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Monday, October 9, 2017

de Havilland Sea Hornet NF.21

Here are some images of HPH Models 1/32 scale de Havilland Sea Hornet NF.21.

From Wikipedia'

The Hornet was designed with the possibility of naval service on carriers firmly in mind. To this end good low-speed handling was required, along with good all-round visibility for the pilot. The basic Hornet design excelled at meeting these requirements. Shortly after the first Hornet prototype flew, Specification N.5/44 was issued to de Havilland, covering the modification of the Hornet for naval service. The Heston Aircraft Company was contracted to carry out the conversion work on three early production F.1s. The work entailed altering the wings to incorporate folding mechanisms so that each outer wing panel, from the aileron/flap line outboard could be folded upwards and inwards at an angle. The hinges were part of the upper wing skin structure while the lower wing skins incorporated securing latches, and Lockheed hydraulic jacks were used to move the wing panels. Slotted flaps were introduced to improve low speed "flaps down" control.
Sea Hornet NF.21 of the Airwork FRU displayed at RNAS Stretton in 1955. The radar thimble nose of this variant is evident
The lower rear fuselage was reinforced with two additional spruce longerons designed to take the stresses imposed by the external "vee" framed arrestor hook, which was flush-mounted below the fuselage. The frame was made up of steel tubing with a forged-steel hook and was held against the fuselage by a "snap gear". Because the Hornet used the American "3-point" system of catapult-assisted takeoff, two forged steel catapult bridle hooks were fitted, one below each wing, close to the fuselage The de Havilland rubber-in-compression undercarriage legs could not absorb the rebound energies imposed by carrier landings. They were replaced by more conventional hydraulic oleos which embodied torque links.
Merlin 133/134s (derated from 2,070 hp/1,543 kW to 2,030 hp/1,535 kW) were fitted to all Sea Hornets. Other specialised naval equipment (mainly different radio gear) was fitted and provision was made for three camera ports, one on each side of the rear fuselage and one pointing down. Sea Hornet F.20s also incorporated the modifications of the Hornet F.3, although the internal fuel capacity was 347 Imp gal (1,557 l), slightly reduced from that of the F.1. The modifications added some 550 lb (249 kg) to the weight of the aircraft. Maximum speed was decreased by 11 mph (18 km/h).[14]
The Hornet NF.21 was designed to fill a need for a naval night fighter. Special flame-dampening exhausts were installed, and a second basic cockpit was added to the rear fuselage, just above the wing trailing edges. ASH radar equipment was placed in the rear of this cockpit, with the radar operator/navigator seated facing aft. To gain access, a small trapdoor was provided in the lower fuselage; a fixed, teardrop-shaped bubble canopy, which could be jettisoned in an emergency, provided a good field of view. At the front of the aircraft, the nose underwent a transformation with the small rotating ASH radar dish being housed under an elongated "thimble" radome. The horizontal tail units were increased in span. The effect of these modifications on performance was minimal; about 4 mph (6 km/h).
The Sea Hornet PR.22 was a dedicated photo reconnaissance aircraft version of the F.20. The cannon were removed and the apertures faired over. Three cameras were installed in the rear fuselage: two F.52s for night use and one K.19B for day. A total of 23 PR.22s were built, interspersed with F.20s being built at Hatfield.
Captain Eric "Winkle" Brown, former fighter pilot and officer of the Fleet Air Arm, was one of the world's most accomplished test pilots and he still holds the record for flying the greatest number of aircraft types.
Just after VE Day the first semi-naval Sea Hornet PX 212 arrived at the RAE, Farnborough. Eric Brown initiated "work-up to deck-landing" trials. 37 years later, he was still impressed:
"...the next two months of handling and deck landing assessment trials were to be an absolute joy; from the outset the Sea Hornet was a winner!"
"The view from the cockpit, positioned right forward in the nose beneath a one-piece aft-sliding canopy was truly magnificent. The Sea Hornet was easy to taxi, with powerful brakes... the takeoff using 25 lb (2,053 mm Hg, 51" Hg) boost and flaps at one-third extension was remarkable! The 2,070 hp (1,540 kW) Merlin 130/131 engines fitted to the prototypes were to be derated to 18 lb (1,691 Hg, 37" Hg) boost and 2,030 hp (1,510 kW) as Merlin 133/134s in production Sea Hornets, but takeoff performance was to remain fantastic. Climb with 18 lb boost exceeded 4,000 ft/min (1,200 m/min)"...
"In level flight the Sea Hornet's stability about all axes was just satisfactory, characteristic, of course, of a good day interceptor fighter. Its stalling characteristics were innocuous, with a fair amount of elevator buffeting and aileron twitching preceding the actual stall"...
"For aerobatics the Sea Hornet was absolute bliss. The excess of power was such that manoeuvres in the vertical plane can only be described as rocket-like. Even with one propeller feathered the Hornet could loop with the best single-engine fighter, and its aerodynamic cleanliness was such that I delighted in its demonstration by diving with both engines at full bore and feathering both propellers before pulling up into a loop!"
During this series of tests Captain Brown found that the ailerons were too heavy and ineffectual for deck landing and there were some problems with throttle movement, brakes and the rubber-in-compression undercarriage legs were still fitted. De Havilland were quick to modify the aircraft. Eric Brown:
"Landings aboard Ocean had been made without any crash barrier... Yet, in the case of the Sea Hornet, I had felt such absolute confidence that I was mentally relaxed... Indeed, there was something about the Sea Hornet that made me feel that I had total mastery of it; I revelled in its sleek form and the immense surge of power always to hand..."
"Circumstances had conspired against the Sea Hornet in obtaining the recognition that it justly deserved as a truly outstanding warplane...in my book the Sea Hornet ranks second to none for harmony of control, performance characteristics and, perhaps most important, in inspiring confidence in its pilot. For sheer exhilarating flying enjoyment, no aircraft has ever made a deeper impression on me than did this outstanding filly from the de Havilland stable."


