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Friday, January 19, 2018

Nakajima A6M2-N Rufe

Here are some images of Trumpeter's 1/24 scale Nakajima A6M2-N Rufe.
Back in the day the very idea of a 1/24 scale Rufe would have been very unlikely.
But thanks to Trumpeter there are now not only a Rufe, but a Spitfire float plane and a Spitfire Mk VI  various Mk V's and now coming soon a Junkers 87 A. Back then these aircraft in model kit form would have either only been found in garage kit form or a limited release special edition, let alone in 1/24 scale. The Rufe itself was a straight forward build with no real issues. An impressive display on any shelf.

From Wikipedia"
The Nakajima A6M2-N (Navy Type 2 Interceptor/Fighter-Bomber) was a single-crew floatplane based on the Mitsubishi A6M Zero Model 11. The Allied reporting name for the aircraft was Rufe.
 The A6M2-N floatplane was developed from the Mitsubishi A6M Type 0, mainly to support amphibious operations and defend remote bases. It was based on the A6M-2 Model 11 fuselage, with a modified tail and added floats. A total of 327 were built, including the original prototype.

The aircraft was deployed in 1942, referred to as the "Suisen 2" ("Hydro fighter type 2"), and was only utilized in defensive actions in the Aleutians and Solomon Islands operations. Such seaplanes were effective in harassing American PT boats at night. They could also drop flares to illuminate the PTs which were vulnerable to destroyer gunfire, and depended on cover of darkness.
A6M2-Ns at Attu, Alaska
The seaplane also served as an interceptor for protecting fueling depots in Balikpapan and Avon Bases (Dutch East Indies) and reinforced the Shumushu base (North Kuriles) in the same period. Such fighters served aboard seaplane carriers Kamikawa Maru in the Solomons and Kuriles areas and aboard Japanese raiders Hokoku Maru and Aikoku Maru in Indian Ocean raids. In the Aleutian Campaign this fighter engaged with RCAF Curtiss P-40, Lockheed P-38 Lightning fighters and Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bombers.[citation needed] The aircraft was used for interceptor, fighter-bomber, and short reconnaissance support for amphibious landings, among other uses.
Later in the conflict the Otsu Air Group utilized the A6M2-N as an interceptor alongside Kawanishi N1K1 Kyofu ("Rex") aircraft based in Biwa lake in the Honshū area.
The last A6M2-N in military service was a single example recovered by the French forces in Indochina after the end of World War II. It crashed shortly after being overhauled.
The large float and wing pontoons of the A6M2-N degraded its performance by only about 20%. However, this caused the A6M2-N to be unable to confront the first generation of Allied fighters

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Hurdy-Gurdy

Here are some images of UGears Hurdy-Gurdy wooden laser etched model kit.
I've always wanted to try one of these if anything just to see what they were about.
A fun simple kit and it looks great on a wall.
I wouldn't try to stain the wood though. There are a lot of imperfections.
Musically speaking it sounds like an old chicken's death rattle but it actually works.

From Wikipedia"
The hurdy-gurdy is a stringed instrument that produces sound by a hand crank-turned, rosined wheel rubbing against the strings. The wheel functions much like a violin bow, and single notes played on the instrument sound similar to those of a violin. Melodies are played on a keyboard that presses tangents—small wedges, typically made of wood—against one or more of the strings to change their pitch. Like most other acoustic stringed instruments, it has a sound board and hollow cavity to make the vibration of the strings audible.
Most hurdy-gurdies have multiple drone strings, which give a constant pitch accompaniment to the melody, resulting in a sound similar to that of bagpipes. For this reason, the hurdy-gurdy is often used interchangeably or along with bagpipes, particularly in Occitan, Catalan, Cajun French and contemporary Asturian, Cantabric, Galician, and Hungarian folk music.
Many folk music festivals in Europe feature music groups with hurdy-gurdy players. The most famous has been held since 1976 at Saint-Chartier in the Indre département in Central France. In 2009, it relocated nearby to the Château d'Ars at La Châtre, where it continues to take place during the week nearest July 14 (Bastille Day).

