Saturday, August 31, 2013

Aeroplane 10/2013

The Texas-based Commemorative Air Force (CAF) has recently decided to update its planning strategy in order to increase its profile and the relevance of its message to the general public, reports Richard Mallory Allnutt. The organisation will establish several "Airbases" around the USA which will be, for the most part, existing, well-established facilities within the CAF structure, featuring some of the more prominent aircraft within the fleet. However, each of these operations will transition into a more formal aviation museum, open to the general public on a daily basis with interactive displays, educational activities and events, which will include an annual air show. The CAF has announced that Midland/Odessa in Texas, the current CAF Headquarters, is the first of these Airbase locations. The organisation has also determined the need to establish a National Airbase more centrally located to a major population area. This will become the CAF's new national headquarters.

Flight Journal Collector's Edition - Mustang

When the P-51 first took to the air, no one could know that it would have such far-reaching effects in nearly every theater of combat. Simultaneously, nobody foresaw that the initial disappointment in its performance, when measured against its peers, would turn into near-elation as the concept became a world beater. The Mustang's evolution began with a cutting-edge airframe mated to a marginal engine, which was then replaced with one of the finest powerplants ever. The original design's limited range was expanded with more internal fuel and drop tanks that made all the difference as a bomber escort. Armament also evolved, including significant air-to-ground ordnance-plus cameras. Climb aboard for a galloping ride aboard a star player on a global stage.

Model Boats Magazine 10/2013

After a more complicated then usual recent hobby project, something a shade easier was needed. One of those ideas that had been on the back-burner for some time and looked ideal, was a small simple model based on the WW2 RN River class frigates. These were the follow-on design to the Flower class of corvettes which had carried the brunt of the fight against U-boats in the early years ofWW2. Being larger and with twice the installed power, these frigates answered the shortcomings of the corvettes. Their larger hulls made them more suitable for the rough conditions which had placed a great strain on the corvette crews. Their extra speed also allowed them to run down surfaced U-boats, something the Flowers' could not do. Perhaps the most important improvement was the increase in anti-submarine weapons with the ahead throwing Hedgehog mortar and up to 150 depth charges carried. Thus it was possible for a frigate to be detached from the convoy escort group to prosecute a sustained attack on a submerged U-boat which could not escape by surfacing, yet still have the speed to return to the convoy later.

The Armourer 09-10/ 2013

The men in control of the 19th century's armies were, at best, a conservative bunch. Military thinking during that period always found innovation of any sort difficult and nowhere was this predilection so marked as in the area of repeating rifles. The British Army did not introduce a magazine rifle until 1888, when the Lee-Metford, with a magazine holding ten rounds, began its service life. Unfortunately the Metford's barrel was not suitable for the new smokeless ammunition then being introduced, and the rifle began to be replaced in 1895 by the Lee-Enfield, a weapon which will be familiar to many both in and out of Britain's armed forces. The Army Command was concerned about soldiers issued with a magazine rifle wasting ammunition however, so the Lee-Enfield was fitted with a magazine cut-off to allow the rifle to be loaded with a single cartridge between shots, thus conserving the contents of the magazine.

Aviation Classics Issue 21

As anyone who reads this page knows, it's the one I have trouble with. Yep, this is the 24th draft, so I am not doing well. As usual, it was an influence completely outside the research that gave me the key to how to begin this issue, how to define and distil the towering legend that is the history of this company. With the Mosquito it was Monty Python, with Lockheed Martin it was Gillan, Ian Gillan's rock band. Again, if you read this page, you will know that I listen to music or comedy while I am writing; it frees the mind and lets the details, the facts, become a story. In this case, I was listening to the excellent Glory Road and was humming along to No Easy Way when I suddenly got it. Nothing Lockheed Martin has ever done has been done the easy way. Just look at its track record or flick through these pages and you will see what I mean. Everything has always been at the cutting edge of technology or capability, pushing the edge of the envelope of manned flight further, higher or fester. The P-38; a supercharged twin when the norm was single-engined. 'Hie P-80; the first operational jet fighter in the US. The F-104; a Mach 2 interceptor.