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

1906 Bianchi

Here are some images of Imai's 1/16 scale 1906 Bianchi.
I believe only one example of this car was made. Unfortunately it was destroyed in a museum fire in Italy.
The car itself was a multi coloured vehicle being mostly yellow, green and black in colour. Of course that not being my style decided to go with an all black look featuring an "Abominable Dr. Phibes" (Vincent Price) motif. I know it's not the same car as used in the movie, but I felt the look went well together with the creep window shades.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Bristol Bulldog Mk.IIA

Here are some images of Silver Wings 1/32 scale Bristol Bulldog Mk.IIA.
Quite honestly I'm amazed how well it photographed.

From Wikipedia"
The Bristol Bulldog was a British Royal Air Force single-seat biplane fighter designed during the 1920s by the Bristol Aeroplane Company. More than 400 Bulldogs were produced for the RAF and overseas customers, and it was one of the most famous aircraft used by the RAF during the inter-war period.
 The design of the Bulldog was the outcome of a series of design studies for fighters undertaken by Frank Barnwell during the 1920s. In 1924 Barnwell had started work on a fighter powered by the Rolls-Royce Falcon to meet the requirements of specification F.17/24. The project was shelved since Bristol preferred to use its own engine designs, but was revived in 1926 when Barnwell started work on a design, designated the Bristol 102, to meet either F.9/26 for a day-and-night fighter or N.21/26 for a shipborne fighter. The Type 105 designation was first applied to a subsequent proposal for another aircraft to meet F.9/26 powered by the Mercury engine then under development at Bristol. These proposals looked promising enough for a pair of mockups to be constructed for inspection by the Air Ministry in February 1927. The two aircraft were similar in design, the interceptor to specification F.17/24 design being slightly smaller and lighter and not equipped with radio. As a result, Bristol was asked to revise the design so that it met a later interceptor specification, F.20/27. Subsequently, a prototype aircraft, now designated the Type 107 Bullpup was ordered for evaluation, but the other design did not gain official backing. Nevertheless, Bristol considered it promising enough to build a prototype to be entered for the F.9/26 trials as a private venture, powered by a Bristol Jupiter because the supply of Mercurys was expected to be limited.

