Saturday, June 29, 2013

Model Aircraft 07/2013

The Swedish Air Force or 'Flygvapnet' was created on July 1,1926 when the aviation units of the Army and Navy were merged. Because of the escalating international tension during the 1930s the Air Force was reorganised and expanded from four to seven squadrons. When the Second World War broke out in 1939, a further growth was initiated and this expansion was not finished until the end of the War. Although Sweden never entered the War, a large air force was considered necessary to ward off the threat of invasion, and to resist pressure through military threats. By 1945 the Swedish Air Force had over 800 combat-ready aircraft, including fifteen fighter divisions. A major problem for the Swedish Air Force during World War II was the lack of fuel as Sweden was surrounded by countries at war and could not rely on imported oil. Instead shale oil was produced for the much-needed petrol. The Swedish Air Force underwent a rapid modernisation post-1945, and it became no longer politically acceptable to equip its forces with second-rate models. Instead, the air staff purchased the best it could find from abroad, and as such aircraft like the P-51D Mustang, the de Havilland Mosquito NF.19 and de Havilland Vampires were introduced, whilst its aviation industry geared up to build some of the most eclectic fighters ever produced. When the SAAB J 29 Tunnan light fighter was introduced around 1950, Sweden suddenly had aircraft that were equal to the best that the RAF, USAF and Soviet forces could field.

Model Airplane International 07/2013

When the kit review parcel arrived in the mail, I found it was accompanied by Eduard's (#73459) self-adhesive A-4B etched fret and Pavla's resin (#C72110) Douglas A-4B/P Skyhawk cockpit interior set. Also included was the Eduard flexible mask A-4B set (#CX335), however I chose to not use that set, relying instead, on my painting skills. I immediately noticed the fine engravings of the kit, from nicely recessed and in-scale panel lines to the crispness of the flash-free parts. A little trimming up front is necessary for the fuselage halves to accommodate the Pavla resin cockpit parts. They consisted of a nicely detailed ejection seat, instrument panel, rudder pedals and a new replacement cockpit coaming. The Eduard self-adhesive set includes seat belts and shoulder harnesses as well as etched metal additions to the slats and dive brakes, thus providing lots of raised and in-scale detail. Replacement combination one-piece flaps and wing dive brakes, designed to replace those moulded integrally with the kit wings, needed careful bending and one must get the resultant 'V' angle correct so the wing tanks will clear the lowered flaps when installed.

Air International 07/2013

ARBS (aerial refuelling boom system) will begin early next year. This will follow manufacturer's trials and subsequent INTA certification using an Australian aircraft retained in Madrid for the purpose during 2013. Antonio Caramazana, Programme Director, Airbus Military Derivatives, told reporters that the RAF had received four Voyagers (three tankers and a transport aircraft) by the beginning of May and two further aircraft were due in May and June. The RAF's Tornado GR4 fleet received clearance to refuel from the Voyager on May 16 when the UK Ministry of Defence issued the Voyager's Release to Service for the type. The first air-refuelling sortie with Tornado GR4s was completed on May 20. Typhoon is due to receive its clearance to refuel from Voyager by the end of July. Caramazana also reported that all three Saudi MRTTs have now been delivered (with one retained in Madrid for training) and have been refuelling Royal Saudi Air Force Tornado and Typhoon fighters.

Aeroplane Magazine 08/2013

The later model Canadair Sabres were a significant improvement on the great North American F-86 Sabre, and were used by the RCAF and RAF in Europe during the Cold War. It was the RCAF that provided 12 squadrons for the Northern European NATO fighter force throughout the 1950s. Sabres were flown to Europe from Canada, no small feat itself, and at risk of Russian signal misdirection. Two squadrons (on rotation) were kept on a 5min and 15min alert status known as "Zulu", with fully-armed Sabres. While the only live gunnery was practiced off Decimomannu in Sardinia, over Northern Europe they conducted intercepts and mock combats against their sister squadrons. Group Captain Arnie Bauer, RCAF, remembered: "That was the time when we ruled the skies in Europe, there was no doubt about it. The only way that the USAF Super Sabre drivers or the Super Mystere guys of the French Air Force had an edge on us was when they stuck to hit and run tactics, using their aeroplanes as they had been intended. If they felt that maybe they could turn with us, or stay and fight, then we had them."

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Airforces Monthly 07/2013

NORTHROP GRUMMAN successfully completed the maiden flight of the first US Navy MQ-4C Triton from its facility at Palmdale, California, on May 21. The UAV, Bu No 168457, took off at 07:10 and was airborne for an hour and 20 minutes, successfully demonstrating the control systems that enable the Triton to operate autonomously. During the flight, in restricted airspace, the MQ-4C reached an altitude of 20,000ft (6,096m) before returning to Palmdale. The first Triton, being developed under the US Navy's Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) programme, was rolled out at Palmdale on June 14 last year. Flight testing at Palmdale will continue for the next few months to develop the system before it is transferred in the autumn to the main flight test facility at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, for continued testing. When operational, the Triton will complement the US Navy's manned Boeing P-8A Poseidon as it can fly for longer periods and transmit information in real time to units in the air and on the ground. It will be based at five locations around the world and be capable of flying 24-hour missions at altitudes greater than ten miles (16km), allowing its systems to monitor 2,000nm of ocean and coastal areas at any one time. The US Navy plans to eventually acquire up to 68 MQ-4C Tritons.