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Work Of Nick Porter


Here is Nick's 1/6 Stormtrooper and 1/12 Clonetrooper from Bandai. These kits are great. They come with a variety of hands and weapons. Easy to build.

Monday, January 8, 2018

USS Defiant NX -74205

Here are some images of AMT/Ertl 1/420 scale USS Defiant NX-74205 from the television series Star Trek Deep Space Nine.
This model is an original release that I built back in the 90's. Hence why there is no lights. But I have to admit it holds up pretty well considering its age.

From Wikipedia"
The USS Defiant (NX-74205) is a fictional starship in the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DS9) and the feature film Star Trek: First Contact. The lead ship of her class and one of the Federation's first purpose-built warships, the Defiant first appears in the third-season DS9 episode "The Search, Part I", after which it plays a significant role throughout the series in the ensuing Dominion War. While the original Defiant is destroyed in the seventh season episode "The Changing Face of Evil", Starfleet sends a replacement ship of the same class, the USS Sao Paulo in the episode "The Dogs of War", which receives special dispensation from the Chief of Starfleet Operations to be renamed as the Defiant.
In the episode "Defiant", the character Gul Dukat describes the ship as "one of the most heavily armed warships in the Quadrant," while in the film Star Trek: First Contact, William Riker describes her as a "tough little ship" (echoing Thomas Riker's description of the ship in the DS9 episode.)
 For the first two seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, stories requiring main characters traveling off-station typically involved a series of small vessels called runabouts. With the introduction of the major power known as the Dominion in the second season, Producer Ira Steven Behr and writer Robert Hewitt Wolfe believed that runabouts were insufficient to confront this new threat and successfully convinced executive producer Rick Berman of the need for a new ship. The Defiant was initially designed by Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: First Contact art illustrator Jim Martin with contributions from visual effects supervisor Gary Hutzel and modelmaker Tony Meininger. The Defiant's addition to DS9 was intended to solve the problem of cramped runabout sets according to statements by Robert-Hewitt Wolfe. Original designs called for a "beefed-up" runabout-type ship, but this gave way to a full-fledged starship design, initially called Valiant. This name was dropped out of fear that it would conflict with Star Trek: Voyager and its titular starship, also beginning with a "V". For a brief time it was considered to retain Valiant as the name of the class,[citation needed] but dialog in "The Search" and the ship's dedication plaque firmly establish the Defiant as the pathfinder.

The ship's backstory is outlined in its first appearance, the third-season episode "The Search". The Defiant is a prototype vessel for the Defiant-class warship, originally developed to counter the Borg threat. It is officially designated as an escort vessel to avoid giving the impression that Starfleet builds warships, as it is primarily a peacekeeping and exploration force. Following the Borg invasion, the United Federation of Planets approved a project committed to enhancing Starfleet's offensive and defensive military capabilities; the Defiant was the end result of that project. According to his statement in the episode "Defiant", Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks) was in charge of the shipyard where the Defiant was built and helped design it during his assignment to the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards.
Although it was designed to be fast and highly maneuverable with powerful weaponry, the Defiant was 'overgunned and overpowered' for a vessel of its size. The ship's structural integrity field needed extensive modifications to keep the Defiant from tearing itself apart. The ship was designed specifically for battle, featuring innovative pulse-phaser cannons and quantum torpedo armaments, in addition to photon torpedoes, standard phasers and a high-capacity deflector shield system. Another asset is its ablative armour, enabling the ship to sustain multiple hits from enemy weapons, even with the shields inoperable, with minimal damage. Inside, the Defiant is relatively spartan by Starfleet standards of the time: the ship is not designed to carry family members, has no science labs or holodecks, and has a limited infirmary. Crew quarters consist of two bunk beds and a general computer interface. This much more sparse setup is much to Lt. Cmdr. Worf's approval, and soon after his transfer to Deep Space 9, he decides to live permanently onboard the Defiant.
The subsiding Borg threat and failed systems tests (particularly in regard to the ship's overpowered engines) led the development project to be stalled and the prototype to be mothballed. Following work done at Deep Space Nine, the class would later go into production with at least a half dozen other ships in service by 2374 and onward.