The Type 105 was an unequal span single bay biplane powered by a supercharged Bristol Jupiter VII air-cooled radial engine driving a two-bladed propeller. The structure was all-metal with a fabric covering, using members built up from rolled high-tensile steel strips riveted together. In order to ensure the maximum field of view there was a large semi-circular cutout in the trailing edge of the upper wing and the inboard section of the lower was of reduced chord. Frise ailerons were fitted to the top wing only. It was armed with a pair of 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers machine guns mounted one either side of the cockpit.
The prototype Bulldog first flew on 17 May 1927. Initial testing was entirely satisfactory and it was delivered to RAF Martlesham Heath in June. After initial consideration of all the types entered to meet the specification, the Bulldog and the Hawker Hawfinch were selected for more detailed evaluation. While the Bulldog's manoeuvrability and strength were praised by the RAF, it had poor spin recovery properties. This was solved by fitting an enlarged fin and rudder, but this modification led to difficulties in taxying in a crosswind.
Accordingly, a second prototype with a lengthened rear fuselage was ordered for further evaluation in comparison with the Hawfinch. In this form, designated the Type 105A or Bulldog Mk. II, it was first flown by Cyril Uwins on 21 January 1928 and shortly afterwards delivered to Martlesham Heath. Performance was so close to that of the Hawfinch that a decision was deferred until the aircraft had been evaluated by service pilots; the eventual choice of the Bulldog was made largely because it was easier to maintain. An initial contract for 25 aircraft was placed: Bristol accordingly laid down 26 airframes, the additional example being intended as a company demonstration aircraft. The first of these were delivered on 8 May 1929 and deliveries were complete by 10 October.
Later production aircraft were of a refined version designated the Mk. IIA. This had revised wing spars and a stronger fuselage and was powered by the uprated Jupiter VII F. One production aircraft was modified for use as an advanced trainer: after evaluation by the Central Flying School at Upavon this was ordered by the RAF, the production aircraft differing from the prototype in having slightly swept wings and an enlarged fin to improve spin recovery characteristics.

The Bulldog never saw combat with the RAF, although during the Abyssinia Crisis of 1935–36, Bristol Bulldogs were sent to the Sudan to reinforce Middle East Command.
Douglas Bader, better known for his Second World War actions, lost both of his legs when his Bristol Bulldog crashed while he was performing unauthorised aerobatics at Woodley airfield near Reading.
The Bulldog was withdrawn from RAF Fighter Command in July 1937, being primarily replaced by the Gloster Gauntlet. The Bulldog's RAF career was not over though, for the type continued to serve for a few years with Service Flying Training Schools.
The Bulldog was exported to foreign air forces, seeing service with Australia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Japan, Latvia, Siam and Sweden.
In 1936, Latvia, intent on replacing its Bulldogs with more modern aircraft, sold 11 Bulldogs to Basque nationalist forces. These became part of the Spanish Republican Air Force in the Spanish Civil War; remaining in use until the Battle of Santander. Ten Bulldogs also saw combat as part of the Finnish Air Force during the Winter War against the Soviet Union, which began in 1939. The Bulldogs fought well against their Soviet opponent, gaining six kills by five pilots for the loss of one of their own, the types shot down being two Polikarpov I-16s and four Tupolev SBs, both of which were superior in terms of technology compared to the Bulldog. The first aerial victory of the Finnish Air Force was achieved by a Bulldog piloted by SSgt Toivo Uuttu on 1 December 1939, over an I-16. The Bulldogs were used in advanced training during the subsequent Continuation War against the Soviet Union.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Nakajima A6M2-N "Rufe" Floatplane

Here are some images of Trumpeter's 1/24 scale Nakajima A6M2-N "Rufe" Floatplane.

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 Zero 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.[

Friday, September 15, 2017

British HMS X-Craft Submarine

Here are some images of Merit's 1/35 scale British HMS X-Craft submarine.