AFV Modeller Issue 72

Also known as the Aberdeen Proving Ground Tiger or Fgst.Nr. 250031, is the oldest surviving Tiger I today. Although a well known surviving Tiger, not much of it's service history is known. Fgst.Nr.250031 was the 31st Tiger to be manufactured and left the production lines somewhere between late October and early November 1943 and was sent to Tunisia, allocated to the sPz.Abt.501. Sometime in May 1943 Tiger 712 was abandoned by it's crew and later found by Allied troops, the second complete and running Tiger "captured" during this campaign, (the other being Tiger 1 31, now at Bovington). Why and where 712 was left by it's crew, and what happened during it's service life is still a mystery. Only a few wartime photos of 712 in original condition are known, some photographed in Tunisia, and some at APG (of which most show 712 after it had been repainted). After studying these photos it seems 712 lived a hard life and took some punches, with at least three hits on the turret.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Model Boats 09/2013

This issue includes a full kit review by John Parker of the Alexander Engel U212A fully functioning static diving radio controlled submarine, as well as a major new Feature Plan presented by Glynn Guest for HMS Goliath, a semi-scale radio controlled model of an aircraft carrier. In addition, Brian Cook describes his unique LARC, an unusual and very large amphibious road vehicle that is also a fully working model. We also have show reports from Harrogate, Coalville and Doncaster, that all had some excellent model boats on display. Flotsam and Jetsam by John Parker is about the ship on which he travelled to Australia when emigrating from the UK some years ago, so having great nostalgic interest for him.The Gallery is by David Walter and is of the RXLI Lifeboat Collection in the Historic Dockyard at Chatham, always somewhere well worth a visit on a spare day. Dave Wooley with Range Finder includes a visit to a number of mine countermeasures vessels at Liverpool. These are always popular model making subjects because they can be built to quite a large scale and still be a practical size for model boating. Dave Petts looks at rigging and his methods of making it easy for scale sail models in his mini-series.

Flypast Special - Beaufighter

Beaufighters by Christmas was the prospect for the personnel of 235 Squadron. Formed just after the start of World War Two in the 'coastal fighter' role, 235 was equipped with Bristol Blenheim IVfs, on shipping protection tasks. As promised, at the end of December 1940 some Beaufighters arrived, but it proved to be a false dawn as they were soon withdrawn. It was not until December of the following year that 235 was eventually converted to the pugnacious Bristol. 'Home' for the unit had been bases in northern Scotland, as its main operating area was the northern reaches of the North Sea and the southern part of the Norwegian Sea. Under the command of Wg Cdr G H B Hutchinson, 235 moved to Chivenor in the summer of 1942 where, in October, Sgt Aubrey Hilliard — nicknamed 'Hilly' — joined the unit after his flying training. He flew his early operations from the north Devon base but, in January 1943, moved with 235 back to Scotland at Leuchars, on the east coast near St Andrews. Hilly and his colleagues mounted patrols over some very inhospitable seas and up along the rugged coastline of German-occupied Norway — sometimes as escort to Handley Page Hampden torpedo-bombers and other times on independent sweeps. Crews sometimes disappeared without trace: as much the victims of weather as to the Luftwaffe.

Flypast Special - B-52

ON APRIL 15, 1952 the first flight of America's newest warplane - Boeing's enormous B-52 Stratofortress - took place from the company's airfield outside Seattle, Washington. Sixty years later the B-52, a utilitarian weapon of war, has acquired near-mythical status after a career spanning more than half of the 109 years of manned flight, with no end in sight - indeed, it seems more than likely that the last B-52s, built more than 50 years ago, will carry on till they've chalked up their century! Because of its high-profile involvement in the Cold War - and the first war to be extensively televised, Vietnam - the B-52 attracted wide public attention. Stanley Kubrick's movie, Dr Strangelove, featured the bomber and since then popular culture has given its name to a drink, a hair-style and a rock group. Boeing called the B-52 'Strato-fortress', carrying on the Fortress theme that started with the B-17 Flying Fortress and moved on through the B-29 and B-50 Superfortresses. As a result of the carpet bombing of jungles during the Vietnam War it gained the monikers 'Monkeyknocker' and 'Coconutknocker'.

Air International 09/2013

Observers feared the worst, but the details outlined by Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on August 2 in the Project de Loi de Programmation Militaire (Military Planning Act) for 2014-2019 is not as severe as first anticipated. In real terms spending will fall by 7.2% and although the number of aircraft to be purchased or kept in the inventory will inevitably decrease, money will be spent to ensure that development and production capabilities are maintained for the foreseeable future. Investments will be kept at current levels during the 2014-2016 period, and progressively increased from 2017 onwards. The number of personnel will nevertheless be significantly cut, at the rate of 7,500 per year, and the percentage of officers within the military will be reduced from 16.75 to 16%, further he ping keep budgets under tight control. As widely expected, a strong nuclear deterrence concept is maintained and investments will continue to prepare the next generation of nuclear submarines and their associated new ballistic nuclear missiles. Similarly, work to upgrade the air-launched ASMP-A (Air-Sol Moyenne Portée-Amélioré, or improved air-to-surface medium range) nuclear miss' es arming Mirage 2000Ns and Rafael B/Ms will begin.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