First contact with the Jem'Hadar in 2370 convinced Sisko to ask Starfleet for the Defiant so he would be better prepared for contact with the leaders of the Dominion. Starfleet agreed and the Defiant was posted at Deep Space Nine under Sisko's command. The Defiant allows the station's crew to travel faster and further with far more firepower than the station's Danube-class runabouts can provide. While there is no officially designated commanding officer, Sisko is most frequently seen in command.
The Defiant is the first Starfleet ship to legally carry a cloaking device. Supplied by the Romulan Star Empire, the cloak is initially operated by a Romulan officer serving aboard the Defiant. An agreement between the Federation and the Romulans limits the use of the cloak to intelligence-gathering missions in the Gamma Quadrant in exchange for all of Starfleet's intelligence on the Dominion. However, on several occasions, such as the rescue of the Detapa Council (DS9: "The Way of the Warrior"), the cloaking device was used illegally in the Alpha Quadrant.
In 2373, the Defiant is part of a Starfleet task force that tries to stop the Borg in the Battle of Sector 001, as told in Star Trek: First Contact. While most of the Federation starships are destroyed early in the engagement, the Defiant manages to continue fighting the Borg Cube as it approaches Earth. However, by then she is shieldless and weaponless, so her commanding officer Lieutenant Commander Worf orders the crew to prepare for ramming speed. This kamikaze action is prevented when the Enterprise arrives and draws Borg fire away, while also beaming Worf and the other surviving crew off of the stricken Defiant. The Defiant is left severely damaged and adrift but the Enterprise's crew assure Worf that it can be salvaged. An early screenplay draft called for the Defiant to be destroyed, but Deep Space Nine executive producer Ira Steven Behr objected to the destruction of his show's ship and so the idea was dropped.
In 2375, the Breen destroyed the USS Defiant during the Second Battle of Chin'toka. The battle marks the first time the Breen use their energy-damping weapon.
During the planning of the invasion of Cardassia Prime some months later, a new Defiant-class starship, the USS Sao Paulo (NCC-75633), is assigned to Deep Space Nine. The Starfleet Chief of Operations grants special dispensation to rename the ship Defiant. Although the USS Sao Paulo commissioning plaque gives a registry of "NCC-75633", in all exterior shots the new ship has the "NX-74205" registry. This is because most external shots of the new vessel were reused shots of the old one, and the new CG shots subsequently used the same registry number for consistency.
Ron Moore said in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion that the new ship was intended to be designated "Defiant-A", but it would have been too costly to redo the CG model for one episode because stock shots from earlier episodes had to be used as well for budgetary reasons. Nevertheless, Moore stated that as far as he was concerned, the change did happen.
The Sao Paulo dedication plaque used the English spelling, without the tilde, instead of São Paulo.
In the DS9 episode "Shattered Mirror", a Mirror Universe version of the Defiant is seen, constructed by the Terran Rebellion. Mirror-O'Brien had stolen the blueprints for the Defiant from Deep Space Nine's computer in a previous episode, but the Terran rebels encounter the same structural problems that the crew in the "prime universe" had encountered in early Season Three. The rebels kidnap Ben and Jake Sisko because they need Ben to repair their Defiant's design flaws. A computer readout, barely visible onscreen, gives the ship's name as the 'ISS Defiant'.
The Defiant Class ship USS Valiant NCC-74210 was used as a training vessel by Red Squad cadets. The Valiant ended up trapped in enemy territory during the Dominion War and most of the training officers were killed early on leaving the ship to be manned entirely by the cadets. (DS9: Valiant)

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Sopwith Triplane

Here are some images of Roden's 1/32 scale Sopwith Triplane.
The plane represented here is the N500 prototype.

