latorre and Almirante Cochrane being built for Chile in Britain but commandeered for the Royal Navy before completion. One of these, flown by Lt. Dagoberto Godoy, was used to fly from Santiago to Mendoza, Argentina and back on 12 December 1918, the first flight across the Andes mountain chain.
The Lucifer engined M.1D, painted red and registered G-EAVP, was successfully raced during 1922, winning the handicap prize in the 1922 Aerial Derby, piloted by L.L. Carter. The next year it was fitted with a specially tuned 140 hp (100 kW) Lucifer and entered for the Grosvenor Cup, during which it is crashed at Chertsey on approach to Croydon Airport, killing the pilot, Ernest Leslie Foot.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Fiat 806 Grand Prix

Here are some images of Italeri's (Protar Molds) 1/12 scale Fiat 806 Grand Prix.

From Wikipedia"
The Fiat 806 Driven Stroke, sometimes described as the Fiat 806 and Fiat 806/406 Grand Prix, was a racing car created by the Turin-based company in 1927 , which represented the first cars to Grand Prix ever built. For the Fiat it was also the last.
 In 1923 the persuasoria ability to Enzo Ferrari , at the time of the driver and factotum ' Alfa Corse , had torn Vittorio Jano and his coaching entourage at Fiat, to bring it to' Alfa Romeo . After the resounding defeat at the Lyon Grand Prix of 1924 , feeling betrayed, Giovanni Agnelli took one of his decisions in a rush: the racing team Fiat withdrew from the Grand Prix and suspended the construction of the new car from Grand Prix, designed by the young engineers Quiet Zerbi and Alberto Massimino .
But the choice had favored the Alfa Romeo that, in the absence of her rival, began collecting a number of important sporting victories that stimulated sales at the expense of Fiat. Determined to break the supremacy of the ' Alfa Romeo P2 , in 1927 the Fiat leadership gave orders to the Department special construction to start developing a car that can fulfill that undertaking, demonstrating the competitiveness of the Turin maintained.
Moreover, the new international regulation of the Formula Grand Prix had diminished the capacity maximum of 2,000 to 1,500 cm³ and the latest version of the previous model " 805 " was now at its maximum possible evolution. It was therefore necessary to build a completely new car. Zerbi and Massimino dusted off the previous project, making substantial changes.
 Both the engine and the chassis were designed to exceed in originality and performance, the limits set by the technical era.
For the engine were devised two half-blocks of six cylinders in line to be coupled to form a twelve-cylinder engine with available U . The distribution was two overhead valves, controlled by three overlying camshafts and boost was provided by a compressor Roots .
The most innovative part, however, was in the frame and bodywork. In order to lower the center of gravity the two engineers thought to prepare the engine and gearbox no longer rests on the two supporting spars of the frame, but sandwiched between them, including giving greater torsional rigidity. The solution involved a smaller distance between the longitudinal members which did not allow sufficient space for the traditional passenger compartment. However, the improved reliability of the engines had already dispensed with the presence of the co-driver-mechanic, at least for the short-lived races, and it was decided to remove the seat next to the pilot, thus creating the first grand prix in history motoring.
In all four engines they were built twelve-cylinder "Type 406" and a single frame "Type 806".
 Compared to the technical specifications of the time, the Fiat 806 came immediately notice the ground clearance and the very small front section. The house declared a power of 187 hp at 8,500 rpm / min and a speed of about 240 km / h , with an average consumption of about 35 liters per 100 km. Equipped with a 4-speed gearbox and reverse, he boasted rigid axle suspension and mechanical shocks, with drum brakes on all four wheels, mechanically controlled and assisted by hydraulic brake booster.
Embellished with many technical innovations and an engine of exuberant specific power, the "806" immediately revealed to the two test drivers, Salamano Carlo and Pietro Bordino , the difficulty of development and the fragility of the engine to the prolonged efforts. Not to mention the inadequacy of the components of that time, compared to the benefits.
For these reasons it was decided to register the car to the Grand Prix of Milan , on the distance of 50 km, and not at the European Grand Prix , on the distance of 500 km. Both races disputed, consecutively, on September 4, 1927 on the circuit of Monza .
The renewal of the challenge at the summit between Fiat and Alfa Romeo brought an overflow crowd on the circuit, despite the heavy rain the day and insistent. In addition to the return from the USA , he returned to Pietro Bordino for the occasion from the USA , where he had moved after the withdrawal of Fiat from racing, to attract the crowd contributed to the presence of the steering wheel axis of Milan Grand Prix as Giuseppe Campari , Aymo Maggi , Emilio Mattresses and Tazio Nuvolari .
The track conditions due to rain were particularly unfavorable to the Fiat 806 and its super-fractionated engine that certainly could not excel in elasticity and smoothness of delivery. However, due to the superior stability of the new chassis, Bordino won the preliminaries batteries, making sure to end what today would be called the pole position and won the victory, in front of ' Alfa Romeo P2 from Campari and Bugatti T35 Maggi, inflicting gap of more than a minute for the second place and also clinching the fastest lap of the entire motoring day, at an average of 155.410 km / h.
 After this test of competitiveness, everything augured well for the season of 1928 , but the Fiat considered ended the demo experience, and announced his retirement again in the Formula Grand Prix, this time, was final.
The order of destruction of the prototype and the accompanying materials came directly from the Agnelli senator . The Fiat 806 and the spare engines were dismembered to recover reusable parts and the rest came under the press , for the smelter . To document the progenitor of the modern single-seater Formula 1 , there are only a few photographs.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Graf Zeppelin