From Wikipedia"
The X class was a World War II midget submarine class built for the Royal Navy during 1943–44.
Known individually as X-Craft, the vessels were designed to be towed to their intended area of operations by a full-size 'mother' submarine - (usually one of the T class or S class) - with a passage crew on board, the operational crew being transferred from the towing submarine to the X-Craft by dinghy when the operational area was reached, the passage crew returning with the dinghy to the towing submarine. Once the attack was over, the X-Craft would rendezvous with the towing submarine and then be towed home. Range was limited primarily by the endurance and determination of their crews, but was thought to be up to 14 days in the craft or 1,500 miles (2,400 km) distance after suitable training. Actual range of the X-Craft itself was 500 nmi (930 km) surfaced and 82 nmi (152 km) at 2 knots (3.7 km/h) submerged.

The craft was about 51 feet (15.5 m) long, 5.5 feet (1.68 m) in maximum diameter and displaced 27 tons surfaced and 30 tons submerged. Propulsion was by a 4-cylinder Gardner 4LK [1] 42 hp diesel engine, converted from a type used in London buses, and a 30 hp electric motor, giving a maximum surface speed of 6.5 knots (12 km/h), and a submerged speed of 5.5 knots (10.1 km/h). The crew initially numbered three—commander, pilot and ERA (Engine Room Artificer, i.e. engineer) but soon a specialist diver was added, for whom an airlock, known as a wet and dry compartment, was provided. The ERA, usually a Navy Chief Petty Officer, operated most of, and maintained all of, the machinery in the vessel.
The weapons on the "X-Craft" were two side-cargoes - explosive charges held on opposite sides of the hull with two tons of amatol in each. The intention was to drop these on the sea bed underneath the target and then escape. The charges were detonated by a time fuse.
The craft were fitted with electro-magnets to evade detection by anti-submarine detectors on the sea bed.

A number of development craft were built before it was felt that a feasible weapon had been produced. The first operational craft was X3 (or HM S/M X.3), launched on the night of 15 March 1942. Training with the craft began in September 1942, with X4 arriving in October. In December 1942 and January 1943 six of the "5-10" class began to arrive, identical externally but with a completely reworked interior.
These operations were part of a longer series of frogman operations, see human torpedo.
The operational base and training establishment was HMS Varbel at the former Kyles Hydro Hotel at Port Bannatyne on the Isle of Bute in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. Their first deployment was Operation Source in September, 1943, an attempt to neutralise the heavy German warships based in Northern Norway. Six X-Craft were used, but only 2 successfully laid charges (under the German battleship Tirpitz); the rest were lost, scuttled or returned to base. Tirpitz was badly damaged and out of action until April 1944.
This was the only multiple X-craft attack. The lost craft were replaced early in 1944 with X20 to X25 and six training-only craft.
On 15 April 1944 X24 attacked the Laksevåg floating dock at Bergen. X22 was intended for the mission, but had been accidentally rammed during training and sunk with all hands. X24 made the approach and escaped successfully, but the charges were placed under Bärenfels, a 7,500 ton merchant-vessel along the dock, which was sunk; the dock suffered only minor damage. On 11 September 1944, the operation was repeated by X24, with a new crew; this time the dock was sunk.


X-Craft were involved in the preparatory work for Overlord. Operation Postage Able was planned to take surveys of the landing beaches with X20, commanded by Lt KR Hudspeth, spending four days off the French coast. Periscope reconnaissance of the shoreline and echo-soundings were performed during daytime. Each night, X20 would approach the beach and 2 divers would swim ashore. Soil samples were collected in condoms. The divers went ashore on two nights to survey the beaches at Vierville-sur-Mer, Moulins St Laurent and Colleville-sur-Mer in what became the American Omaha Beach. On the third night, they were due to go ashore off the Orne Estuary (Sword Beach), but by this stage fatigue (the crew and divers had been living on little more than benzedrine tablets) and the worsening weather caused Hudspeth to shorten the operation, returning to Dolphin on 21 January 1944. Hudspeth received a bar to his DSC.
X20 and X23 acted as lightships to help the D-Day invasion fleet land on the correct beaches (Operation Gambit), as part of the Combined Operations Pilotage Parties (COPP).
X24 is the only remaining intact example of an X-Craft. It can be found in the Royal Navy Submarine Museum.
Operations continued in the Far East with the revised XE class submarines.
 