RC Model World 09/2013

This is the second PA model I have had the pleasure of reviewing. The Addiction X is still one of my favourite models for light-wind 3-D flying, and I was very close to ordering one of the Extra MX models for the more usual breezy conditions here in the UK. It's larger, with the obvious added power offered from a 6S LiPo set-up. The big bonus with PA is they designed their 6S models from the outset to use two 3S packs in series, knowing that just about every electric flyer would have some 2200 mAh 3S packs in their battery collection. I also had a few 2700 6S packs from the popular 500-size helicopters that I hoped to use, in addition to a huge number of 3S 2200 packs. Dual use of packs is a real bonus to me for justification of new models. I keep a regular eye on the Precision Aerobatics website as I have really rated the company since doing the Addiction X review and researching the company, their products and policies. I had seen the announcement of the soon to be released Katana MX and it appealed more than the Extra MX. The power set-up was the same, so this ensured I could also try the Extra MX at a later date if I wanted to. I contacted the UK importer MacGregor Industries for a delivery time scale and then placed an order and waited for the brown box delivery!

Flypast Special - Mosquito

PERHAPS one of the most famous Mosquitos of all time, MM4I7 T-for-Tommie of 487 Squadron RNZAF did not chalk up an extensive range of operations. In fact, it only flew two and stayed with the unit for just over a month. If a certain degree of popularity has surrounded MM4I7, this seems solely due to the availability and frequent use of a set of air-to-air photographs taken in 1944 and the later selection of model kits based on these. But the lesser-known story of what it did - or rather had done to it - is the stuff of legends. Formed at Feltwell, Norfolk, in September 1942,487 Squadron absorbed a number of New Zealanders from the Commonwealth Air Training Programme.Then flying Lockheed Venturas, they will always be remembered for the tragic Amsterdam raid of May 3, 1943, when they lost ten machines in the space of ten minutes. In an operation control and timing blunder, 40 crewmembers were killed or taken prisoner.

Flypast Special - Hurricane

EVERYONE thought that Hawker chief designer Sydney Camm had surpassed himself with the Fury single-seat fighter. This beautiful craft caught the imagination of public and pilots alike. But by 1933, the biplane had had its day. There were some die-hards at the Air Ministry who thought that the inevitable could be held off. Thankfully, there were other minds ready to move on. Sydney was one of these. So was Major John Buchanan at the Directorate of Technical Development. In August 1933 the pair got together and Sydney and his team started to draw up a shapely monoplane version of the Fury. Powerplant was to be the Rolls-Royce Goshawk, there would be four machine-guns, and a fixed and spatted undercarriage finished off a design that was very pleasing to the eye. By early 1934, the Goshawk was out of favour, so the new PV. 12 from Rolls-Royce was substituted, and a retractable undercarriage was introduced. (The PV. 12 entered production as the Merlin.)

Great Fighters of The World

Of all the numerous types of flying machines produced since the first days of powered flight, it is the fighter aircraft that capture peoples' imagination more than any other. Great Fighters of the World: From the Red Barons Triplane to the Raptor tells the stories of the most famous of these awe-inspiring machines; highlighting their influence on the conflicts they fought in. From the first true dogfighters through to the cutting edge machines of today this title recalls the technology, triumph and tragedy of aerial warfare. However, every aircraft is only as good as its operator, so we also pay homage to some of the greatest airmen of their day. From the iconic Manfred von Richthofen: the so-called Red Baron and highest-scoring ace of the First World War, through to British Harrier Jump-Jet pilots of the 1982 Falklands conflict, we recall gripping combat stories that capture the sacrifice and spirit of generations of fighter 'jocks' from many different nations.

Military Illustrated Modeller 09/2013

The Hispano Aviaciôn HA-1109 and HA-1112 were license built versions of the Messerschmitt Bf 109 G, developed in Spain during and after the Second World War. Germany supplied 25 partial Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-2 airframes and some technical drawings to Spain in 1942, but they could not provide Daimler-Benz DB 605 engines, propellers, instruments or weapons due to their own dire needs. As a result, this Spanish version was fitted with the 1,300 hp Hispano-Suiza 12Z-89 engine, which first flew at Barcelona in 1944. The first HA-1109-J1L fitted with a German VDM propeller made its maiden flight on 2 March 1945 at Seville. The other twenty-four airframes were flown during 1947-9 with Escher-Wyss propellers, but never became operational. A further version with an improved installation for the Hispano-Suiza 12Z-17 engine appeared in May 1951 as the HA-1112-K1L. Fitted with a three bladed DH Hydromatic propeller, it was nicknamed Tripala ("three blades"). Its armament consisted of one or two 12.7mm Breda machine guns and Pilatus 80mm rocket eight-pack.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Flying Scale Models 09/2013