From Wikipedia"

 The Sopwith Triplane was a British single seat fighter aircraft designed and manufactured by the Sopwith Aviation Company during the First World War. It was the first military triplane to see operational service. The Triplane joined Royal Naval Air Service squadrons in early 1917 and was immediately successful. It was nevertheless built in comparatively small numbers and was withdrawn from active service as Sopwith Camels arrived in the latter half of 1917. Surviving Triplanes continued to serve as operational trainers until the end of the war.

The Triplane began as a private venture by the Sopwith Aviation Company. The fuselage and empennage closely mirrored those of the earlier Pup, but chief engineer Herbert Smith gave the new aircraft three narrow-chord wings to provide the pilot with an improved field of view. Ailerons were fitted to all three wings. By using the variable incidence tailplane, the aircraft could be trimmed to fly hands-off. The introduction of a smaller 8 ft span tailplane in February 1917 improved elevator response.
The Triplane was initially powered by the 110 hp Clerget 9Z nine-cylinder rotary engine, but most production examples were fitted with the 130 hp Clerget 9B rotary. At least one Triplane was tested with a 110 hp Le Rhône rotary engine, but this did not provide a significant improvement in performance.
The initial "prototype of what was to be referred to simply as the Triplane" first flew on 28 May 1916, with Sopwith test pilot Harry Hawker at the controls. Within three minutes of takeoff, Hawker startled onlookers by looping the aircraft, serial N500, three times in succession. The Triplane was very agile, with effective, well-harmonised controls. When maneuvering, however, the Triplane presented an unusual appearance. One observer noted that the aircraft looked like "a drunken flight of steps" when rolling.
In July 1916, N500 was sent to Dunkirk for evaluation with "A" Naval Squadron, 1 Naval Wing. It proved highly successful. The second prototype, serial N504, was fitted with a 130 hp Clerget 9B. N504 first flew in August 1916 and was eventually sent to France in December. This aircraft served as a conversion trainer for several squadrons.


Between July 1916 and January 1917, the Admiralty issued two contracts to Sopwith for a total of 95 Triplanes, two contracts to Clayton & Shuttleworth Ltd. for a total of 46 aircraft, and one contract to Oakley & Co. Ltd. for 25 aircraft. Seeking modern aircraft for the Royal Flying Corps, the War Office also issued a contract to Clayton & Shuttleworth for 106 Triplanes. In February 1917, the War Office agreed to exchange its Triplane orders for the Admiralty's SPAD S.VII contracts.
Production commenced in late 1916. Sopwith and Clayton & Shuttleworth completed their RNAS production orders, but Oakley, which had no prior experience building aircraft, delivered only three Triplanes before its contract was cancelled in October 1917. For unknown reasons, the RFC Triplane contract issued to Clayton & Shuttleworth was simply cancelled rather than being transferred to the RNAS. Total production amounted to 147 aircraft.