The remains of an XT-class craft on the beach at Aberlady Bay in 2008. The bow is to the left, the stern to the right. From left to right can be seen the wet and dry chamber hatch, the "conning tower" (the periscopes penetrated the hull through the "eye" shape) and the secondary hatch.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Lotus 49B Ford F-1

Here are some images of Tamiya's 1/12 scale Lotus 49B Ford F-1 racer.
This car was driven by Jochen Rindt 1969.

From Wikipedia"
The Lotus 49 was a Formula One racing car designed by Colin Chapman and Maurice Philippe for the 1967 F1 season. It was designed around the Cosworth DFV engine that would power most of the Formula One grid through the 1970s. It used its drivetrain as a stressed member, being not the first F1 car to do so but the first to apply the technique so well that everyone copied it.
Jim Clark won on the car's debut in 1967, and it would also provide him with the last win of his career in 1968. Graham Hill went on to win that year's title and the car continued winning races until 1970.

After a difficult first year for Lotus in the 3-litre formula, Chapman went back to the drawing board and came up with a design that was both back to basics, and a leap ahead. Taking inspiration from earlier designs, particularly the Lotus 43 and Lotus 38 Indycar, the 49 was the first F1 car to be powered by the Ford Cosworth DFV engine after Chapman convinced Ford to build an F1 power-plant.
The 49 was an advanced design in Formula 1 because of its chassis configuration. The specially-designed engine became a stress-bearing structural member (seen earlier with the H16 engine in the Lotus 43 and BRM P83, but prior to that in the front-engined Lancia D50 of 1954), bolted to the monocoque at one end and the suspension and gearbox at the other. Since then virtually all Formula 1 cars have been built this way.
The 49 was a testbed for several new pieces of racecar technology and presentation. Lotus was the first team to use aerofoil wings, which appeared partway through 1968. Originally these wings were bolted directly to the suspension and were supported by slender struts. The wings were mounted several feet above the chassis of the car for effective use in clean air, however after several breakages which led to near fatal accidents, the high wings were banned and Lotus was forced to mount the wings directly to the bodywork.
 n testing, Graham Hill found the Lotus 49 easy to drive and responsive, but the power of the Ford engine difficult to handle at first. The V8 would give sudden bursts of power that Hill had reservations about. However, Jim Clark won its debut race at Zandvoort with ease and took another 3 wins during the season, but early unreliability with the DFV ended his championship hopes. It had teething problems in its first race for Graham Hill, and it had spark plug trouble at the Belgian Grand Prix, held on the 8.76 mile (14.73 kilometer) Spa-Francorchamps. Jim Clark and Graham Hill fell victim to the reliability issues at the French Grand Prix, held at the Le Mans Bugatti Circuit (a smaller circuit using only part of the track used for the Le Mans 24 Hours), and lost to Jack Brabham. Jim Clark then ran out of fuel at Monza during the Italian Grand Prix. Mechanical failures cost Lotus the championship that year, but it was felt that 1968 would be a better year after Cosworth and Lotus perfected their designs, which were clearly the way forward.
Clark won the first race of the 1968 season, the South African Grand Prix and the Tasman Series in Australia, but was killed in an F2 race at Hockenheim. Graham Hill took over as team leader and won his second World Championship title, after clinching three Grand Prix wins - including the fourth of his five Monaco Grands Prix. Jo Siffert also drove a 49 owned by Rob Walker to win the British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch that year, the last time a car entered by a genuine privateer won a championship Formula 1 race. The 49 also took Jochen Rindt to his first victory in 1969 at Watkins Glen, New York, before he drove the type to its last win in the 1970 Monaco Grand Prix.
The 49 was intended to be replaced by the Lotus 63 midway through 1969, but when that car proved to be a failure, an improved version of the 49, the 49C, was pressed into service until a suitable car could be built. The 49 took 12 wins, contributed to 2 driver and constructors' world championships, before it was replaced by the Lotus 72 during 1970. The final appearances of the 49C were in 1971, with Wilson Fittipaldi finishing ninth in the 1971 Argentine Grand Prix, and Tony Trimmer finishing sixth in the Spring Cup at Oulton Park.
Of the twelve 49s built only seven remain. Chassis R3 (driven by Graham Hill, then sold to privateer John Love) is the only example of the original 1967 cars still in existence, and is on display at the National Motor Museum in Hampshire.
From its introduction in 1967 works Lotus 49s were painted in Lotus's traditional British racing green with yellow centre-stripe. Over the following 16 months the design gained increasing numbers of sponsor patches and large driver name strips, while retaining the traditional base scheme. However, for the 1967-1968 Tasman Series races Team Lotus's 2.5 litre engined 49s were painted red, cream and gold — the colours of Gold Leaf cigarettes — after Chapman signed a lucrative sponsorship deal. This colour scheme was introduced for the 1968 World Championship at the second race of the season, in Spain.
Lotus 49s were also run by the privateer Rob Walker Racing Team, who painted their car in Walker's traditional dark blue with white nose band, and American Pete Lovely, whose car (chassis R11) was painted in the American national racing colours of white with a blue centre-stripe.