The name of Percival disappeared from British aircraft manufacturing more than 50 years since, yet in its pre-WW2 heyday, the name was at the forefront of British aviation achievement, producing a line of aircraft types that set new records in aviation, flown by some of the greatest pioneer pilots of the time. This month's FSM marks some of the success of Mr. Edgar Percival with coverage of two of the aircraft types his Company produced, in numbers, before it was swallowed up in the general post-WW2 move that 'consolidated' and combined some of those most famous earlier aircraft constructors into larger organisations, capable of meeting the challenges of competing in an industry by then faced with meeting the demands of the expansion of general aviation, fuelled by the advances in development that resulted from the 1939-45 years. Thus, we are presenting the late Mr. Roy Yates' Percival Proctor Mk.IV, with plans for the model in Roy's original 1:7 scale, plus 1:5.5. Roy was on of those thoughtful pioneers of R/C scale, campaigning his Proctor successfully at International competition level.

RC Model Flyer 09/2013

Wow! Some of you actually chose to come back and read part 2! Well, thank you for that and I hope part 1 was not too much hard work! I must apologise now though, as part 2 is going to consist of more words than photos, I am afraid. I will try to keep this as short as possible, but the first area of getting into jets that I am going to cover here is a big one - it's the powerplant itself. The jet, the turbine, the engine, the motor, the gas turbine... - whatever you choose to call it, the turbine is probably the single most important component involved in operating any jet-powered model. I like to think I have a fairly good idea of which turbines are available on the commercial model market right now. With that in mind, and by doing a quick mental tally in my head, I can come up with over 20 turbine manufacturers that I know of who are trading today. I am sure there are more, but likely not too many. Out of those 20,1 have owned and operated a number of different turbines from at least 13 of them.

Military Machines International 09/2013

Training Centurion tank drivers at the Royal Australian Armoured Corps' Armoured Centre at Puckapunyal, Victoria, was carried out using a standard gun tank for the majority of the type's service career, but the maximum number of trainees that could be comfortably and safely carried was only three. These occupied the normal crew positions, with the instructor as the crew commander. The use of a fully equipped gun tank just for driver training was not ideal, but as there was no dedicated variant, it was the only option available. By 1973, a replacement for the Centurion was under consideration, and a new fleet of modern armoured vehicles was within the foreseeable future. There was also a surplus of Centurions tanks for peace-time requirements. Indeed, there was no urgency to undertake the base overhaul of all the tanks that had been returned from South Vietnam in September 1971, with several of those still held in storage in the same state as they had arrived back in Australia.

Airfx Model World 09/2013

Marvel Comics' writer-editor Stan Lee created The Invincible Iron Man, in the 1960s, with his look designed by artists Jack Kirby and Don Heck and scripts by Larry Lieber. In the stories, Iron Man was the creation of Anthony Edward 'Tony' Stark; an American billionaire, playboy, genius engineer and defence manufacturer as head of Stark Industries. Originally, less well-known than other Marvel creations, the Iron Man story came to prominence since 2008, with the live action film and its two sequels where actor Robert Downey Jr portrays Stark in bravura fashion. In 2012, the film Avengers Assemble pitted the Iron Man character alongside others from the Marvel 'stable', such as Captain America, The Hulk and Thor. Dragon has released several kits of nearly every character from Avengers Assemble, including two different versions of Iron Man, the most recent release of the Mark VII armour from this film (and also seen in Iron Man 3) is covered in this feature.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Military Modelling 08/2013

When Riich Mode s first announced that they would be releasing a 1:35 scale Universal Carrier Mk.I, it was probably the most exciting and anticipated upcoming re ease for many in the modelling community. As soon as my kit arrived I literally cleared my workbench and immediate y started on this project. The re ease represents the Universal Gun Carrier Mk.I which was used on most fronts throughout WW2 by the Commonwealth (Canadian, British, Australia) and a large number of captured carriers were pushed into German service as we I. Moreover, the Universal Carrier took many forms and, similar to the Churchill Infantry Tank, was converted into many variants to serve a great number of functions and roles with differing armament i.e. MMG (with Vickers), Artillery Tractor, Wireless, Flamethrower and mortar carrier. The history on the development of the Universal Gun Carrier has a ready been we -documented in many excellent books. In summary, the development of the Universal Carrier was borne from many designs which were developed between the wars.