No. 1 Naval Squadron became fully operational with the Triplane by December 1916, but the squadron did not see any significant action until February 1917, when it relocated from Furnes to Chipilly.[14] No. 8 Naval Squadron received its Triplanes in February 1917. Nos. 9 and 10 Naval Squadrons equipped with the type between April and May 1917. The only other major operator of the Triplane was a French naval squadron based at Dunkirk, which received 17 aircraft.
The Triplane's combat debut was highly successful. The new fighter's exceptional rate of climb and high service ceiling gave it a marked advantage over the Albatros D.III, though the Triplane was slower in a dive. The Germans were so impressed by the performance of the Triplane that it spawned a brief triplane craze among German aircraft manufacturers. Their efforts resulted in no fewer than 34 different prototypes, including the Fokker V.4, prototype of the successful Fokker Dr.I.
Pilots nicknamed the aircraft the Tripehound or simply the Tripe. The Triplane was famously flown by "B" Flight 10 Naval Squadron, better known as "Black Flight". This all-Canadian flight was commanded by the ace Raymond Collishaw. Their aircraft, named Black Maria, Black Prince, Black George, Black Death and Black Sheep, were distinguishable by their black-painted fins and cowlings. Black Flight claimed 87 German aircraft in three months while equipped with the Triplane. Collishaw scored 34 of his eventual 60 victories in the aircraft, making him the top Triplane ace.
The Triplane's combat career was comparatively brief, in part because the Triplane proved difficult to repair. The fuel and oil tanks were inaccessible without dismantling the wings and fuselage. Even relatively minor repairs had to be made at rear echelon repair depots. Spare parts became difficult to obtain during the summer of 1917, resulting in the reduction of No. 1 Naval Squadron's complement from 18 to 15 aircraft.
The Triplane also gained a reputation for structural weakness because the wings of some aircraft collapsed in steep dives. This defect was attributed to the use of light gauge bracing wires in the 46 aircraft built by subcontractor Clayton & Shuttleworth. Several pilots of No. 10 Naval Squadron used cables or additional wires to strengthen their Triplanes. In 1918, the RAF issued a technical order for the installation of a spanwise compression strut between the inboard cabane struts of surviving Triplanes. One aircraft, serial N5912, was fitted with additional mid-bay flying wires on the upper wing while used as a trainer.
Another drawback of the Triplane was its light armament. Contemporary Albatros fighters were armed with two guns but most Triplanes carried one synchronised Vickers machine gun. Efforts to fit twin guns to the Triplane met with mixed results. Clayton & Shuttleworth built six experimental Triplanes with twin guns. Some of these aircraft saw combat service with Nos. 1 and 10 Naval Squadrons in July 1917 but performance was reduced and the single gun remained standard. Triplanes built by Oakley would have featured twin guns, an engineering change which severely delayed production.
In June 1917, No. 4 Naval Squadron received the first Sopwith Camels and the advantages of the sturdier, better-armed fighter quickly became evident. Nos. 8 and 9 Naval Squadrons re-equipped with Camels between early July and early August 1917. No. 10 Naval Squadron converted in late August, turning over its remaining Triplanes to No. 1 Naval Squadron. No. 1 operated Triplanes until December, suffering heavy casualties as a consequence. By the end of 1917, surviving Triplanes were used as advanced trainers with No. 12 Naval Squadron.

Survivors and modern reproductions

Canada
  • Reproduction – Reserve Hanger, Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa, Ontario. This Triplane is a reproduction of N5492 RNAS "Black Maria" (Raymond Collishaw) built by American amateur airplane-maker Carl R. Swanson between 1963 and 1966. The Museum purchased it in 1966, and provided and installed its Clerget 9B rotary engine. Wing Commander Paul A. Hartman piloted the aircraft during its first flight, on May 5, 1967 at Rockcliffe airport. It remained airworthy and flew on special occasions until 1971.
Russia
  • N5486 – On static display at the Central Air Force Museum in Monino, Moscow. It was supplied to the Russian Government for evaluation in May 1917. In Russia, the aircraft was fitted with skis and used operationally until captured by the Bolshevists. The aircraft then served in the Red Air Force, probably as a trainer, and was rebuilt many times.
United Kingdom

Friday, January 5, 2018

Fokker D. VI

Here are some images of Roden's 1/32 scale Fokker D. VI.

From Wikipedia"

The Fokker D.VI was a German fighter aircraft built in limited numbers at the end of World War I. The D.VI served in the German and Austro-Hungarian air services.


In late 1917, Fokker-Flugzeugwerke built two small biplane prototypes designated V.13. These aircraft combined a set of scaled-down D.VII wings with a fuselage and empennage closely mirroring those of the earlier Dr.I. The first prototype utilized an 82 kW (110 hp) Oberursel Ur.II rotary engine, while the second featured a 119 kW (160 hp) Siemens-Halske Sh.III bi-rotary engine.
Fokker submitted both prototypes at the Adlershof fighter trials in late January 1918. At that time, Fokker reengined the first prototype with the 108 kW (145 hp) Oberursel Ur.III. Pilots found the V.13s to be maneuverable and easy to fly. Idflieg issued a production contract after the V.13s were ultimately judged to be the best rotary powered entries of the competition.