Aviation News 07/2013

The first upgraded US Army Bell OH-58F Kiowa Warrior, 93-00960, performed its maiden flight at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, on May 26. The helicopter was then formally unveiled with a second, ceremonial 'first flight' there on May 30. The OH-58F is being produced under the Cockpit and Sensor Upgrade Program (CASUP), which converts old model OH-58D Kiowa Warriors to the new standard, addressing obsolescence issues and improving sensor capabilities. The first OH-58F, originally a 1968-vintage OH-58A airframe, was modified at the US Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center Prototype Integration Facility at Madison County Executive Airport in Meridianville, Alabama, and handed over on October 24, 2012. It has been outfitted with flight test instrumentation. Although a second development OH-58F has also been completed at Meridianville, production models will be converted at Corpus Christi Army Depot, Texas. Another OH-58D, being used as a structural test airframe for the !F model, has been flying for several weeks, but does not incorporate the OH-58F!s new avionics.

Military Illustrated Modeller 07/2013

The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 asserted its authority as soon as it appeared over the Channel Front in September 1941. It was so clearly superior to the Spitfire Mk.V that RAF Fighter Command curtailed operations twice - from November 1941 to March 1942, and again from 13 June 1942 - due to unacceptably high losses against the Luftwaffe's "Butcher Bird". The Rolls-Royce Merlin 60 series engines would offer the Spitfire the essential edge it needed to balance the scales against this new foe, but the high altitude Spitfire Mk.VII and the unpressurised Mk.VIII were still many months away from production. An interim proposal was therefore made to provide a suitable solution in a more timely fashion. The Merlin 61 engine would be fitted to the existing Spitfire Mk.V airframe, matching the Fw 190s performance at medium and high altitudes. This aircraft was known as the Spitfire F.Mk.lX, Type No.361. The resulting Spitfire retained the clean lines of the earlier Mks. I, II and V, but featured a longer and modified fuselage to accommodate the bigger engine, revised intakes, radiators and oil coolers, and a four-bladed propeller to absorb the greater power.

Tamiya Model Magazine 07/2013

I found out about Ma.K (Maschinen Krieger) kits by searching for sci-fi models on the net. I didn't know what I had just stumbled across but I knew I had to build it! With my love of Star Wars and fondness of old rusty WW2 tanks, this ticked all the right boxes. It was the 1:20 Großer Hund kit by Hasegawa. After a little researching and checking out other peoples builds I was blown away by the talent of these Maschinen Krieger modellers! To say I was a little apprehensive to start on this project is an understatement, but rather than get bogged down by the 'rivet counters' I thought I'd just roll with it and put my own stamp on it. On opening the rather substantial box I was greeted by lots of sprues (including a rubber one), instructions, a handy reference card, clear parts, decals and some lengths of rubber hose. I couldn't wait to get stuck in.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Military Modelling 05/2013

The story of the Char B1 and Char B1 bis can take up an entire book and there are many excellent books on the subjects - namely Trackstory Number 13 Le Char B1 and Hommes et Materiels du 15e BCC - Chars B au Combat. The abbreviated version is that in the early 1920s, several French companies submitted designs for a tank to meet the French Government's requirements for a heavy infantry tank. Several designs had been proposed, developed and tested over the course of the following eight years, combining the FCM suspension, the Renault engine and the Schneider transmission. The tank underwent many trials and tests over the course of the next 15-years. It was not until German movement in 1935 to re-occupy the Rhineland that the French Government ordered the immediate production of 40 Char B tanks. Design and development continued until a heavier 32-ton up-armoured variant - named the Char B1 bis - was approved for production. Modifications carried out on the Char B1 to bring it to a Char B1 bis include a larger engine to accommodate the extra 5-ton weight of the tank, and a heavier APX 4 type turret (similar to the Somua S-35) mounting a high velocity 47mm gun.

America In WWII 08/2013

When you think of landmarks in Cleveland—if you think of landmarks in Cleveland—you might think of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the I.M. Pei-designed seven-story monument to America's most popular music. Or maybe you might think of the hulk of concrete-and-glass formerly known as Cleveland Browns Stadium, site of what occasionally passes for entertainment on Sunday afternoons in the fall. In the shadows of these giant venues that draw hundreds of thousands a year to the shore of Lake Erie floats the little-known USS Cod Submarine Memorial, a humble tribute to America's silent service of World War II. Of the more than 230 Gato-, Balao-, and Tench-class subs built for the US Navy during the war, a remarkable 16 survive today as museums. The Cod, a Gato-class sub moored in Cleveland's North Coast Harbor, is one of the finest. Still in striking condition, it's the only US submarine that has been converted into a museum without having stairways or doors cut into her pressure hull for public access. Her exterior and interior remain largely as they were during the war.