Here are some images of Lindberg/Hawk 1/245 scale Graf Zeppelin.

From Wikipedia"
LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin (Deutsches Luftschiff Zeppelin #127; Registration: D-LZ 127) was a German-built and -operated, passenger-carrying, hydrogen-filled, rigid airship which operated commercially from 1928 to 1937. When it entered commercial service in 1928, it became the first commercial passenger transatlantic flight service in the world. It was named after the German pioneer of airships, Ferdinand von Zeppelin, who was a count (Graf) in the German nobility. During its operating life, the airship made 590 flights covering more than 1.7 million kilometers (over 1 million miles). It was designed to be operated by a crew of 36 officers and men. The LZ 127 was the longest rigid airship at the time of its completion and was only surpassed by the USS Akron in 1931. It was scrapped for fighter plane parts in 1940.

Built at the Zeppelin Company works (Luftschiffbau Zeppelin) in Friedrichshafen am Bodensee (Lake Constance), Germany, between 1926 and 1928, the LZ-127 had a design patterned on that of the LZ-126, which the company had delivered as a war reparation to the U.S. Navy. The LZ-126 had been delivered at NAS Lakehurst, New Jersey, in October 1924, where it was commissioned as the USS Los Angeles (ZR-3).[2] With that project completed, the Zeppelin company's chairman Dr. Hugo Eckener promptly began a two-year campaign of lobbying the German Government for funds and permission to proceed with construction of a new airship for Germany. Construction began in 1926 with the aid of a government grant although the majority of the necessary 2 million Reichsmarks (RM) in funding would eventually be raised by public subscription. The LZ 127 was completed and launched in September 1928.
At 236.6 m (776 ft) and a total gas volume of 105,000 m3 (3,700,000 cu ft) of which 75,000 m3 (2,600,000 cu ft) was hydrogen carried in 17 "lift gas" cells (Traggaszelle) and 30,000 m3 (1,100,000 cu ft) was Blau gas in 12 "power gas" cells (Kraftgaszelle), the Graf was the largest airship in the world at the time. It was powered by five Maybach VL-2 12-cylinder 550 hp engines that could burn either Blau gas or gasoline.
Although the Graf could achieve a top airspeed of 128 km/h (36 m/s; 80 mph; 69 kn) at its maximum power of 1,980 kW (2,650 hp), its normal operational airspeed was 117 km/h (33 m/s; 73 mph; 63 kn) at a power of 1,600 kW (2,150 hp). Some flights were made using only Blau gas carried in the dozen power gas cells which enabled the airship to cruise for up to 100 hours. Using gasoline alone it was able to cruise for 67 hours, and up to 118 hours using both. The Graf Zeppelin had a total lift capacity of 87,000 kg (192,000 lb) with a usable payload of 15,000 kg (33,000 lb) on a 10,000 km (6,200 mi; 5,400 nmi) flight.