The new aircraft, designated D.VI, passed its Typenprüfung (official type test) on 15 March 1918. The production aircraft utilized the Oberursel Ur.II, which was the only readily available German rotary engine. Idflieg authorized low level production pending availability of the more powerful Goebel Goe.III. Deliveries commenced in April and ceased in August, after only 59 aircraft had been completed. Seven aircraft were delivered to the Austro-Hungarian Air Service (Luftfahrtruppen).
In service, the D.VI was hampered by the low power of the Oberursel Ur.II. Moreover, the lack of castor oil and the poor quality of "Voltol," an ersatz lubricant, severely reduced engine life and reliability. The D.VI remained in frontline service until September 1918, and continued to serve in training and home defense units until the Armistice.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Supermarine Spitfire Mk XIV C

Here are some images of Revell/AA Productions 1/32 scale Supermarine Spitfire Mk XIV C in India markings.

From Wikipedia"
The first Griffon-powered Spitfires suffered from poor high altitude performance due to having only a single stage supercharged engine. By 1943, Rolls-Royce engineers had developed a new Griffon engine, the 61 series, with a two-stage supercharger. In the end it was a slightly modified engine, the 65 series, which was used in the Mk XIV. The resulting aircraft provided a substantial performance increase over the Mk IX. Although initially based on the Mk VIII airframe, common improvements made in aircraft produced later included the cut-back fuselage and tear-drop canopies, and the E-Type wing with improved armament.
The Mk XIV differed from the Mk XII in that the longer, two-stage supercharged Griffon 65, producing 2,050 hp (1,528 kW), was mounted 10 inches (25.4 cm) further forward. The top section of the engine bulkhead was angled forward, creating a distinctive change of angle to the upper cowling's rear edge. A new five bladed Rotol propeller of 10 ft 5 in (3.18 m) in diameter was used, although one prototype JF321 was fitted with a six bladed contra rotating unit. The "fishtail" design of ejector exhaust stub gave way to ones of circular section. The increased cooling requirements of the Griffon engine meant that all radiators were much bigger and the underwing housings were deeper than previous versions.
The cowling fasteners were new, flush fitting "Amal" type and there were more of them. The oil tank (which had been moved from the lower cowling location of the Merlin engine variants to forward of the fuselage fuel tanks) was increased in capacity from 6 to 10 gal.
To help balance the new engine, the radio equipment was moved further back in the rear fuselage and the access hatch was moved from the left fuselage side to the right. Better VHF radio equipment allowed for the aerial mast to be removed and replaced by a "whip" aerial further aft on the fuselage spine. Because the longer nose and the increased slipstream of the big five-bladed propeller a new tail unit with a taller, broader fin and a rudder of increased area was adopted.
The first batch of aircraft to fly with the Griffon 60 series engines were six converted Mk VIIIs JF316 to JF321 which were called Mk VIIIG. The first one of these was flown by Jeffrey Quill on 20 January 1943,
Changes to the aircraft were restricted to those essential to enable it to accept the new engine ... I found that it had a spectacular performance doing 445 mph at 25,000 ft, with a sea-level rate of climb of over 5,000 ft per minute. I remember being greatly delighted with it; it seemed to me that from this relatively simple conversion, carried out with a minimum of fuss and bother, had come up with something quite outstanding ... The MK VIIIG, with virtually the same tail surfaces both vertical and horizontal as the Merlin MK VIII, was very much over-powered and the handling in the air was unacceptable for an operational type ... I soon realised that a new throttle box would be needed giving a much greater angular travel for the hand lever ... The next essential ... was an improvement in the directional stability and control and a new fin was drawn out with a substantial increase in area (7.42 sq. ft) and a much larger rudder and fitted to the second aircraft JF317. This, though not ideal, produced a very marked improvement in directional characteristics and we were able to introduce minor changes thereafter and by various degrees of trimmer tab and balance tab to reach an acceptable degree of directional stability and control. The enlarged fin of JF317 had a straight leading edge but for production a more elegant curved line was introduced.