Electric Flight 09/2013

The time to get into electric-ducted fans (EDFs) has never been easier because the new breed of performance EDF jets is exactly that: high performance. The latest advancements in brushless motor design and LiPo battery technology have both increased the performance of electric-powered aircraft—the biggest benefactor being EDF jets. Jets are all about speed and these developments in electric power give them that power to expand that speed. Just a few years back, EDF jets were reserved for the smaller park flyer, but today, electric jets are replacing turbine-powered jets. There is a good reason for that; many flying fields have banned turbine jets, mainly because of the noise. On the other hand, EDF jets make less noise and they still give the pilot the much-desired performance, in fact, some e-powered jets can meet or surpass turbine jets. So, let's look into the new breed of jets and see what they have to offer!


Pacific Wings 05/2013

The book provides some context to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and takes us all the way back Operation Desert Shield, the large-scale deployment of American forces to the Gulf to prevent an invasion of Saudi Arabia. Naturally, the book covers all aspects of the F-16C Fighting Falcon and those interested in military aviation will be treated to an excellent account of what it is like to fly one of the best fighter aircraft in the world. Although Keith Rosenkranz makes a valiant effort to keep the book accessible to those unfamiliar with the F-16, some technical jargon is unavoidable. Those readers familiar with the excellent "Falcon 4.0" flight simulator will have no problems visualising the different radar and weapons displays described in the book. But there is no need for fear. Keith Rosenkranz turns out to be just as a good a narrator as he is a fighter pilot. Even if the importance of sw itching from DBS1 to DBS2 remains somewhat of a mystery, the reader will still picture his or her own hands on the controls of Keith s F-16, pulling g to avoid the incoming enemy missile with sweaty palms and all.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Classic Aircraft 12/2012

THE ROYAL AIR FORCE'S original purchase of the F-4 Phantom was circuitous to say the least. Having been denied the P1154 and TSR2 and abandoned the F-111, the service belatedly cottoned on to the fact that the Royal Navy's Buccaneer S2 was excellent at its low-level strike role, and long after the Fleet Air Arm embraced the 'Brick' the RAF did likewise with mixed feelings. Meanwhile, to complement its Buccaneers the FAA needed a new fighter to replace its ageing Sea Vixens and Scimitars. Having tried to 'Anglicise' the F-111, bumping up the cost to dizzy heights for little gain, it might be assumed that lessons had been learned. Not so. With the Phantom, the Ministry of Defence excelled itself. Part of the dilemma lay in the Royal Navy only having small carriers, for which it needed modified Phantoms — the standard F-4J was deemed unsuitable due to performance issues when operating from smaller vessels. Maybe, in fairness, the then British government was duped by sales propaganda from McDonnell Douglas. Recent information has revealed that the UK was led from an early stage to believe that the US was also interested in a proposal by Rolls-Royce to use afterburning Spey engines in an attempt to allow heavyweight Phantoms to operate from smaller carriers such as the Essex Class.

Classic Aircraft 11/2012

Following a stunning restoration by Avspecs Ltd, Jerry Yagen's Mosquito FB26 KAI 14/ZK-MOS made its maiden post-restoration flight at Ardmore, New Zealand, on 27 September. David Phillips and Avspecs' Warren Denholm were in the cockpit. Built in 1945 by de Havilland Canada at Downsview, Toronto, for the Royal Canadian Air Force, KAI 14 had not flown since that year. It then spent the vast majority of its life in storage, including 30 years on a farm in Alberta following disposal by the RCAF in 1948. Jerry Yagen purchased the Mosquito in about 2004, and contracted Avspecs to return it to flying condition. Work done by Glyn Powell of Auckland on re-creating the wooden moulds necessary to form the fuselage has been instrumental in this project, as it is proving in other Mosquito restoration efforts. First engine runs took place on 19 September, and with all performing well the way was clear for the successful maiden flight eight days later. The FB26 thus became the first 'Mossie' to take to the air since British Aerospace's Till RR299 crashed during a display at Barton, Greater Manchester, in July 1996.

Classic Aircraft 10/2012

The business of getting Catalina G-PBYA to Russia proved an assault course for Plane Sailing's doughty 'men in black'. Its pilot Rod Brooking had innumerable problems getting flight plans approved across Belarus and Russia, after an overnight stop en route in Bydgoszcz, Poland. It took time for ATC in Belarus even to confirm entry into their airspace, but no interceptors appeared on their wing before they were finally acknowledged. Then, on finals at Zhukovsky, they were suddenly made to do a 360° turn, but landed without incident, other than the controller's increasingly urgent exhortations to clear to the end of the 5km-plus runway speedily. Russian bureaucracy changed the rules for their minimum display height from 100m to 50m, but they were then criticised for flying their practice too low by another set of bureaucrats. Sometimes you cannot win! The public, when they saw who they were, treated the PBY crew like rock stars, and top generals and Sukhoi's chief test pilot visited the aircraft.