Flypast 09/2013

Billed as the fastest bomber in the free world, in the 1960s the Convair B-58 Hustler was always hitting the headlines. It set speed and performance records at a routine pace. As a Strategic Air Command (SAC) navigator, I was weaned on the B-47 Stratojet (see the panel on page 23). On June 17, 1964, our crew flew the last B-47 at Little Rock, Arkansas, to the 'Boneyard' at Davis-Monthan in Arizona. The next phase would be B-52s, or if I was lucky, the B-58. After some wait and worry, the stars aliened and I got selected for the B-58 programme. So, it was back to the 'schoolhouse'. After cruising along at a leisurely 430 knots for around 1,500 hours in the B-47, it was a real adjustment to the Mach 0.91 mission profile of the B-58 with supersonic bomb runs at Mach 1.65. A unit of time is still the same whether on the ground or in the air; but those minutes seemed to fly by a lot faster in the Hustler.

Model Boats 09/2013

The modern German HDW Type 212A U-Boat, arguably the most advanced non-nuclear submarine in the world, is the subject of the Alexander Engel KG company's newest addition to their range of model kits. To 1:70 scale, the model is a compact 800mm in length and displaces just 4.9kg on the surface, yet offers high performance, operational safety and advanced features such as an X-tail with electronic mixing of the control functions. Its static diving ballast system consists of a single 500ml Engel piston tank. This kit's completeness, manageable size and relative affordability, will I think have many people without experience of model submarines looking at it and wondering if it could provide them with their introduction to the world of three-dimensional movement that exists below the surface of their favourite sailing lake. Please refer to the Engel website: for current pricing.

Aeroplane Monthly 09/2013

The Space Shuttle orbiter was a partly reusable system to place payloads in low Earth orbit. The components included the orbiter vehicle, a pair of recoverable solid rocket boosters, and an expendable external tank. The Shuttle was launched vertically like a conventional rocket, with the boosters and tank being jettisoned before the vehicle reached orbit. At the conclusion of the mission, the Shuttle fired its orbital manoeuvring system rockets to drop out of orbit and re-enter the atmosphere. The orbiter module was only an "aircraft" for the very last phase of its flight, as the world's heaviest, most expensive "glider", with a minimal low aspect double delta wing, relatively undersized for the fuselage. On re-entry, the orbiter would be flying backwards and inverted, before flipping to a more conventional orientation. At about 40,000ft, at Mach 25 (18,000 m.p.h.), the air density began to affect the vehicle, flying at 40 degrees nose-up, to increase drag and manage heating.

Combat Aircraft Monthly 09/2013

Northrop grumman's X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrator (UCAS-D) completed its first carrier-based arrested landing when it touched down aboard the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77) on 10 July and caught the ship's number three wire with its tailhook. Following its take-off from NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, the X-47B flew a 35-minute transit to the carrier, which was operating off the coast of Virginia, and following several precision approaches made an autonomous arrested landing. The aircraft makes its approaches autonomously, without human interference. Following the landing the UCAS-D carried out a catapult launch and then a second arrested landing. During a third approach to the carrier the X-47B self-detected a navigation computer anomaly that caused the air vehicle to transit to an assigned shore-based divert landing site. It recovered safely at the NASA Wallops Island Flight Facility in Chincoteague, Virginia.

Model Military International 09/2013

Japan entered the 20th century with a clear victory over the Russian fleets at Port Arthur and Tsushima, ending the Russo-Japanese War in 1905. But while Japan had succeeded in becoming an industrial power by the early 20th century, it still was largely an agrarian nation, and its industrial capacity was limited. This meant that Japanese planners had to set priorities on allocating their manufacturing efforts to support the military. As will be seen, Japan's position as a new major naval power favoured the diversion of industrial effort and resource allocation toward the Navy, leaving the Army to settle for what it could obtain from the remainder of the country's military budget. This in turn affected the number and quality of most of Japan's non-naval weapons. In spite of Japan's limitations, her leaders were very much interested in improving her military capabilities and in the decades after WWI, Japan experimented with tank designs, purchasing a number of foreign tanks to study them and develop doctrines for using armour in warfare.

Panzer Aces Profiles Issue 01 - Guide to Camouflage and Insignia of the German Tanks, 1935-1945

During WWI, the Germans followed the French procedure of using several camouflage colors to paint spots that would somehow disguise the silhouette of their armored vehicles, transport vehicles and artillery pieces. These items usually came out of the factory painted in a greenish grey color which came in either a darker or a lighter tone. Before the material was sent to the front it was painted with reddish brown, sand colored and dark green spots, and in some cases the edges of these spots were painted with black paint along the spots' contours.