The LZ 127 was christened Graf Zeppelin by Countess Brandenstein-Zeppelin on 8 July 1928, the 90th anniversary of the birth of her father Ferdinand. The Zeppelin Company had originally planned to charter LZ 127 to a Spanish company to carry mail from Seville in Spain to Buenos Aires, Argentina, and a contract was signed just before the first flight of the airship with the intention to carry out test flights between Spain and Argentina in 1929.
The Graf Zeppelin's operational career spanned almost nine years from first flight in September 1928 until its last in June 1937. During that period, the airship was operated first by the Zeppelin Company's commercial flight arm, the Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-Aktiengesellschaft (German Airship Travel Corporation, DELAG) in conjunction with the Hamburg-American Line (HAPAG), and for the final two years by the Deutsche Zeppelin Reederei GmbH (DZR), a company established by Hermann Göring in March 1935 to increase Nazi party influence over Zeppelin operations. The DZR was jointly owned by the Luftschiffbau Zeppelin, the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (German Air Ministry), and Deutsche Lufthansa A.G., Germany's national airline at that time.

From 1928 to 1932 the airship was used primarily for experimental and demonstration purposes to prepare the way for eventual regular commercial transatlantic passenger service. After making six domestic shakedown flights, the airship made a first long distance journey in October 1928 crossing the Atlantic to the United States. Later demonstration flights included a round-the-world tour in August 1929, a Europe-Pan American flight in 1930, a polar expedition in 1931, two round trips to the Middle East, and a variety of other flights around Europe. In 1932, however, the Graf Zeppelin began five years of providing regularly scheduled passenger, mail, and freight service between Germany and South America (Brazil). These commercial operations were the airship's principal function during this period until it was abruptly withdrawn from active service on the day after the loss of the Hindenburg in May 1937 after having made a total of 64 round trips to Brazil. During the return trip to Germany on its last South American flight for 1933, the Graf Zeppelin also stopped in Miami (NAS Miami at Opa-Locka), Akron (Goodyear-Zeppelin Company Airdock), and the "Century of Progress" world's fair in Chicago.[citation needed]
Other flights were also made to Spain London, Berlin and Moscow. During one of the Berlin visits a glider that was released from under its hull performed a loop in front of cheering crowds,and on one of the Brazil trips British Pathé News filmed on board.

Flown German "First 1934 South America Flight" cover
While passengers paid premium fares to fly on the LZ 127 (1,500 RM from Germany to Rio de Janeiro in 1934, equal to then $590 US dollars  or $10,600 US dollars in 2016 ), with fees collected for both high value freight and air mail provided much if not most of the income needed to support the airship's commercial operations. In one transatlantic flight, for instance, the Graf Zeppelin carried 52,000 postcards and 50,000 covers, and by its last flight it had flown 48,080 kg (106,000 pounds) of mail overall. Since 1912 Zeppelins had been authorized by the German postal administration to postmark and sort mail on board and was able to deliver South America-bound post about a week faster than by ship.
During the airship's operational career, the Graf Zeppelin flew more than 1.7 million km (1,056,000 miles), becoming the first aircraft in history to fly over a million miles, made 590 flights, 144 oceanic crossings (143 across the Atlantic, one across the Pacific), carried 13,110 passengers, and spent 17,177 hours aloft (the equivalent of 717 days, or nearly two years), all of which was accomplished without ever injuring a passenger or crewman. Although scrapped in 1940, hundreds of thousands of verifiable philatelic mementos of its career still exist in the form of the flown cacheted and post marked mail carried on hundreds of its flights which are still avidly collected by stamp and postal history enthusiasts worldwide.

It was in its last five years of service that Graf Zeppelin proved that an intercontinental commercial airship service was possible. For those five years it operated regular scheduled services during the summer season between Germany and South America. The Zeppelin Company built a large hangar in Rio de Janeiro, then Brazil's capital city, the construction of which was subsidized by the Brazilian government. Designed and assembled with parts brought from Germany, the hangar was used only nine times: four by the Graf and five by the LZ-129 Hindenburg.

LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin over Rio de Janeiro
The Graf Zeppelin was too small and slow for the North Atlantic service, yet because of the blau gas fuel, was just capable of carrying out the South Atlantic route. The onset of regular airline service also led to a drastic reduction in the number of flights being made by the airship which, having logged almost 200 flights in 1930-31, made fewer than 60 in 1932.
The loss of the D-LZ 129 Hindenburg at Lakehurst on 6 May 1937 shattered public faith in the safety of hydrogen-filled airships making the continuation of their commercial passenger operations unsustainable unless the Graf Zeppelin and the still under construction LZ 130 Graf Zeppelin II could convert to non-flammable helium, the only alternative lifting gas for airships. Unlike the relatively inexpensive and universally available hydrogen, however, the vast majority of the world's available supplies of the much more costly, less buoyant, and harder to produce helium (which is an extracted byproduct of mined natural gas) were controlled by the United States. Since 1925, the exportation of helium had also been tightly restricted by Congress, although there is no record that the German Government had ever applied for an export license for helium to use in its airships prior to the Hindenburg's crash and fire.
Though much safer than hydrogen, the greatly added expense, lack of availability, and overall degradation in lifting performance that converting to helium would impose on the Graf Zeppelin made its continued operation no longer commercially viable. One day after the Hindenburg crashed in Lakehurst, the nine-year-old LZ 127 was grounded and withdrawn from service on its arrival in Friedrichshafen after a flight from Brazil on 8 May 1937. Six weeks later, on 18 June, the airship was ferried to Frankfurt am Main on what would be its 590th and final flight. On its arrival at its massive hangar at the Frankfurt airport, the airship was deflated and opened to the public as a museum.
The Graf Zeppelin had already been decommissioned and retired after the Hindenburg disaster, when President Roosevelt approved and forwarded a Cabinet report to Congress that supported exporting enough helium to Germany to permit the launched Hindenburg Class LZ-130 Graf Zeppelin II, which was designed to use either hydrogen or helium, to resume commercial transatlantic passenger service by 1939. By early 1938, however, firm opposition by Interior Secretary Harold Ickes, formally made in his capacity of one of the six statutory members of the National Munitions Control Board, to a German request to purchase up to 10,000,000 cubic feet (280,000 m3) of helium made that impossible.
Established by §5(a) of the Neutrality Act of May 1, 1937 (22 U.S.C. 441), the Board (which consisted of the Secretaries of State, War, Navy, Treasury, Commerce, and Interior), was vested by the Act with the ultimate authority to both prohibit the export to "belligerent states, or to a state wherein civil strife exists" of any type of "arms, ammunition, and implements of war" as well as restrict the transfer of any other "articles or materials" such as helium which the Government classified as having "military importance."
At a White House press briefing on 11 May 1938, President Roosevelt's press secretary Stephen Early announced that as the Act required the "unanimous" consent of the Control Board to approve the export of helium to Germany, the President had concluded that he was "without legal power to override the judgment of any one of the six [members] and direct the sale of helium for export." In response to this statement, Dr. Eckener commented later that same day that "should this decision be final, I am afraid it means the death sentence for commercial lighter-than-air craft."
Although the Graf Zeppelin II made 30 test, promotional, propaganda and military surveillance flights around Europe between the airship's launch in mid-September 1938 and its last flight 11 months later on 20 August, made just 10 days before the formal start of World War II in Europe with the German invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939, the LZ 130 never entered the commercial passenger service for which it was built. The ultimate fates of both the original Graf Zeppelin (LZ 127) and the Graf Zeppelin II (LZ 130) were formally sealed on 4 March 1940, when German Air Minister Hermann Göring issued a decree ordering both to be immediately scrapped for salvage and their duralumin airframes and other structures to be melted down for reuse by the German military aircraft industry.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Hawker FB 11 Sea Fury

Here are some more images of Fisher Model and Pattern's 1/32 scale Hawker FB 11 Sea Fury.

From Wikipedia "The Hawker Sea Fury was a British fighter aircraft developed for the Royal Navy by Hawker during the Second World War. The last propeller-driven fighter to serve with the Royal Navy, it was also one of the fastest production single piston-engined aircraft ever built.