Classic Aircraft 09/2012

THE CONCEPT of operating a mixture of different fighter types was not new to the Cold War. After all, at the end of World War Two, Allied and Axis forces had engaged in operations along those very lines, using the qualities of various aircraft to maximum effect. Although similar lines, the Mixed Fighter Force concept differs in that the aim is to capitalise on each fighter's unique strengths as well as acting as force multipliers. As an example, the Hunter is a highly manoeuvrable dogfighter but lacks the arsenal of air-to-air weapons that, say, an F-4 Phantom II can carry. The origins of what became known in the RAF as MFFO, Mixed Fighter Force Operations, can be traced back to the late 1970s when the service was undergoing a major re-equipment programme, especially within RAF Germany. The Cold War was reaching its zenith and the ageing Canberra bombers and Hunter fighters had been rendered obsolete. In a matter of years the RAF had transformed the 'clutch' bases with the introduction of Phantoms (then in the ground attack and recce roles), Buccaneers and Harriers. Soldiering on in the low-level air defence role were two squadrons of Lightning F2As, now very long in the tooth.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Workbench Miniatures - The Garden of Remembrance

Though I had spent an enormous amount of time studying images of this famous machine that I'd found on the Internet, I dreamed that one day I would get to see the real Panther and be able to examine it in far greater detail; little did I know that that opportunity would come far sooner than I had ever imagined... Every year, as a member of the Kempense Modelbouw Klub (KMK), I try and attend their Scale World show, which sometimes allows some of the visitors to travel to the Ardennes to see many of the sites and museums that litter that part of the world. In 2011 I was already booked to attend the show and so I thought I would chance my arm and ask if it was possible to deviate from their plans and take an additional road trip. To cut a long story short I managed to 'convince' some of my Belgian friends to travel to Houfallize to see 'my' Panther and so on the Saturday of the show weekend, Staf Snyers, Per Olav Lund, Attila Baranyai and myself, fought a number of tricky hangovers to travel south to the Ardennes to examine and photograph a Panther.

Workbench Miniatures - One Man's Junk

Over the many years that I've been a modelling enthusiast, my overriding interests have been military in nature. From aircraft to armoured vehicles, dioramas to miniature figurines, I've covered almost every base imaginable - and plenty more besides! Sure, I've dabbled in more 'civilian' areas, building racing cars, spaceships, motorcycles and trucks, but more often than not, these have been merely a passing fancy, an enjoyable detour from the path to being a better 'military' modeller. Well, that is until recently, when my interests started to change. The main attraction to being a 'military' modeller, was always the weathering that could be applied to the models. They no longer needed to be clean and tidy, toy-like objects. They could instead, be scaled-down representations of real machines, dirt covered and well-used. I loved the idea that I could represent the world around me in miniature and that fuelled my enthusiasm and determination to build more and more realistic models. Then something happened: I realised that I could also do this with non-military subjects! I could build machines seen in use around me, day in, day out and still be able to indulge in the weathering practices that I so enjoyed. I had, to all intents and purposes, found modelling nirvana!

AirArchive Book 3 - Aircraft of WWII (Part 1)

Although it was not the last military biplane to be designed and built in USA, Boeing's Stearman 'Kaydet' will be remembered as the last to go into production. It was remarkable too, as the first aircraft to meet the specifications of both US Army and US Navy - never before had the two services, with their strong rivalries, completely reconciled their differences in requirements. The 'Kaydet' was a biplane in the classic American style, with its radial engine (strange that it was never cowled -maybe for serviceability considerations), minimum upper dihedral and heavy stagger. Also characteristically American were the large cockpits with a high seat position, necessitating ample windscreens, long travel undercarriage and a beautifully smooth exterior and well finished. Developed from the NS-1 of 1934, the Lycoming powered PT-13 appeared two years later. Twenty-six machines were delivered to the Army, followed, in 1937, by 92 PT-13As, with slightly increased power and different instrumentation. Another increase in power distinguished the PT-13B, 255 of which were built in 1940 to meet the demands of an expanding training programme. Six PT-13As were re-engined to become -13Cs. The same 220 h.p. Lycoming engine was chosen for the PT-13D (Navy N2S-5), of which 1,768 were built, the majority going to the Navy.

AirArchive Book 2 - Aircraft of the 1920-1939 'Golden Age'

Arrival of two stubby biplanes at Duxford in July 2001 created a sensation at The Fighter Collection's annual Flying Legends airshow. From the time they were unpacked from a well-worn container and quickly assembled by a team of dedicated warbird enthusiasts out of Chino in California, they became unique stars in one of the best of that year's air shows. The single seat F3F-2 was one of four reproductions made over the latter years of the eighties by Herb Tischler's Texas Airplane Company while the two-seater was the original G-32A, fully restored as first made in 1936. Leader of the team was Steve Hinton who runs Fighter Rebuilders at that exciting haven of Chino. Watching Steve give each of the flying barrels a close inspection while they were given a complete spray wax and polish treatment by supporters became an object lesson for onlookers, more used to camouflage and matt metal. Not for a long time had the long inspection torch or the napkin trailing from a hip pocket been seen on a British flightline. Even the hardened fans of Duxford must have felt that America had taken over, at least for a short time.