For the 1969 season, Rindt signed for the 1968 World Constructors' Champion Lotus, where he joined the defending Drivers' Champion Graham Hill. Rindt felt uncomfortable with the move, owing to the notorious unreliability of the Lotus car; in a twenty-month period between 1967 and 1969, the team was involved in 31 accidents. Hill alone had nine crashes between 1968 and 1970, which led him to joke: "Every time I am being overtaken by my own wheel, I know I am in a Lotus." When Rindt joined Lotus, his friend and de facto manager Bernie Ecclestone, who had negotiated the deal, remarked that they were aware that Brabham may have been a better choice of team but the speed of the Lotus gave Rindt a chance to win the championship. Rindt commented: "At Lotus, I can either be world champion or die." Because of his uncertainty about the wisdom of joining the team, Rindt did not sign the Lotus contract until shortly before the 1969 Spanish Grand Prix.
Rindt's hesitancy appeared justified when both he and Hill suffered high speed crashes at the Spanish Grand Prix at Montjuïc. In both instances, the suspension mounted wings on the cars broke off, causing accidents that could have killed either driver. The effect of the failure lifted Rindt's car off the track and into the barriers, where it collided with the stationary car of Hill, whose accident occurred at the same spot. Although Rindt only suffered a broken nose, one marshal lost an eye and another had his foot broken. Rindt was furious with Lotus's team owner, Colin Chapman, over the failure; he told a reporter after the accident: "I place the blame on him [Chapman] and rightfully so, because he should have calculated that the wing would break." In an interview on Austrian television a day later, he said: "These wings are insanity [ein Wahnsinn] in my eyes and should not be allowed on racing cars. [...] But to get any wisdom into Colin Chapman's head is impossible." Asked whether he had lost trust in Lotus after the accident, he replied: "I never had any trust in Lotus", going on to describe his relationship with the team as "purely business". His accident left him sidelined for the Monaco Grand Prix, a race that Hill won.
Jackie Stewart later described Rindt's 1969 season as the year that he "came of age". At the end of the year, Motor Sport magazine called him "[t]he only driver to challenge Stewart seriously throughout the season", albeit placing only fourth in the championship. The poor reliability of the Lotus 49B affected him; he retired from seven races. At the British Grand Prix, Rindt fought a close battle with Stewart for the lead; both men were 90 seconds ahead of third-placed Jacky Ickx. The race was decided in Stewart's favour only when Rindt had to enter the pits after part of his car's bodywork started to rub on the tyre; he finished fourth. Rindt recorded his maiden Grand Prix win at the penultimate race of the season at Watkins Glen, winning $50,000—the largest monetary prize in Formula One history at the time. His victory was overshadowed by a serious accident involving his teammate Hill, who crashed after a high speed puncture and suffered major leg injuries.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Republic P-47 D Thunderbolt Bubbletop

Here are some images of Kinetic Models 1/24 scale Republic P-47 D Thunderbolt Bubbletop
Quality wise I would have to say this kit compares to the old 1/24 scale Airfix kits of the 70's and 80's. Some fit problems but generally OK. The instructions however left a lot to be desired. Very basic with some needed information missing.
You may or may not have noticed that I installed lights. But due to the white backgrounds makes them difficult to see.

