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.