AirArchive Book 1 - WWI German

During the first months of World War One, the introduction and development of aircraft armament had high priority. At the start of hostilities, Germany did not have a suitable lightweight machine gun for use in aircraft, but modified infantry weapons were soon in use from a variety of makeshift gun mountings.
It was appreciated that a machine gun firing forward in the direction of flight would be the best solution and this gave rise to the appearance of armed pusher air-craft. Another approach to the problem was the construction of twin-engined aircraft, since the observer/gunner in the nose of this type of machine did not have any airscrew avoidance problem. Various methods were tried by both sides and one of these used by the French, where a machine gun was free-fired through the area of the rotating airscrew, provided a practical, if somewhat dangerous solution.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Classic Aircraft 08/2013

IT WAS ANNOUNCED at the end of June that the Airbase facility, which currently accommodates the Air Atlantique Classic Flight and the Classic Aircraft Trust's aircraft at Coventry Airport, is to close down later this year. At the same time came news that the Classic Aircraft Trust, an independent charitable trust, is to appear under a new trading name, the Classic Air Force, at Newquay Cornwall Airport, the former RAF St Mawgan. This all followed confirmation that Sir Peter Rigby, whose Patriot Aviation Group took over Coventry Airport in April 2010, and Rugby-based Roxhill Developments intend to make a significant investment (reported at some £250 million) in a new technology park covering more than 65 acres on the north side of the airfield. This would, amongst other things, spell the end of the hangars that currently house Airbase, and which have been home to Air Atlantique since the 1980s. The planning stage of the development is being supported by the local council, and, with the lease on the hangars in this area being bought out by the consortium behind the plans, it is possible that they could be demolished by the end of the year.

Classic Aircraft 07/2013

A SALVAGE TEAM has successfully raised a Heinkel He115B seaplane from the depths of the Hafrsfjord near Stavanger, Norway. The Heinkel, Werknummer 2398, is in remarkable condition with minimal structural damage and little apparent corrosion despite being immersed in salt water for 70 years. The two floats along with their struts and one engine are missing, removed by German forces during WW2, but otherwise the aircraft is virtually complete. Only one other He I 15 is currently known to survive in preservation, an He I I5A-2 believed to be Werknummer 3043 and currently in storage as a badly damaged, incomplete wreck in France. Ironically, 3043 is one of eight He 115s which served with the Norwegian military during the war. Werknummer 2398 joined the Luftwaffe in June 1940 marked as BH+AM. It began its military career flying air-launched torpedo trials at Travemünde in Germany. The Heinkel then served as a multi-engine seaplane trainer with Flugzeugführerschule C 17 at Pütnitz between August 1941 and '42.

Classic Aircraft 06/2013

The First FLIGHT of the Flying Heritage Collection's Mitsubishi A6M3-22 Zero N3852 took place in late March. This example of the wartime Japanese fighter is unusual in that it is a two-seat conversion, having a second cockpit behind the traditional one and a correspondingly extended canopy. It is largely of new-build construction, but based upon the remains of three battered hulks recovered from Indonesia's Babo Islands by Bruce Fenstermaker in 1991. While the restoration has tried to stay as authentic as possible, Nakajima Sakae engines are unavailable, so the restoration team chose an effective, more readily available equivalent to power the aircraft, the Pratt & Whitney R-1830. Several previous owners have been involved in the Zero's rebuild. Alan Preston sent the airframe to Russia for reconstruction in 1994. During 1997 the structural work was largely complete. Paul Allen, FHC's benefactor, bought the Zero in 1998, storing it for some years at his facility in Arlington, Wshington.

Classic Aircraft 05/2013

Bournemouth International Airport has had its moments of fame and glory, some of them unscripted. It was here, on I I February 2006, at the end of the longest ever nonstop flight, that Steve Fossett landed the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer rather precipitately when a generator failure prevented him from reaching Kent International (Manston). Had the worlds press linked the site to the name of Hum Airport they would have discovered another record. It was there that an American Export Airlines DC-4 landed on 24 October 1945 at the end of the first ever regular scheduled landplane trans-Atlantic flight, a journey of 14hr 5min. Steve Fossett was aloft, alone, for 76hr 45min hours, but both achievements serve to place Bournemouth Airport in a distinguished niche in aviation history. The Bournemouth area has had close links with aviation since the early days of flying, but it took years to create the airfield that later became today's airport. Only in August 1941 was RAF Hum able to take its first aircraft, but, in parallel, long before the war ended, Hum became one of Britain's principal long-haul airports.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Airfix Model World 07/2013

Ilyushin's 11-2 was one of the most prolific and feared aircraft of World War Two. Designed under the codename 'Ivanov', a total of 36,163 machines were produced in several variants, some being more important than others. One such sub-type was the II-2M, which had two seats and 37mm cannons. The II-2 was a key player in the fight against Germany on the Eastern Front, and it entered service just three months after the onslaught of Operation Barbarossa, in June 1941. It was powered by a 1660hp engine (AM-38), while its armament consisted of two 20mm cannon and two 7.62mm machine guns, and various bombs and rockets. The Shturmovik became a formidable and much-feared tank-killer, as its firepower could easily destroy almost any piece of German armour.lts importance was such that in 1942, it accounted for one third of the total aircraft inventory of the Soviet Air Force.