From Wikipedia"
The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt was a World War II era fighter aircraft produced by the United States between 1941 and 1945. Its primary armament was eight .50-caliber machine guns and in the fighter-bomber ground-attack role it could carry five-inch rockets or a bomb load of 2,500 pounds (1,103 kg). When fully loaded the P-47 weighed up to eight tons (tonnes) making it one of the heaviest fighters of the war. The P-47 was designed around the powerful Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp engine which was also used by two U.S. Navy fighters, the Grumman F6F Hellcat and the Vought F4U Corsair. The Thunderbolt was effective as a short-to-medium range escort fighter in high-altitude air-to-air combat and ground attack in both the World War II European and Pacific theaters.
The P-47 was one of the main United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) fighters of World War II, and served with Allied air forces including France, Britain, and Russia. Mexican and Brazilian squadrons fighting alongside the U.S. were equipped with the P-47.
The armored cockpit was relatively roomy and comfortable, offering good visibility. A modern-day U.S. ground-attack aircraft, the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II, takes its name from the P-47.

Refinements of the Thunderbolt continued, leading to the P-47D, which was the most produced version with 12,558 built. The "D" model actually consisted of a series of evolving production blocks, the last of which were visibly different from the first.
The first P-47Ds were actually the same as P-47Cs. Republic could not produce Thunderbolts fast enough at its Farmingdale plant on Long Island, so a new plant was built at Evansville, Indiana. The Evansville plant first built a total of 110 P-47D-1-RAs, which were completely identical to P-47C-2s. Farmingdale aircraft were identified by the -RE suffix after the block number, while Evansville aircraft were given the -RA suffix.
The P-47D-1 through P-47D-6, the P-47D-10, and the P-47D-11 successively incorporated changes such as the addition of more engine cooling flaps around the back of the cowl to reduce the engine overheating problems that had been seen in the field. Engines and engine subsystems saw refinement, (the P-47D-10 introduced the R-2800-63, replacing the R-2800-21 seen in previous P-47s) as did the fuel, oil and hydraulic systems. Additional armor protection was also added for the pilot.
The P-47D-15 was produced in response to requests by combat units for increased range. "Wet" (equipped with fuel plumbing) underwing pylons were introduced to allow a bomb or drop tank pressurized by vented exhaust air to be carried under each wing, in addition to the belly tank. Seven different auxiliary tanks were fitted to the Thunderbolt during its career:
  • 200 U.S. gallon (758 l) ferry tank: A conformal tub-shaped jettisonable tank made of paper, which barely cleared the ground on grass airfields, was used as an interim measure between 30 July and 31 August 1943.
  • 75 U.S. gallon(284 l) drop tank: A standardized, all-metal teardrop-shaped steel tank with a prominent protruding horizontal seam initially produced for the P-39 Airacobra, was adapted to the P-47 beginning 31 August 1943. It was initially carried on the belly shackle, but was used in pairs in 1944 as underwing tanks, and adopted as a standard accessory in the US inventory.
  • 108 U.S. gallon (409 l) drop tank: A cylindrical paper tank of British design and manufacture, used as a belly tank beginning in September 1943 and a wing tank in April 1944.
  • 150 U.S. gallon (568 l) drop tank: A steel tank first used as a belly tank 20 February 1944, and an underwing tank 22 May 1944.
  • 215 U.S. gallon (810 l) drop tank: A wide, flat steel tank developed by VIII Service Command was first used in February 1945.
  • 165 U.S. gallon (625 l) drop tank: This tank, produced by Lockheed, could be used either as a fuel tank or as a napalm container.
  • 110 U.S. gallon (416 l) drop tank: This tank was similar in shape to the 75 gallon drop tank, but was larger. It could also be used as a napalm container.