— Quill
One prototype, JF321, was fitted and tested with a Rotol six-bladed contra-rotating propeller unit; although this promised to eliminate the characteristic swing on take-off (caused by the propeller slipstream) the propeller unit was prone to failure. The pitch control mechanism controlled the pitch on the front propeller,
... and this was transmitted to the rear propeller (which was rotating in the opposite direction) through the transitional bearing mechanism. If this failed the pitch of the rear propeller was no longer under control and might do anything which was potentially dangerous.
— Quill
A similar contra-rotating propeller unit was later used on production Seafire 46 and 47s.
When the new fighter entered service with 610 Squadron in December 1943 it was a leap forward in the evolution of the Spitfire. Jeffrey Quill flew the first production aircraft, RB140 in October 1943:
So the Mk XIV was in business, and a very fine fighter it was. It fully justified the faith of those who, from the early days in 1939, had been convinced that the Griffon engine would eventually see the Spitfire into a new lease of life ... It was a splendid aeroplane in every respect. We still had some work to do to improve its longitudinal and directional characteristics, but it was powerful and performed magnificently. The only respect in which the XIV fell short was in its range.
— Quill
The Mk XIV could climb to 20,000 ft (6,100 m) in just over five minutes and its top speed, which was achieved at 25,400 ft (7,700 m), was 446 mph (718 km/h).
In operational service many pilots initially found that the new fighter could be difficult to handle, particularly if they were used to earlier Spitfire marks. Don Healy of 17 Squadron, based at Madura recalled that the Mk XIV was;
...a hairy beast to fly and took some getting used to. I personally preferred the old Mk Vs from a flying standpoint ... Even with full aileron, elevator and rudder, this brute of a fighter took off slightly sideways.
In spite of the difficulties pilots appreciated the performance increases. Wing Commander Peter Brothers, O/C Culmhead Wing in 1944–1945 and a Battle of Britain veteran;
It was truly an impressive machine, being able to climb almost vertically – it gave many Luftwaffe pilots the shock of their lives when, having thought they had bounced you from a superior height, they were astonished to find the Mk XIV climbing up to tackle them head-on, throttle wide open!
F Mk XIVs had a total of 109.5 gal of fuel consisting of 84 gal in two main tanks and a 12.5 imp gal fuel tank in each leading edge wing tank; other 30, 45, 50 or 90 gal drop tanks could be carried. The fighter's maximum range was just a little over 460 miles (740 km) on internal fuel, since the new Griffon engine consumed much more fuel per hour than the original Merlin engine of earlier variants. By late 1944, Spitfire XIVs were fitted with an extra 33 gal in a rear fuselage fuel tank, extending the fighter's range to about 850 miles (1,370 km) on internal fuel and a 90 gal drop tank. Mk XIVs with "tear-drop" canopies had 64 gal. As a result, F and FR Mk XIVEs had a range that was increased to over 610 miles (980 km), or 960 miles (1,540 km) with a 90 gal drop tank.
The first test of the aircraft was in intercepting V1 flying bombs and the Mk XIV was the most successful of all Spitfire marks in this role. When 150 octane fuel was introduced in mid-1944 the "boost" of the Griffon engine was able to be increased to +25 lbs (80.7"), allowing the top speed to be increased by about 30 mph (26 kn; 48 km/h) to 400 mph (350 kn; 640 km/h) at 2,000 ft (610 m).
The Mk XIV was used by the 2nd Tactical Air Force as their main high-altitude air superiority fighter in northern Europe with six squadrons operational by December 1944.
One problem which did arise in service was localised skin wrinkling on the wings and fuselage at load attachment points; although Supermarine advised that the Mk XIVs had not been seriously weakened, nor were they on the point of failure, the RAF issued instructions in early 1945 that all F and FR Mk XIVs were to be refitted with clipped wings.
Spitfire XIVs began to arrive in the South-East Asian Theatre in June 1945, too late to operate against the Japanese. It was this type which was rumoured to have been buried at an airfield in Burma after the war.