Combat Aircraft Monthly 07/2013

THE NORTHROP GRUMMAN X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrator (UCAS-D) conducted its first carrier-based catapult launch from the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77) off the coast of Virginia on 14 May. The milestone occurred at 11.18hrs local time. Following the launch the X-47B executed several planned low approaches to the carrier, demonstrating its ability to navigate precisely within the controlled airspace around the aircraft carrier. The UCAS-D subsequently transited across the Chesapeake Bay and control of the air vehicle was passed from a mission operator aboard the carrier to another located in the Mission Test Control Center at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, where the X-47B landed at the conclusion of the 65-minute flight. The X-47B subsequently began touch-and-go operations aboard the ship from 17 May. It will fly multiple approaches to the George H. W. Bush and additional shore-based testing will be conducted at Pax River in preparation for its first arrested landing at sea later this summer.

Dambusters - The Amazing Story of Operation Chastise

WHEN WAR was declared on September 3,1939, Britain was in no position to mount any serious bombing raids on Germany. The aircraft may have been reasonably modern but the bombs, bomb-sights and methods of accurate targeting were lacking. So the plans that had been worked out by the RAF Air Targets Sub Committee in October 1937 to attack strategic targets in Germany remained on paper. Among the key targets that had been identified as important was the Ruhr valley, where the
bulk of German steel production was concentrated and where many armament and heavy industry producers were located. An Air Ministry committee had worked out that 3,000 sorties would be required to destroy the Ruhr area in Germany and bring the area to a standstill. However, they also worked out that the number of missions could be significantly reduced if the six important reservoir dams that fed the factories of the Ruhr could be breached. The problem the planners faced was that there was no aircraft or weapon large enough to carry out the task. To consider the possibilities and find a solution, an Air Ministry Bombing Committee was formed. At a meeting on July 26,1938, they concluded that a low-level aerial attack on the dams was possible and that the subject deserved further investigation.

Military Machines International 07/2013

Organiser Rex Cadman is best known for The War and Peace Show, which was at The Hop Farm in Kent for 25 years, moving after celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2012. Rex organised this with his team from 1989, taking it from a small club show started by the Invicta Military Vehicle Preservation Society (IMPS) with just 100 vehicles in 1982, to the world's biggest military vehicle event. The War and Peace Show was the first to feature living history, military vehicles, trade stalls and battle re-enactments together and to introduce vintage entertainment, fashion shows and dance lessons/demonstrations. 2013 sees the move of War and Peace to RAF Westenhanger, Folkestone Racecourse. Featuring military and vintage civilian re-enactors, living history, battle re-enactments and arena events, vintage entertainment, shopping, funfair and models it's a great family day out.

Model Military International 07/2013

The Leopard 2 Main Battle Tank was developed by Krauss-Maffei in the early 1970s. It replaced the earlier Leopard 1 series as the Main Battle Tank of the German Army The Leopard 2 first entered service in 1979 and has been continuously modernised and upgraded over the years since its introduction, serving with the armed forces of Germany and twelve other countries. The Leopard 2 has seen active service in Kosovo with the German Army and Afghanistan, and with the Danish and Canadian contingents of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Over 3,480 Leopard 2s have been produced since it first entered service. In 1963, the United States and Germany began work on a joint tank development. This was expected to ease logistics and supply for NATO. The new tank was known as the MBT70 and was quite a revolutionary design. Unfortunately, many of its systems were just too complex and expensive which eventually put an end to the project in 1969.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Classic Aircraft 04/2012

THE AIR ACCIDENTS Investigation Branch has published its report into the collision at Duxford's Flying Legends Air Show on 10 July between P-51D Mustang D-FBBD Big Beautiful Doll and AD-4N Skyraider F-AZDR. The AAIB states that: The collision occurred due to the Skyraider continuing the turn without the pilot having sight of the lead aircraft [the Mustang]. His turn was tighter and his speed greater than that of his leader, causing the flight paths of the aircraft to converge.' One safety recommendation was made: 'that the Civil Aviation Authority considers, where a parachute is worn as safety equipment, whether the provision of an automatic means of operating the parachute would provide a safety benefit'. This relates to the fact that, as described in the report, Mustang pilot Rob Davies was 'fortunate that his injuries [minor ones sustained when he hit the tail section on exiting the stricken aircraft] did not prevent him from operating his parachute deployment mechanism. Had he been incapacitated, there was no automatic means, such as a static line, for deploying the parachute.'

Classic Aircraft 03/2012

The newest exhibit for the Yanks Air Museum, Lockheed EC-12it Warning Star 53-0548, arrived at Chino airport on 14 January. Originally delivered to the USAF in August 1955, 53-0548 was actually built as an RC-121 D airborne early warning version of the Super Constellation. However, the aircraft was converted into an electronic reconnaissance EC-121T variant in May 1970. It served with the 552nd Airborne Early Warning and Control Wing at McClellan AFB, California from 1955 until it moved on to the US Air Force Reserve at Homestead AFB, Florida in March 1976. The last EC-121T to be retired from service at Homestead, the Constellation then went into storage at Davis Monthan AFB, Arizona in October 1978. However, instead of being scrapped, it found a new home as a static exhibit at the nearby Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson in September 1981. Eventually surplus to Pima's requirements, it was then purchased by V\&yne Jones in December 1994. Subsequently, the Global Aeronautical Foundation was set up to operate the EC-121T which, registered as N548GF, was ferried from Pima to Tucson on 14 April 1995, and thence to a new home at Camarillo, California the following day.