The tanks made of plastic-impregnated (laminated) paper could not store fuel for an extended period of time, but they worked quite well for the time it took to fly a single mission. These tanks were cheaper, lighter, and were useless to the enemy if recovered after being dropped—not only did they break apart, but they did not provide the enemy with any reusable materials that could be scavenged for their own war effort. With the increased fuel capacity, the P-47 was now able to perform escort missions deep into enemy territory. A drawback to their use was that fighters could not land with the tanks in place because of the hazard of rupture and explosion. Fighters recalled from a mission or that did not jettison their paper tanks for some reason were required to drop them into a designated "dump" area at their respective fields, resulting in substantial losses of aviation fuel.
The P-47D-16, D-20, D-22 and D-23 were similar to the P-47D-15 with minor improvements in the fuel system, engine subsystems, (the P-47D-20 introduced the R-2800-59 engine) a jettisonable canopy, and a bulletproof windshield. Beginning with the block 22 aircraft, the original narrow-chorded Curtiss propeller was replaced by propellers with larger blades, the Evansville plant switching to a new Curtiss propeller with a diameter of 13 ft (3.96 m) and the Long Island plant using a Hamilton Standard propeller with a diameter of 13 ft 2 in (4.01 m). With the bigger propellers having barely 6 in (152 mm) of ground clearance, Thunderbolt pilots had to learn to be careful on takeoffs to keep the tail down until they obtained adequate ground clearance, and on landings to flare the aircraft properly. Failure to do so damaged both the propeller and the runway. A modification to the main gear legs was installed to extend the legs via an electric motor (un-extending before retraction) to accommodate the larger propeller diameter.

Even with two Republic plants rolling out the P-47, the U.S. Army Air Forces still were not getting as many Thunderbolts as they wanted. Consequently, an arrangement was made with Curtiss to build the aircraft under license in a plant in Buffalo, New York. The Curtiss plant experienced serious problems and delays in producing Thunderbolts, and the 354 Curtiss-built fighters were relegated to stateside advanced flight training. The Curtiss aircraft were all designated P-47G, and a "-CU" suffix was used to distinguish them from other production. The first P-47G was completely identical to the P-47C, the P-47G-1 was identical to the P-47C-1, while the following P-47G-5, P-47G-10, and P-47G-15 sub-variants were comparable to the P-47D-1, P-47D-5 and P-47D-10 respectively. Two P-47G-15s were built with the cockpit extended forward to just before the leading edge of the wing to provide tandem seating, designated TP-47G, essentially to provide a trainer variant. The second crew position was accommodated by substituting a much smaller main fuel tank. The "Doublebolt" did not go into production but similar modifications were made in the field to older P-47s, which were then used as squadron "hacks" (miscellaneous utility aircraft).

All the P-47s produced to this point had a "razorback" canopy configuration with a tall fuselage spine behind the pilot, which resulted in poor visibility to the rear. The British also had this problem with their fighter aircraft, and had devised the bulged "Malcolm hood" canopy for the Spitfire as an initial solution. This type of canopy was fitted in the field to many North American P-51 Mustangs, and to a handful of P-47Ds. However, the British then came up with a much better solution, devising an all-round vision "bubble canopy" for the Hawker Typhoon. USAAF officials liked the bubble canopy, and quickly adapted it to American fighters, including the P-51 and the Thunderbolt. The first P-47 with a bubble canopy was a modified P-47D-5 completed in the summer of 1943 and redesignated XP-47K. Another older P-47D was modified to provide an internal fuel capacity of 370 U.S. gal (1,402 l) and given the designation XP-47L. The bubble canopy and increased fuel capacity were then rolled into production together, resulting in the block 25 P-47D (rather than a new variant designation). First deliveries of the P-47D-25 to combat groups began in May 1944.
It was followed by similar bubble-top variants, including the P-47D-26, D-27, D-28 and D-30. Improvements added in this series included engine refinements and the addition of dive recovery flaps. Cutting down the rear fuselage to accommodate the bubble canopy produced yaw instability, and the P-47D-40 introduced a vertical stabilizer extension in the form of a fin running from the vertical stabilizer to just behind the radio aerial. The fin fillet was often retrofitted in the field to earlier P-47D bubble-top variants. The P-47D-40 also featured provisions for 10 "zero length" launchers for 5 in (127 mm) High velocity aircraft rockets (HVARs), as well as the new K-14 computing gunsight. This was a license-built copy of the British Ferranti GGS Mark IID computing gyroscopic sight which allowed the pilot to dial in target wingspan and range, and would then move the gunsight reticle to compensate for the required deflection.
The bubbletop P-47s were nicknamed "Superbolts" by combat pilots in the field.