Monday, January 1, 2018

Supermarine Seafire Mk XV

Here are some images of Revell/AA Productions Supermarine Seafire Mk XV (early).
This aircraft served in No. 883 squadron RCN Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada 1947.

From Wikipedia"
The Supermarine Seafire was a naval version of the Supermarine Spitfire adapted for operation from aircraft carriers. In concept, it is relatively comparable to the Hawker Sea Hurricane, a navalised version of the Spitfire's stablemate, the Hawker Hurricane. The name Seafire had been derived from the abbreviation of the longer name Sea Spitfire.
The idea of adopting a navalised carrier-capable version of the Supermarine Spitfire had been mooted by the Admiralty as early as May 1938. Despite a pressing need to replace various types of obsolete aircraft that were still in operation with the Fleet Air Arm (FAA), some opposed the notion, such as Winston Churchill, although these disputes were often a result of an overriding priority being placed on maximising production of land-based Spitfires instead. During 1941 and early 1942, the concept was again pushed for by the Admiralty, cumulating in an initial batch of Seafire Mk Ib fighters being provided in late 1941, which were mainly used for pilots to gain experience operating the type at sea. While there were concerns over the low strength of its undercarriage, which had not been strengthened like many naval aircraft would have been, its performance was found to be acceptable.
From 1942 onwards, further Seafire models were quickly ordered, including the first operationally-viable Seafire F Mk III variant. This led to the type rapidly spreading throughout the FAA. In November 1942, the first combat use of the Seafire occurred during in Operation Torch, the Allied landings in North Africa. In July 1943, the Seafire was used to provide air cover for the Allied invasion of Sicily; and reprised this role in September 1943 during the subsequent Allied invasion of Italy. During 1944, the type was again used in quantity to provide aerial support to Allied ground forces during the Normandy landings and Operation Dragoon in Southern France. During the latter half of 1944, the Seafire became a part of the aerial component of the British Pacific Fleet, where it quickly proved to be a capable interceptor against the feared kamikaze attacks by Japanese pilots which had become increasingly common during the final years of the Pacific War.
The Seafire continued to be used for some time after the end of the war. The FAA opted to promptly withdraw all of its Merlin-powered Seafires and replace them with Griffon-powered counterparts. The type saw further active combat use during the Korean War, in which FAA Seafires performed hundreds of missions in the ground attack and combat air patrol roles against North Korean forces during 1950. The Seafire was withdrawn from service during the 1950s. In FAA service, the type had been replaced by the newer Hawker Sea Fury, the last piston engine fighter to be used by the service, along with the first generation of jet-propelled naval fighters, such as the de Havilland Vampire, Supermarine Attacker, and Hawker Sea Hawk.
 After the Mk III series, the next Seafire variant to appear was the Seafire F Mk XV, which was powered by a Griffon VI – single-stage supercharger, rated at 1,850 hp (1,379 kW) at 2,000 ft (610 m) driving a 10 ft 5 in Rotol propeller. Designed in response to Specification N.4/43 this appeared to be a naval Spitfire F Mk XII; in reality the Mk XV was an amalgamation of a strengthened Seafire III airframe and wings with the wing fuel tanks, retractable tailwheel, larger elevators and broad-chord "pointed" rudder of the Spitfire VIII. The engine cowling was different to that of the Spitfire XII series, being secured with a larger number of fasteners and lacking the acorn shaped blister behind the spinner. The final 30 Mk XVs were built with the blown "teardrop" cockpit canopy and cut down rear fuselage introduced on the Spitfire Mk XVI. On the first 50 aircraft manufactured by Cunliffe-Owen a heavier, strengthened A-frame arrestor hook was fitted to cope with the greater weight. On subsequent Mk XVs a new form of "sting" type arrestor hook was used; this version was attached to the reinforced rudder post at the rear of the fuselage and was housed in a fairing below the base of the shortened rudder. A vee-shaped guard forward of the tailwheel prevented arrestor wires getting tangled up with the tailwheel. 390 Seafire XVs were built by Cunliffe-Owen and Westland from late 1944. Six prototypes had been built by Supermarine.