Classic Aircraft 02/2012

THE RAF Museum Cosford and the Fleet Air Arm Museum at Yeovilton have both received Harrier GR9As from storage at Cottesmore. The example allocated to the RAFM is ZG477, still wearing the special No I Squadron markings applied for the type's retirement from service in December 2010. Originally produced for the RAF as a new-build GR7 in 1990, the aircraft saw its first operational use during Operation 'Warden, the policing of the no-fly zone over northern Iraq, before going on to take part in Operation Allied Force' in the former Yugoslavia during 1999, and (by now upgraded first to GR7A and then GR9A configuration) latterly being involved in Joint Force Harrier's Operation 'Herrick' commitment at Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 2008-9. On 24 November 2010 it became one of the last four Harriers to take off from a Royal Navy ship, having been embarked in HMS Ark Royal.

Classic Aircraft 01/2013

THE FLIGHT DECK of a trans-Atlantic airliner during the propeller age was no place for the faint-hearted. Only the most skilled and experienced pilots were considered good enough to be entrusted with the job of flying passengers on the most prestigious of all air routes. There was no shortage of hazards. Ice was an ever-present danger. It could form on engine intakes and wings. Leading edge de-icing boots provided only a partial answer. Mechanical failures weren't uncommon either. One British Overseas Airways Corporation pilot vividly recalls the time his Constellation suffered a runaway propeller. We managed to get it stopped and feathered', he told me. 'We were icing up at the time and we discovered that we had an 80kt tailwind so we had no option but to carry on to Gander which we did, for five-and-a-half hours on three engines, loaded up with ice. It took 9hr 55min to get from Prestwick to Gander.' He added: 'We had runaway propellers on Stratocruisers too'. And for good measure he pointed out that on the DC-7C, the ultimate piston-engined airliner, it was often a question of whether the oil would run out before the fuel.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Marine Modelling International 06/2013

I try when possible to give each of these columns a theme, and this one seems to be 'value for money', which is quite sensible in the present economic climate. It so happens that the IOM circus came to town recently and we might as well start with this class which so dominates numerically almost all MYA club and radio racing. The MYA designates six single day events per year as 'Ranking Races' for this class and they are held as back-to-back events over three weekends in different regions each year. The points accrued go to establish the selection order for the upcoming international events and this year there is a World Championships scheduled in Israel in September. Thus the two events over the weekend of 2nd/3rd March at the Portishead lake of Woodspring MSC were critical in being the last chance for keen skippers to maximise their ranking position before the selection process.

Marine Modelling International 05/2013

For many years the standard displacement for a 'small' IC nitro marine power plant was measured at .1 2 of a cubic inch, which matched-up with most air-cooled glow vehicle engines, normally a converted IC car unit that sported a built-in recoil rope starter. These .12 energy sources supplied decent power for an IC hull; but many boaters wanted more performance from their nitro motors. In answer to these requests, many glow marine power plants with a larger .15 cubic-inch displacement began to appear with the bulk of them built on the smaller .1 2-size crankcases. This step of using the .15 nitro engines in many ready-to-run power craft remained in place for several years. However, it's now possible to purchase a slightly more potent glow marine engine with such units as the O.S. 18CV-RMX ABC marine unit.

Marine Modelling International 04/2013

Airboats potentially make a good beginner's model as they are relatively simple to build and setup, it's just a case of mounting a motor onto a punt shaped hull and having a simple rudder mechanism to steer it. Airboats also have significant advantages in that they can run in shallow water and over submerged patches of weed that would otherwise foul the propeller of a conventionally powered water screw model. If you have visited the Florida Everglades you will probably have seen many airboats in use, predominantly for tourist trips. These boats don't have a keel to grip the water so tend to slide sideways somewhat when turning, making control challenging at times, rather like a hovercraft - but they are a lot of fun! As it happens, my first radio-controlled boat was an airboat; this came about because I had decided to migrate from model aircraft (which I tended to crash) to model boats. This first foray into R/C boats was thus an airscrew driven trimaran built from balsa and powered by a 0.8 cc glow plug engine.

Marine Modelling International 03/2013

In any collection there are items that refuse to be fitted into any of the main categories. Items that, however interesting they may be in their own right, are destined for the file at the back of the cabinet labelled 'Miscellaneous'. That's what we have this month to finish off the series. I hope you've enjoyed it, and that it results in the preservation of some of these artefacts from our modelling past. First up is the Multum electric motor, made in the 1950s by Ward and Goldstone Plastics Ltd of London. This was the prime mover of a range of miniature workshop models (grinder, circular saw, etc.) made by the company and that otherwise would have been driven by a miniature steam engine. The surprising thing about this 6 volt motor is that it has a wound field, not the permanent ring magnet that its appearance suggests, and will therefore run on low voltage AC straight from a transformer.