The Hawker Fury was an evolutionary successor to the successful Hawker Typhoon and Tempest fighters and fighter-bombers of World War II. The Fury was designed in 1942 by Sydney Camm, the famous Hawker designer, to meet the Royal Air Force’s requirement for a lightweight Tempest Mk.II replacement. Developed as the "Tempest Light Fighter", it used modified Tempest semi-elliptical outer wing panels, bolted and riveted together on the fuselage centerline. The fuselage itself was similar to the Tempest, but fully monocoque with a higher cockpit for better visibility. The Air Ministry was sufficiently impressed by the design to write Specification F.2/43 around the concept.
Six prototypes were ordered; two were to be powered by Rolls-Royce Griffon engines, two with Centaurus XXIIs, one with a Centaurus XII and one as a test structure. The first Fury to fly, on 1 September 1944, was NX798 with a Centaurus XII with rigid engine mounts, powering a Rotol four-blade propeller. Second on 27 November 1944 was LA610, which had a Griffon 85 and Rotol six-blade contra-rotating propeller. By now development of the Fury and Sea Fury was closely interlinked so that the next prototype to fly was a Sea Fury, SR661, described under "Naval Conversion." NX802 (25 July 1945) was the last Fury prototype, powered by a Centaurus XV. With the ending of the Second World War in Europe, the RAF Fury contract was cancelled and development centred on the Sea Fury. LA610 was eventually fitted with a Napier Sabre VII, which was capable of developing 3,400-4,000 hp (2,535-2,983 kW). As a result it became the fastest piston engined Hawker aircraft, reaching a speed of around 485 mph (780 km/h).
The Royal Navy’s earlier Supermarine Seafire had never been completely suitable for carrier use, having a poor view for landing and a narrow-track undercarriage that made landings and takeoffs "tricky". Consequently, the Sea Fury F X (later F 10) replaced it on most carriers. Sea Furies were issued to Nos. 736, 738, 759 and 778 Squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm.
The F 10 was followed by the Sea Fury FB 11 fighter-bomber variant, which eventually reached a production total of 650 aircraft. The Sea Fury remained the Fleet Air Arm’s primary fighter-bomber until 1953 and the introduction of the Hawker Sea Hawk and Supermarine Attacker.
A total of 74 Sea Furies FB 11 (and one FB 10) served with the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) between 1948 and 1956. All flew from the aircraft carrier HMCS Magnificent in 871 squadron.
The last flights of the Canadian Sea Furies were made by Lieutenant Commander Derek Prout, who ferried WG565 to Calgary, Alberta to serve as an instructional airframe at the local Provincial Institute of Technology, and F/O Lynn Garrison who flew WG565 on 1 April 1958.
Because production continued until well after the end of the Second World War and aircraft remained in Royal Navy service until 1955, dozens of airframes have survived in varying levels of condition. A number of Sea Furies were overhauled by Hawker Aircraft at their factory at Blackpool during 1959 and supplied to civil companies in Germany, equipped with target-towing gear for Luftwaffe contract flying. Some of these aircraft survive today, owned and operated by warbird enthusiasts.
Around a dozen heavily modified Sea Furies are raced regularly at the Reno Air Races as of 2009. Most of these replace the original sleeve-valve Centaurus radial, because rotational speed and tuning potential are limited in contrast to more conventional engines such as the Rolls Royce Merlin. Most racing Sea Furies use the Pratt & Whitney Wasp Major or the Wright R-3350 Duplex-Cyclone radial engine.
WJ232, the aircraft 'Hogey' Carmichael flew during the 9 August 1952 action which resulted in him being credited with the destruction of a MiG-15 jet fighter, remains in operation in Australia in its original Royal Navy markings, with civil registration VH-SHF.
Following their retirement, something like 46 Sea Furies were stored in a wooden World War Two hangar. Some had less than 4 hours total time - little more than factory test flights. As they were about to be sold to Lynn Garrison, and his associates, by Crown Assets Disposal Corporation, a fire destroyed the hangar and its contents. The aircraft were being offered to Ramfis Trujillo, son of the Dominican president, who was studying at America's Leavenworth Army School.
Many additional airframes remain as static displays in museums worldwide. One of these ex- RCN WG565 is on display in Calgary, Alberta, Canada (I walked on the wing of this aircraft). It was ferried there for instructional use in the Alberta Provincial Institute of Technology by Lieutenant Commander Derek Prout. On 1 April 1958, Flying Officer Lynn Garrison, of 403 City of Calgary Squadron, RCAF, made the last military flight for this type in Canada.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Nieuport Ni 17B "Binky"

Here are some images on Hobby Craft's 1/32 scale Nieuport Ni 17.

From IPMS Stockholm -

The Nieuport 17B designation was only used by the British RNAS for the ten of these aircraft that it obtained. These aircraft were basically the same as the Type 17, but fitted with a Le Rhone 80-hp engine to make them lighter and thereby increase their range. The RNAS received all ten of its aircraft (Serial Nos 3956 - 3958 and 8745 - 8751) by August 1916 before the French official designation of Type 21 for them was introduced, so they remained known as Type 17B to the British throughout their service.
The aircraft is in the standard French camouflage scheme of dull green and brown, with the engine cowling, struts, and tail skid mounting in their natural metal or wood colours. The roundels are of the normal British type on the wings, and the serial number is painted in white on the rear fuselage. Note that the wheel covers are painted white.
No. 3956 served with the RNAS from August 1916 until May 1917, during which time it operated with four different squadrons. The name BINKY was painted on it in white whilst it was with 3 Squadron.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

1907 Fiat 130 HP

Here are some images of Pocher's 1/8 scale 1907 Fiat 130 HP.
The wood paneling and the rope wrapping around the spring suspensions were additions by me and did not come with the kit.
How did I get a hold of such an expensive kit? I got lucky when a friend of mine found it complete at a fraction of the price.

From Wikipedia"
The Fiat 130 HP is a Grand Prix racing car made by Fiat in 1907 to a design by Giovanni Enrico. Built solely for Grand Prix motor racing, the Fiat 130 HP included new design features, such as overhead valves and hemispherical compression chambers.
 Prior to 1906, Fiat had only experienced limited success on the racing circuit owing to their use of less powerful cars. The most successful of these models was the 28/40HP Corsa, which provided a maximum of 40 hp. Another successful design was the 60 horsepower Fiat 60 HP. The manufacturer lacked a high powered engine compared to the French who dominated the circuit at that time with the Renault Grand Prix, which featured a 90 hp engine. By 1907, a new formula was introduced to govern Grand Prix motor racing which allowed for cars with larger and heavier engines to compete. The new regulations included changes to fuel consumption (a maximum of 30 liters per 100 km/9.42 mpg) and eliminated the weight and displacement limits. Fiat chose to develop a new race car designed to the new standards and featured an engine which could generate 130 hp.

The project was entrusted to John Henry as the project manager who had previously worked as a co-designer on an earlier 100 horsepower racer in 1905. He developed the 130 HP while working with designer Giovanni Enrico and technical directors Guido Fornaca and Carlo Cavalli. The new design featured a chain final drive and a front-mounted 4-cylinder, 16,286 cc engine. The new engine incorporated multiple innovations for its time, including an oversquare bore greater than the stroke, overhead valves, hemispherical combustion chambers and centrally located spark plugs.
The ignition for the 130 HP was provided by a Simms-Bosch magneto, while the power was controlled by a single carburetor. Despite the weight of more than 1000 kg (each piston had a weight of 4.5 kg) the wheels were still made of wood.

The car performed well during the Targa Florio (First race of the season), which was won by Felice Nazzaro followed by Vincenzo Lancia who came in second place.
Nazzaro also won the Kaiserpreis that took place on the Taunus circuit. The other two cars which Fiat entrusted to Lancia and Louis Wagner finished fifth and sixth respectively.
The team of Nazzaro, Wagner and Lancia was deployed to the 1907 French Grand Prix that took place in Dieppe. During the first 3 laps, Wagner kept the lead, but because of a fault he had to withdraw from the race. Lancia briefly took the lead but owing to engine trouble, he also retired. The race was eventually won by Nazzaro.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Airco DH.2

Here are some images of Wingnut Wings 1/32 scale Airco DH.2 fighter.

From Wikipedia"
The Airco DH.2 was a single-seat biplane "pusher" aircraft which operated as a fighter during the First World War. It was the second pusher design by Geoffrey de Havilland for Airco, based on his earlier DH.1 two-seater. The DH.2 was the first effectively armed British single-seat fighter and enabled Royal Flying Corps (RFC) pilots to counter the "Fokker Scourge" that had given the Germans the advantage in the air in late 1915. Until the British developed a synchronisation gear to match the German system, pushers such as the DH.2 and the F.E.2b carried the burden of fighting and escort duties.