Marine Modelling International 02/2013

When your MMI scribe first became aware of this fast electric catamaran, it only took a single sentence in its release statement to make me really want to test out this Pro Boat design. Looking at the boat's description on the Horizon Hobby online catalogue my eye caught the portion that stated that the Blackjack 29 was, and I quote, "Designed to be competition-ready out of the box." Of course words like this have been used to portray any number of other powered R/C marine craft; however, once you go over this RTR hull's specifications, it's easy to understand why this cat hull is unique. Based on the manufacturer's Miss Geico catamaran this fibreglass composite hull has a completely different outer appearance to its lizard cousin. Sporting a bright red/orange finish and an equally bold vinyl graphics package, the 29 inch long catboat looks the part and this carries over to its inner structure as well.

Marine Modelling International 01/2013

As this column is being written, many IC boaters are in the process of preparing their marine craft for the winter, which means no more days at the pond until the spring. Fuel systems are being flushed, radio components are being checked for any signs of corrosion, engine specs are being measured and any other leftover glitches in the boat's run sheets from the summer are being addressed on the workbench back in the shed. Once the vessels has had its total 'winterisation' programme, the modeller can use the rest of his/her off-season to do any needed/wanted updates to the hull that's currently in drydock. So, like the Powerplug piece found back in the March 201 2 edition of MMI, this space will be a Q&A session detailing some queries that will mainly focus on subjects related to winter modifications you can perform, as well as some additional questions I sometimes hear at the lake. As always, if anyone out there reading this fine publication has any questions about their own nitro/petrol power craft, please feel free to contact me via the email address found on the column's header space.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Flypast 07/2013

Hollywood luminaries Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks are to follow their criticaIly-acclaimed Band of Brothers and The Pacific TV series with a third -this time featuring the exploits of the wartime US Eighth Air Force operating from Britain. The ten-hour 'miniseries' for the HBO network is said to be the most expensive production in the history of television, costing around $500 million. It will be based on the book Masters of the Air by Donald L Miller, a history professor at Lafayette College, Pennsylvania, who worked with Spielberg and Hanks on The Pacific. Miller's research for the book included studying archives and listening to oral histories at the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force near Savannah, Georgia - where some of the filming for the series will be taking place in October.

Britain At War 06/2013

THEY received the call they had expected, and duly registered. They were conscripts, men called forward to fight for their country. Those passed fit were seen by a recruiting officer, marked down for army, navy or air force and went home to await their instructions. This was December 1943 and, just before Christmas, they received the expected OHMS buff envelopes. To their astonishment they were ordered not to the fighting front, but to the coal front - for these men were part of the first batch of the so-called "Bevin Boys", who, 20,000 in total, were conscripted to work down the mines as their contribution to the national war effort. The coal mining industry had seen a rise in demand with the outbreak of war, but with the fall of France and the entry of Italy into the war on the side of the Germans, these two export markets were closed virtually overnight. Almost 100 pits had to cease production. Mining was not even seen as a reserved occupation as there were so many unemployed miners.

Scale Military Modeller International 06/2013

This 'Orange Box' kit from Cyber-Hobby includes both an Artilleriewagen and set of Dragon 'Waffen Tank Crew' for good measure. The Artilleriewagen is not a very complex kit, but nevertheless some care was needed during the build. As usual we begin with the undercarriage construction, and in this case it was rather an easy task, as not much would be seen on the finished model! More challenging was the hull. First you need to to locate all the bort and locating holes and then open them. I must say that instructions are quite clear in providing additional help which makes this easier, but still care is still needed. With all ports and holes open we move onto building the hull proper. unfortunately Cyber-Hobby provides no help in the form of bulkhead or support beams, so you have to apply glue to all the elements and then place them almost at the same time. Most important - before the glue sets, make sure that all parts are square.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Scale Aviation Modeller 06/2013

On completing the F4U-1D Corsair and Moto Tug, it was a natural progression to form a diorama of a carrier deck scene. I was delighted to find that Tamiya are producing a US Navy pilot set in their Military Miniatures 1/48 series. The box art is in colour, well drawn and makes for a good reference guide. The kit is supplied with two sprues. One contains the Moto-Tug, driver figure and a seated pilot. The remaining sprue contains five pilot figures and two deck crew. Each sprue is clear plastic wrapped. The figures matched the box art exactly. The instruction sheet is clear and easy to follow with Tamiya paint colour references. The Moto Tug was included with the Corsair kit and its construction is described as part of that diorama. Therefore this section deals with just the figures, and the Moto Tug was relegated to the spares box.

Model Aircraft 06/2013

The Japan Air Self-Defence Force or J ASDF is the aviation branch of the Japanese Defence Forces and is responsible for the protection of Japanese airspace and other aerospace operations. The J ASDF carries out regular Combat Air Patrols around Japan, whilst also maintaining an extensive network of ground and air early warning radar systems. The JASDF also has its own aerobatic team, known as the 'Blue Impulse'. In recent times the JASDF has been involved in humanitarian and UN peacekeeping operations and operates 805 aircraft, 424 of which are classed as fighters. Before the formation of the JASDF after World War ll? Japan did not have a separate air force, as aviation operations were carried out by the Imperial Japanese Army Air Service, and the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service.