Early air combat over the Western Front indicated the need for a single-seat fighter with forward-firing armament. As no means of firing forward through the propeller of a tractor aeroplane was available to the British, Geoffrey de Havilland designed the DH.2 as a smaller, single-seat development of the earlier two-seat DH.1 pusher design. The DH.2 first flew in July 1915.
The DH.2 was armed with a single .303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis gun which was originally able to be positioned on one of three flexible mountings in the cockpit, with the pilot transferring the gun between mountings in flight at the same time as flying the aircraft. Once pilots learned that the best method of achieving a kill was to aim the aircraft rather than the gun, the machine gun was fixed in the forward-facing centre mount, although this was initially banned by higher authorities until a clip which fixed the gun in place but could be released if required was approved. Major Lanoe Hawker devised the clip. He also improved the gunsights, adding a ring sight and an "aiming off model" that helped the gunner allow for leading a target.
The majority of DH.2s were fitted with the 100 hp (75 kW) Gnôme Monosoupape rotary engine, but later models received the 110 hp (82 kW) Le Rhône 9J.
Other sources advise the Gnôme Monosoupape, nine-cylinder, air-cooled rotary, 100 hp (75 kW) engine was retained in the DH. 2 design despite its tendency for shedding cylinders in midair; one DH.2 was fitted experimentally with a 110 hp (82 kW) le Rhône 9J.
A total of 453 DH.2s were produced by Airco.

After evaluation at Hendon on 22 June 1915, the first DH.2 arrived in France for operational trials with No. 5 RFC Squadron but was shot down and its pilot killed (although the DH.2 was recovered and repaired by the Germans). No. 24 Squadron RFC, the first squadron equipped with the DH.2 and the first complete squadron entirely equipped with single-seat fighters in the RFC, arrived in France in February 1916. The DH.2 ultimately equipped seven fighter squadrons on the Western Front and quickly proved more than a match for the Fokker Eindecker. DH.2s were also heavily engaged during the Battle of the Somme, No. 24 Squadron alone engaging in 774 combats and destroying 44 enemy machines. The DH.2 had sensitive controls and at a time when service training for pilots in the RFC was very poor it initially had a high accident rate, gaining the nickname "The Spinning Incinerator", but as familiarity with the type increased, it was recognised as very manoeverable and relatively easy to fly. The rear-mounted rotary engine made the DH.2 easy to stall, but also made it highly maneuverable.
The arrival at the front of more powerful German tractor biplane fighters such as the Halberstadt D.II and the Albatros D.I, which appeared in September 1916, meant that the DH.2 was outclassed in turn. It remained in first line service in France, however, until No. 24 and No. 32 Squadron RFC completed re-equipment with Airco DH.5s in June 1917, and a few remained in service on the Macedonian front, “A” Flight of No. 47 Squadron and a joint R.F.C. / R.N.A.S. fighter squadron  and X” Flight  in Palestine until late autumn of that year. By this time the type was totally obsolete as a fighter, although it was used as an advanced trainer into 1918. DH.2s were progressively retired and at war's end no surviving airframes were retained.
In 1970, Walter M. Redfern from Seattle, Washington built a replica DH.2 powered by a Kinner 125-150 hp engine and subsequently, Redfern sold plans to home builders. Currently a number of the DH.2 replicas are flying worldwide.
Distinguished pilots of the DH.2 included Victoria Cross winner Lanoe Hawker (seven victories, though none in the DH.2), who was the first commander of No. 24 Squadron and Alan Wilkinson. The commander of No. 32 Squadron, Lionel Rees won the Victoria Cross flying the D.H.2 for single-handedly attacking a formation of ten German two-seaters on 1 July 1916, destroying two. James McCudden became an ace in DH.2s to start his career as the British Empire's fourth-ranking ace of the war. German ace and tactician Oswald Boelcke was killed during a dogfight with No. 24 Squadron DH.2s due to a collision with one of his own wingmen, Erwin Böhme. Fourteen aces scored five or more aerial victories using the DH.2; many went on to further success in later types also.
Lanoe George Hawker V.C., D.S.O., commanding officer of No. 24 Squadron flying a DH. 2 was shot down by Manfred von Richthofen of Jasta 2 flying an Albatros D.II.